Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? The three fates...

Write about the fate of a past knitting/crochet project. Something you made for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to a charity. How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which he then "lost."

By Jess M. Jones

Self-indulgence. Gift. Super fail. Those are the three fates of my knitting projects...

I love knitting stuff for myself! So the largest percentage of knits I've made have been for me. That's the easiest way to keep track of past projects, of coarse, because you get to wear them, use them, take care of them the right way :)

Some get more wear/use than others. Socks and hats seem to get the most play around here, but then I did make 2 sweaters last year and I wore them a lot this winter (being that I've only really been knitting in earnest for about 4 years, and I am a slow knitter, there are a lot of things I haven't yet attempted). But I may be selfish in the thought that others just won't quite hold the level of appreciation for the work, the intricacy of the pattern, the quality of the yarn, etc - so I knit for myself. Not to mention that I'm also prone to wanting to knit things that would be deemed as super strange by most! Like undies! They're great - made with sock yarn - and I feel like Wonder Woman when I wear them. Under-roos for the adult me!

When I do gift something knitted, it is probably for one of my daughters. Because they DO understand all of the details mentioned above! Still, how many things have I made for Rory, my 11 year old, which just aren't comfortable for her and therefore don't get worn? About 2 out of 2 too many, so I don't really knit for her anymore (she understands, tho, and I think that's good inspiration for her to make something for herself!). Gifting my knowledge, then, becomes the way to give. Here is a freely knit long cardigan I made for Vievy, which she actually has given good wear time to:

Outside my immediate household, I've given mostly hats. I made about 6 or 7 last Xmas (I'm slow, I know, cause I started MONTHS in advance!). These were for my brothers, my mom, sister, stepdad...they all loved them and evidenced that by truly wearing them a lot. That's great! In these cases, it's the care of the item that worries me but I know I have to try to let it go. Hard to do when you get a phone call from your're chatting...she mentions that, oh, that pom pom on the end of her hat? well, she took it off, "I hope that doesn't hurt your feelings," she says...

Besides trying to shrug off inevitable thoughts of, gee, I made that pom pom specifically for you, and I like it on the hat...I know that my mom did not CAREFULLY remove that pom pom! She has a certain strength about her that she saves for tasks like pom pom removal. Visions of the whole thing unraveling from the top down are now making me a little bit enraged, and I get quieter and quieter..."Well, mom, when it unravels don't call me about it, cause I put that pom pom on very thoroughly and you probably seam-ripped right thru a bunch of crucial stitches."

"OH NO, do you think it WILL unravel?" she shrieks. Oh, mom, I'll have a look at it next time I'm over...

If a knit of mine doesn't end up well, it turns into something else; the orange hemp yarn which I crocheted into the funky decorations on this button-up originally began its life with me on my 30th birthday trip to Georgetown with my mom, brother, and sister. There was a yarn shop! So I decided I'd make my first pair of knee-high socks with orange hemp...yep, hemp (BAD call!). I actually knitted the entire first sock, and it traveled with me for over a year until I decided there was no need to keep this one sock which was terribly un-elastic anyway. Plus I don't even think I had enough to make a second! So I ripped it out and have re-used it for all kinds of things! Those shirt decorations, stitch markers, gift wrapping twine - all were way better uses of that lovely yarn than its original intent. Now I know!

The important thing to me is that, no matter the fate of my knitting, so much was learned along the way - and I'm a better knitter and a better everything for it!

(to see other blogs also participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and posting on this same topic today, just enter " 2KCBWDAY4 " without the quotation marks into your search engine, and browse the results.) 

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