I thought some might enjoy this :-)
My husband took up knitting a few years ago when it was undergoing a bit of a resurgence. He’s always loved making things, he’s a very fussy knot-tier from his days in the Navy, and I think the incongruity of a man like him knitting (he’s kind of a man’s man) appealed to him, too.
The problem is, he makes a lot of things for friends and relatives, then he’s perpetually disappointed when they don’t wear them all the time. I’m not sure his expectations are reasonable – most people will wear what he gives them once or twice, but he keeps a mental inventory of who has what and how often they wear it. It really bugs him if someone doesn’t wear one of his things for a while because he puts a lot of work into them and he’s very proud of them. No one has ever said anything, but frankly, I suspect most people don’t wear his creations because they don’t like them. He tends to favor overly bright colors and he makes things too big, always claiming he wants to allow for shrinkage.
His heart is in the right place and I hate to see his feelings hurt, but I don’t want our friends to feel pressured into wearing things they don’t like, either. The whole situation is causing way more tension than it should. What should I do?
Married to a Needle Addict
Dear Married to a Needle Addict,
Your husband sounds like a well-meaning guy, but what he’s doing is unfair. A gift, even a hand-made one, should not carry with it any obligations as to its use. What to wear is a very personal choice, and he should not be so thin-skinned as to pout when his gifts aren’t worn as frequently as he thinks appropriate.
Having said that, why not put his compulsive knitting to better use? Tell him it’s obvious he gets a lot of satisfaction from giving his creations to people who truly appreciate them, and just about everyone you know already has something he’s made. So why doesn’t he start knitting sweaters or scarves to give to the homeless to help hem get through winter? Or perhaps he could call a local hospital’s maternity department and offer to knit caps for newborns. He could even sell his wares on ebay. With a little imagination, he will be able to find people who will be truly happy to wear what he makes, instead of being badgered into doing so.
PS: Hope everyone has had a wonderful Summer