Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Selfish Knitting Vs. Gifting

I've been working "overtime" lately on projects for other people. It started out with a hat made as a favour, albeit paid for (that sounds wrong, somehow). I didn't really mind doing it. I thought it would be good practice with fair isle, so I made a customized version of the bmp pattern in a hat for a friend, featuring his website.

After that, I was asked to make two more hats, which I whizzed through in a matter of days to get through them.

Don't get me wrong - I don't mind making things for people. I especially like making gifts for people that I care about. Sometimes, however, I think any crafter, be they knitters, crocheters, jewelry-makers, anyone who makes things with their hands, gets snowballed by these requests.

Ravelry has a group called Selfish Knitters, whose battlecry includes:

1) We only knit for ourselves and for people who bless us and hand us boxes of expensive chocolates! Or money.

2) Some people need to learn gratitude or face the wrath of our flinging needles of Death!

3) Selfish Knitters are people who love and value themselves.

4) The person I knit for knows how to appreciate a knitted item–ME!

5) Everybody should be loved. But some people are greeting-card-love-worthy and some people are handknit-socks worthy.

It's been very comforting for someone like me, who is very sensitive to the feelings of others, to know that it's ok for me to put down the baby blanket or the hat or the sweater for Christmas and to play with that new ball of Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy, or gaze at the Malabrigo and daydream about what it will someday become. I don't want the world to lay jewels at my feet in return for a scarf. I just want people to understand that I do this for my own relaxtion and pleasure, and that it is the part of the day I look forward to the most. It can be tiring to give that precious time away to someone else's project all the time. I think that, for the most part, people get that. I just like to remind them every so often.

Of course, first I had to finish this baby blanket - or as I like to call it, a stroller blanket. It's big enough to cover the baby's lap in the stroller, but small enough to someday become his Linus blanket. I hope so, anyway! I made it in Bernat Organic Cotton in the Tea Leaves colourway, and while I really didn't expect the cables to pop with all the striping, I'm still pleasantly surprised at how visible all the details are, at least in natural light.

Now, onto something for me - let's play with some Noro!

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