This has come up in the comments recently, was alluded to by Jess Schreibstein in yesterday’s Our Tools, Ourselves, and also was the subject of a very funny post at January One this week. I hear it all the time — and I say it all the time, for that matter. There’s this idea that knitting for oneself (or knitting too often for oneself?) is “selfish.” Maybe that’s inarguable, I’m not sure. But if it is indeed an offense, then I am guilty as charged! I knit for myself.
Here are my reasons:
1. The number one thing that motivates me to knit is that I want that thing. That I want to be able to make and have the thing I want, rather than being at the mercy of retail racks. Sure, I also love the process — I don’t think process and product knitting are mutually exclusive. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it. But I knit to have. And sure, I also sometimes want someone else to have some thing, and in that event I enjoy making it for them.
2. It’s dicey to knit for other people. You could spend a week or a month on something (along with the more literal spend on the yarn) only to have it wind up at the back of a drawer somewhere, unused. One way to avoid that is to not surprise them, of course. But that takes away some of the fun. Plus — is it just me? — things just seem to go wrong more when knitting for others. Take this “hat” above. It’s a brand-new yarn, not yet released or reviewed, that came to me unlabeled, so it’s terra incognita. Thus I swatched, I measured, I calculated, then I cast on. It’s meant to be a hat for my sweet husband — a hat I’m really excited for him to have. (See number 1.) And somehow it is huge. As Bob put it, it looks like I’m knitting a hat for a giant with an afro. Maybe when knitting for others, I should adhere more closely to the tried and true, I don’t know.
Your experience and perspective may be 100% different from all of this, which is why I’d love to hear from you: Who do you knit for?
PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: Do you plan your knitting/sewing projects?