Minions (who do my bidding) and Followers (who do not)

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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Day 4 - Thursday

Day Four: Thursday, 31st March. Where are they now?
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

Tips: This topic is similar to one we used for the first Knitting and Crochet blog week. This is purposeful and is intended to help the blogger to reflect on past items and refer back to previous posts and projects once in a while.

One of the groups I belong to on Ravelry is the Selfish Knitters & Crocheters Group. It has helped me immensely over the last...well...from whenever I joined.

The creed of Veruca (as in Veruca Salt, the spoiled brat from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the mascot of this group):

"We are The Sainthood of the Aggrieved Knitters/Crocheters Who Say Nee to Non-Lovers of Our Knitting/Crocheting. We make what we want, when we want, for whomever we want.

Our Battle Cry(s):
  1. We only knit/crochet 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/hooks of Death!
  3. Selfish Knitters/Crocheters are people who love and value themselves.
  4. By uber-KAL/CAL-ling, selfish knitters/crocheters can multiply the amount of attention they get for each project.
  5. Everybody should be loved. But some people are greeting-card-love-worthy and some people are handmade-socks worthy.
Official Proclamation - any knittings/crocheting done for friends/family who just created human life OR are fighting hard to preserve human life are knittings/crocheting done from the heart and not because of the selfishness of others and are therefore free from scorn and spite in this group!
We are here to support each other in our quest to become/be selfish knitters/crocheters. No more “Can you make this for me and have it done tonight?”. No more “But I really liked the other color better.” No more “Can you make me a man-thong?”"

Now, why is this important? Because. It just is.

But, really, it's important because up until I discovered this group, many of the items I made, I made for other people who may or may not have appreciated the work involved.

Case in point: The Irish Hiking Scarf
This was made for my SIL for her bridal shower (which was about 6 months before my own wedding - and about 6 weeks before hers). She has always wanted to learn to knit but a few things have prevented it including lack of funding for beginning materials and the fact that she's a lefty. She knows lefties knit but she would need someone to physically teach her. The internet just isn't doing it for her. Anyway...she understands that knitting can take a long time but I don't think she really understands what a "long time" means. This scarf took two skeins of Cascade 220 wool, #9 bamboo Takumi needles, a cable needle, and at least 60 hours worth of work from the CO to weaving in the ends after the BO.  Originally, I intended to keep this item. I was spending so much time on it and I fell in love with it. Looking back on it, I should have kept it. It was my first cabled project; my first project using Cascade 220 (and only one, if I remember correctly); my first "real" project. So, why did I give it away? I didn't know what else to give her for her bridal shower and I thought she'd appreciate something she could use, something handmade, and something that could handle our Wisconsin winters. I had been leisurely working on it and then I decided I was going to give it to her...I went into hyper-knitting mode. I spent a lot of late nights (4am or later) upstairs watching episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood on the big sheet. I would work on this project for 8+ hours/day so that I'd have it done in time for the bridal shower. I know she loved it.....but I don't know if she ever used it. I'm going to assume she still has it as she's only been married for 2 years (almost). I've never seen it at her house. I've never seen her wear it. I have no idea what happened to it...

Sometimes, I regret giving it away.

Another case in point: The Andean Treasure Shawl
I just finished this about 6 weeks before Little Man was born...a couple of months before Christmas 2010. It was intended to be a gift for my "sister" from the beginning. She told me she wanted me to make her a shawl. Okay...I had never made a shawl. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had her choose the yarn but I did give her my input on what kind of yarn. She has two children and not a lot of time to deal with hand-washing or re-blocking. I recommended either cotton or superwash something (wool, MCN, etc.). She picked Ty-Dy Cotton from Knit One Crochet Too. It wasn't horrible to work with but it wasn't the most fun I'd had with a project. I had learned about lifelines in my quest to find a pattern fitting of the yarn so I was faithfully using it. Unfortunately, the pattern was a basic feather-and-fan and kind of boring. It's not like it was difficult but it got boring to work on. It took me over a year to finish because I kept putting it down in favor of other items (including hats/scarves for her kids). To this day, I have no idea why she wanted a shawl. I've never seen her wear it, use it, or otherwise acknowledge its existence in her wardrobe. I'm not sure she has worn it or otherwise used it. I'm not really sure why she wanted it...

Don't get me wrong, I have made things for myself...but it seems like for every one project I make for myself, I make 3 or 4 for other people who may or may not appreciate them.

I think I need to knit for myself more.

This one wasn't as fun for me to write about. I have nothing funny to say about my projects...or lack thereof.

Hrm. Maybe tomorrow's topic will go better for me. Oh, and just an FYI, I'm doing the Wildcard topic as a bonus day next Monday :)


  1. What a beautiful shawl, to give away. So far I have no regrets in giving any knitting away, its ok when its appreciated and worn!!

    Enjoyed catching up with your posts.

  2. I too am a selfish knitter for similar reasons to the stories you tell. There is nothing wrong with only knitting for yourself and those we beg for your hand knits. At least that's what I tell myself.

  3. Great cases in point and I may have to join that group! I've only made two slouchy beanies for myself this year, the only two items since May 2008. I guess instinct should be followed when it comes to whether or not to keep a project for oneself.

  4. Oh yeah; I hear you on the whole sis thing. I know my sils appreciate my work but do they make use of all that love and time I've put? Probably sometimes but I wished more often.

  5. I think we all know and understand that feeling of frustration when we spend so much time and effort on something that has been requested and the recipient seems to shrug and say "oh thanks" and promptly cast it aside. I'm trying to be a more selfish knitter. Everytime someone ASKS for something I'm going to tell them how many hours that will take me and see if they still want me to make it. I did that for my Mum recently and you should have seen her face! She still wanted it though - typical of my Mum!

  6. I'm totally with you on only knitting for those who will actually appreciate it.