Selfish knitting...

I've noticed a phenomenon in my knitting of gifts.... does anyone else share this? I have a really hard time knitting for other people! I don't think of myself as selfish, or "non-giving." Whenever someone asks me to knit something, my first reaction is "yeah sure!" but then, when it comes time to knit it, it just sits in the bag and I'm not motivated at all. Its different when I come up with the idea... last year I knit a ton of baby socks for several pregnant friends and it was a blast. They never requested them, I just thought it would be fun. My mom requested a shawl about 3 months ago... she bought me all the yarn and even the needles for it. To my credit, I've knit four rows....
any other "selfish knitters" out there?


kingrollo's picture

I think thats true for me too. I like my handmade gift to be a suprise, perhaps I should not feel that way. Perhaps that is why knitting went out of fashion for women....they had so many orders they decided to change civilization, invent feminism and throw their knitting needles in the fire with their bras?? Coz the fun went out of it when it was on demand?
Have a lovely holiday. I think men who knit baby socks are a wonderful thing, keep up the good work, more men like you and there would be more happiness in the world.

BuduR's picture

I have problems knitting for someone when it's requested also. I think for me, when someone requests something specific, when they choose the yarns, the pattern, I'm taken out of it. Almost as if I'm this machine. When I knit, or quilt, or x-stitch something a bit of me goes into it.

Feh! I know how I feel, just don't know how to say it. :/

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

RareSteek's picture

I am similar. I love knitting for other people, almost all of my knitting is that -- I am a big guy and it takes such a long time to make a sweater for myself that I prefer knitting for others. lol. However I have to decide who and when and what. And I also don't tell the recipient since I cannot 'knit to a time line'. I am one of those knitters who can work like mad on a project and then, suddenly, lose my drive about 3 rows before it is time to finish it. It then gets put aside for 6 months until it is finally picked up again. If someone were waiting for it I would find it way too much pressure and start to resent the piece. Also, when people request something in my experience they always pick boring or ugly patterns that are a chore to knit. So, yes and no. I love to knit for others, but I have to be the complete boss about it. Control freak???


MMario's picture

hmmmmmm, why are you living my life?

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

BuduR's picture

Exactly! this is what I wanted to say but couldn't LOL I don't think it makes you a control freak though, I see it more as this is my HOBBY, if I want a job the mcdonald's down the road is hiring. Knitting is something I enjoy doing and I want to continue to be able to enjoy

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

TomH's picture

Ditto. Actually all my knitting is for someone else. The only thing I have that I've knitted for myself is one hat. But I don't think I've ever knitting anything for someone due to their request except one hat that I knitted (for which I was paid to knit). Mostly I like to think of a project for a particular person, knit it and think of them during the process, give it to them and then enjoy their joy at receiving the gift.

purlyman's picture

I'm just selfish... I've never knitted anything for anyone else. Everything is for me me me!

Actually, I feel the exact same way as it seems everyone else. I love to knit and usually have 2 or 3 projects going, but you're right... if someone's asked for something, the knitting goes either much more slowly or it just doesn't go. Very interesting question... I'm glad you asked it. Makes one wonder if being able to make a living at knitting would be as romantic and dreamy as it seems.


RCC's picture

Much of my knitting is for others, mostly family.........children and now grandchildren. When I tire of making things for others, I'll work on something for the house, for me, or for my partner. With so many works in process it is easy to flit from one item for someone to another item for someone else that I'm thinking of or putting those projects aside and work on my vest or sweater. I've also begun to do one item of charity knitting after each completed project of my choosing. The charity knitting is addressing the complete overstock of random stash!

To each of you a very Merry Christmas and hopes that you all have time to sit by the fire enjoying your festive surroundings and completely engrossed in knitting!


Andy's picture

On a similar theme...

Is it selfish to knit things for other people that YOU think they'd look good in, or is it a self-defence mechanism at subconsciously making things that you CAN? I did have that nagging at me after I'd finished a whole bunch of scarves for Christmas this year. Got over it when I remember how Nan used to knit us sweaters and vests - always appreciated and worn until we grew out of them.

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."