21 April 2009

Gift giving

I'm really bad at gift giving on holidays, birthdays, etc. But I love giving gifts. Case in point: I have at least three gifts for friends and family on the needles (for you non-fiber arts people, that means I'm knitting them). Unfortunately, I think two of those are actually Christmas gifts. One of them was a Christmas gift for Xmas 2007. Sigh.

Here's the thing...I really hate giving gifts with a deadline. This doesn't apply to just gifts I'm making. Sometimes I find the right gift easily, or I enjoy knitting up the project. Sometimes I don't. But I hate it when I feel pressured to giving an imperfect or ill suited gift just for the sake of getting it there on a timeline. I'm just glad I have friends and family that understand and appreciate my position, even if I've never discussed it with them...there's no resentment if a gift is late, and no expectation that a gift from them equals a gift from me (at least none that I've ever noticed).

The real point...I like to give for the sake of giving. Not cause it's expected, or because I'm obligated, but because I found the right yarn, that would make the right pair of socks, for just the right person. I especially like to do craft exchanges or bartering with other people. My friend Katy and I seem to work well like this...I knit some knee socks, she screen prints a hippo, and around and around it goes. There are other people with whom I really like to share crafting this way (but it's harder when they live on another continent).

Here's a pair of socks I made for a friend, just cause she said has to watch me knit socks all the time but never gets any. At least she's a knitter, so she understands.

As a knitter that likes to knit all the time, I often am faced with requests for knitted objects. These requests come in various forms, from half-drunk demands, to teasing guilt trips, and it's interesting to me which ones tend to stick in my mind as I'm digging through my yarn stash looking for something new to work up. I'll always make things for people with whom I've made a deal. I'll sometimes make things for people just because, for no other reason than I think they need some cheering, or because I'm exceptionally fond of them that week. So a piece of advice...if you really want that pair of socks from a knitter, make a deal. A batch of cookies (recipe too, please!) will go a long way to appeasing a hungry fiber artist.


Katy F-H said...

I am just as bad. What is worse is when the gift is done and just sitting at the house because I don't remember to give it.
Maybe it is a crafty thing.
Love you!

Leenie said...

I think after the age of 12 you can't expect a gift. I agree with you about giving gifts "just because". The pressure to give gifts on a certain day is too much pressure for me. Plus I am really bad at guessing how long things take to make, send...

Sorry about the long distance thing...you can move closer ;)