You like to knit. This makes the idea of knitting instead of hitting the mall to do some gift shopping, especially during the holiday season seem very appealing. Add to that the fact that some things are quick to knit up (hats, mittens, small cowls, kids things) and that by using up stash or yarn scraps makes it economical and knitting definitely sounds better than those long lines and cranky shoppers. Plus you’re a thoughtful sort, right? You appreciate the finer things in life. You can’t help but wonder “Who really wants another gift from the mall? Hand knits are the best bet. Right?”
That’s not always the case.
There are some things you can do to test the waters before you spend your time, money, skills and creativity knitting for people who may or may not appreciate it. The fact is, not everyone appreciates the handmade (and that’s ok as long as you’re aware of it). How do you know what to look for? I’ve got you covered!
1. Are they interested in your hand knits?
- Do they ask about your knitted items? Are they genuinely interested in why you’d bother knitting versus buying items (i.e. are your handknits warmer that commercial items?) Do they admire how well your sweaters fit you? Are they impressed every time they see you turn a heel and how your socks always fit just right?
2. Do they show off your knits to other people?
- When a stranger compliments your new hat/scarf/mittens, does your friend say “she MADE this!”? Do they ask others “Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as this lace shawl?”
3. Do they value other art forms and handmade items?
- Do they pursue other arts or hobbies themselves? Purchase handmade pottery at local festivals? Have an Ttsy account that gets more activity than their eBay or Amazon accounts? Do they ask you to go to the local festivals and seek out the freshest flowers and local honey?
4. Do they take good care of the things they own?
- Does their clean laundry end up back in the dresser? Do their hats and mittens end up in the baskets and drawers they have set aside for them (or on the floor under their snowy, salty boots?) I’m not asking you to judge. Just consider if they will care for something that could take you 40 hours to create.
5. Are they envious when you gift handknits to others?
- When you gift a handknit to another loved one do they say “Oh wow! She’s so lucky!”?
If you said YES to at least most of these, then there’s a decent chance they’re knitworthy!
One word of caution: start small. Even if you think you’ve found yourself the world’s most appreciative recipient of handknits, ease in. Start with a hat, or some fingerless mitts perhaps. Something that only requires a couple hundred yards of yarn (max) and no exact fit. This will act as a good gauge of how much they use the item. If that goes over well, take it from there! And enjoy at least one fewer trip to that crazy mall this holiday season!