“Never knit for a non knitter”, or so I’m told… But is that the case? I have been pondering this of late as there have been many births and birthdays to create and craft for.
Some non – knitters I know always seem thrilled with, and look after gifted hand-knits with great care; more so than some of those who can knit.
My other half on the other hand is possibly the worst person to knit for. He sees the ongoing effort for example that goes into a detailed jumper I made for him – at his request may I add – yet he has only worn it twice and now it lays discarded in an unloved heap. He also has a slight, ahem, tendency to felt even machine washable knits to sizes fit only for the elves at the bottom of the garden.
Or there is my Grandmother. An able knitter, now limited by arthritis, has requested many an item which to this day I have never seen her wear. She has now requested a laceweight jumper for the autumn. I love her to pieces and would love to knit it for her, but how often is it going to leave the wardrobe after hours spent clicking away with my sticks and string. “No,” she says, “4 – ply is too heavy, it must be laceweight and have lots of detail, ribbing and shaping” Oh dear me… this is going to take a LONG time…
I think there are a few basics you have to stick to:
- If in doubt – don’t do it.
- Include care instructions. A couple of times to be on the safe side.
- Look carefully at their style and colour preferences – that lovely deep green really doesn’t suit the bottom of the wardrobe only containing pink…
- Check for allergies; sadly not everyone can handle being wrapped in sheep. They have my full sympathy.
- Include some more care instructions.
- Someone I know included a fun little tag on which she had written the approximate time taken and stitch count. Show them how much you love them by mentioning how long you have devoted to making something to make them happy!
But what about those super talented crafty Goddesses I have the honour of calling friends? What on earth do you knit for someone who can knit anything? A friend mentioned the other day that people often knit her socks as she never knits them herself. But how often can you give someone socks before they start to think you are going a little bit cuckoo?
What, for example could I possibly make for the women who created these for my daughter and me for our birthdays this year?
I think the easiest thing to do is figure out what each friend can’t do. For those who can’t spin (yet) I have tried to spin for, those who don’t knit, knit for etc.
I have a long list of presents to catch up with but for now the wet felting is off the cards; too much felting makes ones hand a little sore! Oh, and then there is the friend that makes the world best natural soap which is perfect for felting… I know some very talented ladies!!!
Two babies have been those to make for most recently. And the knit wear is about as different as it gets. Both girls, one in need of butterflies, one in need of daughter of darkness wear.
I must admit, it has been lots of fun creating such polar opposites!
Another couple of babies are due soon. Plus my Dad and Step-mum’s wedding. Another 10 gothic, needle felted fairies needed there.
I think when (and this may just be me and my insecurities!) you make for others, devote time and love to a project, it can be easy to worry that said items will not be enjoyed as much as you hope they will. Or that, like with my darling OH, said items will only be enjoyed by garden Elves…
Is that just me?
Would you ever knit for a non knitter?
The daughter of darkness stuff is so much fun.
I think the only rule of thumb is not to have one at all. Every time I try to come up with one it crumbles . I can only make decisions of knit-worthiness on a case-by-case basis.
Must agree with all those points! Maybe ruling out knitting for men-folk is a good start?
Well it depends. My man-folk is actually pretty knit-worthy. And so is my dad.
do they give knit-worthy lessons? 😉
You and your creations are fab and as a recent recipient of your beautiful hand felting efforts I speak from experience! I designed and knitted a hat and scarf for my dad once. After they had an unfortunate coming together with some Velcro and have mainly sat unloved in the wardrobe I’ve decided not to knit for him again unless I have a really good reason. Life is too short. Some non-knitters are different, but I would always find out what they would like (if anything) first.
I stick to knitting hats and mitts for non-knitters, although close family might get a shawl or wrap of some sort, and all babies get a little knitted jacket or similar. It just depresses me that non-knitters often thing knitting is a darn sight less time consuming than it actually is!
What a great post! Deep down, I think your “other half” appreciates that gorgeous sweater you knit him. How could he not? And yes, I agree it’s great to make crafty friends things that they don’t normally do–I would LOVE some spun wool! As for knitting for non-knitters, I’ve done it a couple times and probably won’t again…Take care and aloha, Lori
I hope he does secretly! Thank you! x