Knitting (or Crafting) for Gift Giving

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Handmade knitted gifts

Knit Together with Cynthia MacDougall

Crafters tend to be generous people. We have to be – if we weren’t, our linen cupboards and closets would be full of the things we make.
The reaction to our handmade gifts fall anywhere on a spectrum that ranges from wild appreciation to gracious (or not-so-gracious) acceptance. With the former, the gift will be used and loved – with the latter, our handiwork may end up languishing in a closet or drawer.
Sadly, not all recipients of our labours appreciate the gifts we create with our hands. Sometimes it’s because they don’t understand the work that was involved, and sometimes it’s due to factors that we could have chosen differently.
Woeful, indeed, is the story of the mother who laboured over a beautiful (to her) quilt for her daughter and son-in-law’s wedding and found it months later, crumpled up under the couple’s Labrador retriever! Possibly, the couple didn’t find the quilt quite as attractive as mom did, or perhaps the dog ate a section of the piece while the couple were at work. Regardless, it was a sad ending to a labour of such love.
My father likes my hand knit socks. Last year I made him a pair of fine socks in an intricate, twisted stitch design. When he opened them on Christmas morning, he said, “Gee. These are nice. Can you make me some heavier ones?” What dad apparently needed were warm, ‘TV watching’ socks, not intricate masterpieces. You can guess what he got for his birthday.
In both of these cases, the person making the gift missed the mark of meeting a need for their giftee. The young newlyweds might have appreciated a modern fleece throw, and clearly, my idea of nice socks for my dad differed from his.
How do we improve our chances of having the hours we spend on our craft be appreciated? A lot of that is up to us.
Read more in our Winter 2014 issue.

Cynthia Macdougall

Article by Cynthia MacDougall
Canadian Guild of Knitters
PO Box 20262
Barrie, Ontario L4M 6E9
1.866.245.5648 (CGK-KNIT)
ravelry name: macknitnow
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