Check this out....My sentiments EXACTLY

This is an artical by Sarah E. White - Guide to Knitting

The comment #3 (well pretty much all of them but #3 hit the nail on the head especially about her niece) is EXACTLY how i feel…

Agreed. When I create for someone, it’s the ultimate expression of my caring.

I carefully select the gift, the pattern, the yarn. Gave my SIL a pair of handmade socks, using the CrabShell Yarn. She had never had handmade socks before - and says they are soooo comfortable she won’t take them off!

Since I live on a retiree’s income, it’s take my handmade gift - or go without. Another SIL got mad at me one Christmas and threw my crocheted doily in the trash! I will never, ever give her another thing - certainly never a hand-crafted item. Even though we’ve “made up” and are at least civil to each other.

My heart goes into every creation.

Are you talking about the article, or the Germaine Greer article to which it refers? GG is being GG-- self-important and mocking. However, she does make a point in the midst of her offensive rant: that if you give someone a gift, the giver needs to at least attempt to make it appropriate and nice. The mismatched bedsocks with cat hair in them is in bad taste in any circumstances, unless the giver was 9 years old. My cousin is a painter and usually gives everyone her paintings for birthday and Christmas gifts, and then is offended if you don’t hang in a prominent place in your livingroom. But there are just plain old good manners, and to ever let anyone know you don’t care for their gift to you is just attrocious, no matter how you cut it. Dorothy Dot, you are a better person than I to have made up with your SIL at all. I’m not sure I could have. And what the hell-- it was a doily, she could have put it under the spare roll of TP in the bathroom, or under a lamp in their rec room, etc.

But I do think some knitters are guilty of not considering the recipient. We all do get very excited about our knitting and sometimes forget that the person on the other end lives in Miami and never wears mittens, or hates the color red, or whatever.

Some non-knitters don’t consider the recipients either. I know I’ve gotten a cutesy gift because the person buying it thought it was just so cute that anybody would love it. No, dear, you’re sweet but a lot of people would NOT love a clock that chimes embarassing songs on the hour and half hour. And the worst thing about it, is that I know she paid a lot of money for it.

I didn’t knit any presents for Christmas because I just started so I could understand GG cringeing at the infomercial that advertised you could knit gifts for cheap and quick and without much skill. Who’d want to get a gift that sounds like that?

But I showed my family and friends my sweater in progress and told them next Christmas I may make something. My sister in law immediately showed me some of her washclothes that look like they’re made in a checkerboard pattern of stockinette and reverse stockinette and asked me if the washclothes would be too difficult because she’d love them. So my first knitting gift may be cheap and quick and not requiring much skill but at least my sister-in-law will love it.

I like to think that I am a very considerate gift giver. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the person would like. My grandmother is one of those, “this is so cute anyone could love it” people. She got my sister a black sweat shirt with a gold lame kitten on it once. My sister doesn not wear sweatshirts. Let alone one with gold lame on it.

I usually take the time to think, if I was so and so, would I wear this. I’m generally on point.

I have found however, that the best thing to do is to just take the surprise out of it, while leaving some mystery to it. This year I showed my sister a couple different patterns that I was considering working for her. That way I could gauge her reactions to things so I could figure out which one would be best. So she knew that she was at least getting one of the things I showed her, she just didn’t know exactly which one. She ended up loving the one that I did finally make for her.

I also like to think though that sometimes I know my sister better than she knows herself. I told her that I was going to make some fingerless gloves for her. Her initial reaction was, Ok, that just sounds stupid. But once I made them and gave them to her, she loved them.

This is my opinion:

When anyone does something for me or gives me [B][U]anything[/U][/B], regardless whether it is handmade or purchased; if it is not something that I could/or would use I can always find something nice to say about it and thank them for taking the time to remember me with a gift. They didn’t have to do anything for me is the first place. Just my humble opinion.

Being grateful was probably one of the most important lessons I sought to teach my children while they lived at home. Sadly, though it isn’t considered important by most this day and time in our “Me” mentality world and the mind set that a lot of people have.

Amen! :cheering:

one niece has proclaimed that ANYTHING that is handmade is ‘craptastic’ and not worthy of her time. If it doesn’t come from Macy’s or Tiffany’s she doesn’t want it.

Just…WOW.Little brat has no class.

It’s such a shame that people don’t appreciate handmade gifts.It’s really sad going to the thrift store and seeing all the donated items that were very obviously knit with love for someone and given away.

I would love to know what’s happened to basic manners.

The gift doesn’t matter… whenever ANYONE spends time and/or money to make/buy a gift for a person, it is the recipient’s responsibility to smile and say thank you…

and then if it’s truly not to their taste exchange it for something they DO like at the store or re-gift it to someone who does love it.

I’ve recieved a bunch of lame gifts over the years… clothing really not to my taste (remember the 90’s with the long sleve t-shirts with the little ruffle along the bottom or the bold prints??? or the glitter everything), things purchased at craft fairs (a crocheted unicorn at one time from my Nana… Yes, i was a teenager, however my favorite color was purple and i’d collected unicorns since i was a toddler so it was a deffinate WIN), things handmade (more often than not lately courtesy of my two minions, I make a huge fuss out of each one and every year my tree gets 2 ornaments made by the minions and one we pick out together at the store… my former stepfather’s mother once crocheted me a bed doll which i didn’t really like but understood how much time and work it took as she’s the one that taught me the basic chain stitch for crochet when i was 9). However, I thanked the person who gave me the gift each and every time. They never knew whether or not it ended up in the back of my closet or “loaned” out to a friend. all they knew is that i thanked them and appreciated a gift.

While I absolutely agree with everything everyone has posted so far. I also would like to say that some people need to learn to be good gift givers and detach once the gift is gone.

I have a grandfather who gives gifts. Some of them fabulous and some of them not so great. And everytime he sees me he asks where they are and why I’m not wearing them or displaying them. For example. My grandfather gave me 2 guns at one point. Now, I don’t believe in guns in general. I don’t believe in hunting things for sport. I only believe in taking the life of an animal if you intend to get sustainance from it. So for my grandfather to give me a gun, it shows a lack of his understanding of my morals. The guns were kind of expensive, so I thanked him for them and took them. I then handed them over to my father, who is an avid hunter, to “hold” for me. Now, however, my grandfather badgers me everytime he sees me about where the guns are. I tell him honestly that my dad has them. I don’t tell him that my dad now owns them, I just tell him that my dad is keeping them for me, since “I don’t have a gun chest.”

The point that I’m trying to make here is that the givers need to learn to detach once the gift is no longer theirs.

That’s some grandfather, trvvn5. The men in my family hunt and I eat the meat gladly but a gun is not usually on Santa’s list unless one of the guys specifically asks for one.

I don’t get offended if someone tells me upfront they won’t use a gift; I’m more horrified if they seem like they really like it and then I find out later that they tried desperately to get rid of the gift secretly to avoid hurting my feelings or even worse, keeping it around just to wear or put out when I come to visit.

But my whole family is like that. It took one of my in-laws a while to realize that we wouldn’t bite her head off if she just told us that she didn’t wear turtlenecks. Gifts are supposed to be fun - not stressful.

I, on the other hand, am extremely offended when someone says they won’t use a gift I give them. I gave a friend a set of 4 coasters. A few weeks later she called me to ask, in a very snippy tone, where I’d gotten them because the 4 really weren’t enough for when she had guests, as if I’d been thoughtless to not consider that. So, stupidly, I went out and got her another set of 4. Later she told me she couldn’t use them at all because they didn’t protect her furniture well enough.

If someone tells me they won’t use something I’ve knitted for them, then I’m offended times 10.

I was raised that no matter what someone gives you, make a fuss over it and thank them, and not just once. Find [I]something[/I] nice to say about it. But there are people who make gifts an act of aggression, and I don’t really know what to do about that. What do you say to the relative who gives you a blouse 4 sizes too small with the announcement in front of everyone that “this is to inspire you to lose some weight”? Or the person who gives you a cookbook on cakes “because yours always come out so dry”? I don’t think the usual thank you rules apply, although I have always been polite and done that.

The gun story is abominable. . .trvvn5, you are very diplomatic. It would be way to tempting to tell him the next time he asks, “oh, I sold them and gave the money to a Quaker Peace Through Non-Violence fund. They really appreciated the donation, thank you so much for making that possible, it was so thoughtful of you to give me such an expensive gift that I could get so much money for. I hope you’ll give me more guns next Christmas.” On the other hand, I’m not sure poking a gun-lover is such a good idea. But you get my point.

I just found out that several sweaters I knitted many years ago for my two godsons - and were well-loved then outgrown…

And those hand-made-with-much-love sweaters went to Israel with my godsons’ mother, to the Holy Land. Tracy left those little sweaters in a donations box just outside of Jerusalem. So now my knitting is being worn in the Holy Land - what an honor!

She could not have given me a better Christmas present. cloud9


You are the king of tact! I love your gift-giving MO! :thumbsup:

Being a psych minor, lo those centuries ago that I went to school, I tend to do things like paradoxical psychology on my kids. They have seen me knitting over the years and if they are bored enough will stop and ask me what I’m doing and who it’s for. For the most part, if they get interested enough to come take a closer look, they will ask me if they can have it instead (especially if it’s a shelter piece) I always tell them that it’s going where it’s meant to go, and God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will try to find the time to make something for them.

Those are the gifts that I still see today. Plus, they’ve grown up with home made clothes, sweaters, hats, etc. When they were small I baked more than I do today and there were always goodies after school for a snack during homework. They consider that the norm because all their friends wanted to come over and soak some of it up (along with cookies).

I don’t know where the idea came about that store bought was better than home made. Some kid sitting in a shop mass producing the same shirt over and over doesn’t put the same love into the garment.

IIRC in Scandavian countries women knit a strand of hair into projects they make for family and friends so that the person carries a piece of them around to love whenever they wear it. I saw that on TV during the Olympics one year and I started doing it.

I think it would be nice if the people we gave things to cared about our work and care enough as we do to make those items. Selfish people who are too good to use something I make… I make sure they don’t get anything but a regift.

In that case, Rachel, I wouldn’t feel guilty at all about saying in a sweet voice ‘Thanks for thinking of me, I don’t think I’ll use this though.’

Reading all your stories reminded me how fraught with peril giving and receiving gifts can be because people can have such different ideas on what’s appropriate when it comes to gift-giving.

I must be a Pollyanna because after reading the story of the coasters you gave your co-worker, I would have been flattered that somebody liked my gift so much to want more of them. Your co-worker doesn’t seem too clever though. I’ve bought beautiful handpainted coasters that leaked the first time I used them so it can happen but I didn’t go out and look for more coasters before I tried them out the first time.

But you must be nicer than me because I don’t know if I would have bought her more - I probably would have just given her the name of the store and let her pick them up herself.

I find the younger generations think handmade is cool as long as it looks trendy and fashionable. But with my parent’s generation (born during the Depression) there was a stigma to wearing homemade clothes because it meant you were dirt-poor. Their parents didn’t make everything by hand out of love but because the kids needed to be clothed and they couldn’t afford store-bought goods. My grandmother knew how to knit, crochet, spin, weave, sew without a pattern, etc. but as soon as my grandfather made enough money, she stopped doing all of it and pretended that she never knew how to do any of that stuff.

There was so much skill lost there; I begged her to teach me but she kept saying ‘Oh, I forgot’ or ‘Why do you want to learn that stuff when you can buy it in a store?’

I wish dh’s grandma was still around (she passed away 9 years ago), she also knew how to do all of that and I’d have loved to have been able to talk with her… she used to work in a dress factory…

A few years ago my stepmom gave me a Christmas list for her and my dad. One of the things on it was “dishcloths (NOT knit)”… at least I knew ahead of time that my work would not be appreciated.

I rarely knit gifts for anyone other than charity. My kids are too picky for the most part and we only do gifts for immediate family so no brothers, etc. I have knit my kids some fingerless mitts that they liked though and a few hats for DH.