As I mentioned a few posts ago, I recently decided to join the "Defeat the Winter Doldrums" Swap. As part of the swap, the hosts post a weekly discussion topic, which participants can choose to respond to on their blog. I usually have plenty to talk about on my blog, so don't find myself participating in these weekly topics too often. However, this week's was something I was considering writing about already, so I decided to go ahead and participate.
The topic is: "There are many people who ADORE receiving hand-knit or crochet items; but there are just as many who have no appreciation whatever of how much love, work, and time goes into a hand-made item. Share a story of a hand-made gift you gave to someone and how it worked out - good, bad, or ugly!"
I have two stories I have been thinking about sharing, each falling on a different end of the spectrum.
First, when I gave my sister the "Kimono Shawl" I knit her for Christmas, her reaction was better than I could have hoped it would be. She was so excited about it that she teased she was thinking about sleeping with it under her pillow but was afraid she would snag it. She really liked the silk! She then proudly took it to her knitting group the next week to show to all of her buddies and wore it to church the following day. She has been enjoying it and will happily tell anyone who will listen "My sister knit this for me!" The only hard part about this for me is that it makes me want to knit just for her, as well as my husband's friends who also love hand-knits.
On the other extreme, I have another family member who has done things like offer me scarves knit by another family member so I can "take them apart and use the yarn". I have refused, knowing the person who had just knit them for her put a lot of thought and time into their creation. She has also specifically asked me to knit her hats on a couple of occasions, that she has then later offered back to me for my kids because they "just don't work for her".
The worst though was when a friend knit her a gorgeous lace shawl and she asked me to "take it apart and make a smaller one". Again, I refused and explained that the person who had made it for her put a lot of time and effort into it. I also said that if she didn't like it she should find a good home for it, but she should not ask another knitter to destroy someone else's work.
I certainly do not advocate keeping something you don't like, even if it is lovingly handmade for you. However, don't involve me in it and certainly don't ask me to destroy it! Needless to say, I do not knit for this person any longer.
I feel funny writing about this as it sounds so negative. It has been an on-going issue though that bugs me every time it comes up! If I can't complain about it to my blog, who can I complain about it to, right? I'll just keep knitting for my sister and I'll be much happier.