Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why We Do It

Why knit?

I find that I knit a whole lot more for others than I do for myself. Yes, it's great to go into a Job and say, "Oh, this sweater? Yes, I designed and made it last week." Looking fabulous and demonstrating quantifiable Skill are very, very satisfying. "LOOK AT ME!!! Not only am I gorgeous and fashion-forward, but I also have SKILL! Observe the Skill!"

But not as satisfying as watching someone else unwrap something I've made. In order to give myself and these other people this type of satisfaction this holiday season, we'll see if I can finish up all the stuff in various stages pictured here... some is done and blocked, some is well underway, some is yarn.

Reading blogs and talking to other knitters, I know that many other knitters' family members do not wear handknits. I think this would make me sad. There's nothing like a rabid Dud talking about how often he wears the sweaters I've made him and how there's just no time to wash them. He just can't go without for the time it takes the thing to dry. Or Chris asking me nicely for a "series of short socks" that he can wear with shorts in the summer and while bicycling and getting moderately upset whenever he sees me knitting a sock not intended for him. Or friends flipping through knitting pattern books when they come over and putting Post-Its on the pages of designs they particularly like.

On the other hand, I would have time to make myself some socks. Or get those two submissions out that are due this month. Perhaps I would complete a commissioned thing or two. Or write down some more patterns from the things I designed and knit up years ago.

Nah, I like Doing It for other people. I have the rest of my life to write up patterns.

Why do you Do It?


KGLO said...

yay :)

I started as a way to deal with stress, which turned out to be very handy for the big move...but then so many people helped us along the way, that I don't know how else to thank them except with Kate-made things. So now giving gifts that are NOT knitted feels kind of like giving gift certificates or something...where's the love?

Salty Miss Jill said...

It's all about the process for me. I love doing repetitive things...very Zen experience. I also like having something to do with my hands while watching TV, having a conversation, or during a lecture.

Also, giving away handmade gifts is wonderful. I have a series of scarves I wear around, then give away to random people who compliment me on them. No one ever expects it, and it makes people so happy. And there's nothing like sharing the love. :)

Bambi said...

I do it for the joy of the process and the satisfaction of giving just a bit of yourself away with each gift.

kiki said...

i love the relaxation, but also the process, the progress and the creativity, the other knitters (so lovely people), the material, the way to start and finish knitting everytime everywhere you want....
phantastic passion =)

nicole said...

I love knitting a little bit of myself in every stitch, in order to keep my loved ones warm even when I'm not there to give them a physical hug. A wool one is the next best thing.

And also because it makes me sane(r)

knitjoy said...

i knit because i'm a yarnaholic. i love knitting and creating something beautiful. giving knitting is more my style. i love when a friend or family member is going to have a baby and i can create alll kinds of goofy things to give them. i love knitting presents--although i rarely get them to someone on time (i'm trying to work on that). i love the idea of doing something a little out of the ordinary--althuogh i love finding out others are doing the same thing? oooh how i long to be the knitter of my dreams. i just plain love every aspect of knitting.

Michele said...

you are a saint!

i much prefer to knit for myself. i do knit for others - don't get me wrong - i do knit for others. but the stuff i like best is doing it for me. makes me sound selfish.

good question about why we knit. the reasons for me keep changing. right now it's because both the process and the end result are satisfying. just finished a skirt and the shape, weight and drape of it just make me smile.

Jamie said...

I'm still a relatively new knitter, so my urge to give knitted objects as gifts is somewhat hampered by my glacial slowness. I do enjoy it, though. :-)

Mainly, I think I knit for the thrill of creating something tangible.

Anonymous said...

I Do It because it is one of the few skills that I easily caught onto (of course there were the beginner bumps, but I learned/am learning quickly and easily) and ran away with. I do it because I love the way yarn feels in my hands. I do it because every nice item of clothing I wear (ie, I wouldn't buy in a store because of the exorbitant price), I made myself. And because handknit socks feel GREAT.

Horse 'n' Round said...

The relaxation and the learning! I grew up with all those hokey/cutesy crafts brought home from school art projects usually getting tucked into a drawer, so the idea of anyone wear anything I made at this point is still a pretty foreign idea.

Now that I physically hang out with costumers, spend time online with other knitters, and teach crafting, that idea's turning around a bit.

Happy Holiday Knitting to all!

knititch said...

the repetitive thing, the joy of playing around with colours and shapes and stitch patterns. reading knitting and learning. the joy of giving it away. i like your blog and your knitting.