Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Selfless Knitter 6.0 (batteries not included)

My FOs are few, but I can safely say that I enjoy knitting for others more than for myself. (My current WIP is a necessary exception). Coupled with my love of pleasing people is my reluctance to disappoint them: in essense, to say 'no' when they suggest that I knit them something.
Now, don't get me wrong, getting requests is flattering and frankly, sometimes I suggest it myself. But I get to thinking sometimes...could that be what knitting is all about? I'm by no means a knitting history buff, but I do know that from the very beginning, knitting was a practice that benefited many people other than the knitter. Whether it was a necessary craft (socks, sweaters, etc.) or simply entertainment (lace, etc.), the knitted items always seemed to benefit somebody else. But does that meant that knitters are selfless folk working tirelessly for the good of others? I'm not so sure. The act of knitting something is, by itself, highly rewarding, pleasing, and challenging. Watching somebody accept your finished item and knowing how much good they'll get out of it is, as they say, the icing on the cake. Besides, there are only so many things you can knit for yourself. Would you ever be able to use them all? Not to mention that after weeks of working on an item (if not longer), I'm pretty eager to send it on its merry way.
So perhaps there's more to knitting than yarn and needles, cardigans and baby socks. Maybe knitting has hidden intrinsic value that only really makes sense to a knitter.

So what has my knitter's nature wrought upon me? Why, more future projects, of course! There are many thigns I want to knit for myself, but the majority of future projects are for other people:

M-the-younger: He's my co-worker and we're only a few months apart in age. He was the first to (jokingly) ask for something after seeing me knitting the now finished faux-lace scarf at my desk. He requested a tie (really) and since then I've found a few good pattern that will work.

M-the-elder: Another co-worker. This one wants a vest, with cables and all. Well, if he wants it done before the year is over, he'll have to settle for something simpler.

G: My little cousin. She requested a rainbow-colored scarf and matching hat. I'm planning to have them ready for her by this fall.

N: A former lady co-worker who may have asked for a scarf at some point. I'm thinking something lacy.

M&C: The original muses :) These two can pull off things like shrugs and capelets. I'd love to make things like that but I know that I'd never wear them; just a matter of taste. Having friends to gift things like this to allows me to make things that I wouldn't necessarily use myself. And of course, it's fun figuring out what they'll like.

The rest of my list includes projects for people that didn't ask for them. A huge benefit of making things for others is the opportunity to learn new skills and practice learned ones--both parties benefit!

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