Knitters and crafters alike complain about the same stuff: That the recipients of their "crafts," "gifts", "whathaveyou" or "products of their ware," never act as thankful as they should. You have heard the story or have felt it before: You tear yourself up over all manner of crap including color choice or size or whatever other stuff and then when push comes to shove you take an anti-anxiety agent of some sort or worse, a Pepto-Bismol, before they open your package and then faint when they finally do and then all they manage to do is pick up the hand-made item gingerly and say:
"Oh, wow...I don't know what to say...what...is this?...Is this a...Huh? [murmur from the crowd watching]...Yes! It's a bootie! Where's the other one? Is there another one? Oh, yeah, here it is! I had to look deeper into the tissue paper here. Heh. Yeah! Two booties! They are, uhm...interesting and, uhm, well, soooo cute!"
In my head I reply with something along the lines of "I'll never make that mistake again," but I live and learn and I'm sure you have plenty of stories about this sort of thing.
I've been dogged by this knitting thing. This knitting for others thing. My sister recently had a baby and I bought a bunch of yarn to make the baby a log-cabin blanket. I am half-way finished and now he's two-months old. So, why haven't I finished it?
Because, these days---and let me emphasize that it is NOT the recipient's fault, but--there are few people who appreciate the hand-made stuff and I am, like probably 95% of us, a little sensitive to the push-back that I get from my hand-made-ness.
Hand-MAD-ness, is more like it.
It's actually a sad state of affairs, but seriously: Consider it: Would you rather give them something that you know they will like and use, or would you rather slave over something that you dream in your heart and fantasize over with every stitch and then hand it over for them only to say something like: "Thanks, but he has lots of blankets. He particularly likes the ones made of [insert machine-made substance here]."
I guess, in the end, as a knitter or a crocheter or a "maker," the best idea is to find the folks that you absolutely know love or use the items that you make. It might be boring because, for example, in my case, I'm limited to socks for HWWV or for Girlfriend, but that is cool. I'm willing to knit those as much as possible because, once they are off of the needles, I see them again and again on their feet, and sometimes stuffed into shoes outside the door, in the gym bag, or even better, under the left-side of the bed or laden with a hole or two from heavy use.
We sat by the pool today and although I didn't get in, I pulled out some socks I've been working on and off for months. HWWV, when he saw me knitting them, pulled himself out of the pool and asked: "Whose socks will they be?" and I said, "yours."
And then he smiled and jumped back in.
He wears my socks.
He wears them until there are holes in them.
And he never asks me for more.
Because he knows more will appear...not instantly, but eventually.
Girlfriend is the same.
They wait for my socks.
If I made souffles or cookies or other sweets, I suppose I could say the same thing. Thing is, socks don't take two hours. They take 10, or 20, or more, or a trip to Tahoe. One sock each way. . .
To you and you and you and you: I knit for you because I love you. That is all I have to say.