I have a simple rule for a happy knitting life. Never start a project for someone else without a high certainty of success. I have heard it a thousand times on Ravelry, laments to ungrateful gits who either ignore a knitted gift, make stupid comments (often breath-takingly rude), or are super grateful but then never wear the item.
My heart goes out to those knitters. Let’s face it, even a small item (for example a knitted brooch) can take an entire evening – But a hat? Socks? Bag? Or even (heaven forbid) an adult sized sweater? These can take massive chunks of our lives, anything from 40-100 hours of careful knitting (and let’s not forget that yarn can be substantially more expensive that the shop bought product).
You have to wonder what went wrong with the gift, was it just bad manners or perhaps there were avoidable errors?
Perhaps the person doesn’t wear that type of clothing – I can relate to this, I only wear hats if it is sunstroke prevention or actually snowing. Perhaps they already have a favourite one or maybe they are very colour sensitive. Maybe they strongly dislike anything but one exact shade of blue or they associate red with a terrible school uniform. With a little investigation some of the rejections can be avoided.
For example, Mr LouBug will never get a knitted hat from me because he will only wear baseball hats or those weird flat caps. Seriously, I have tried to tempt him with some very manly patterns over the years but none met with approval.
He has one pair of fingerless gloves (Son of a Stitch and Bitch “beer gloves” for the curious) and that is him happy. He has one hand-knitted Harry Potter scarf, and the neck situation is covered. And there is no way in this world or the next I am making a jumper for someone 6 ft 2 (with a long body and long arms) with a strong dislike of acrylic blends (if he wants lamb’s wool, then he can buy it).
However, I seem to have hit a winner with socks, as he has long skinny feet and I can make them fit him perfectly. But even socks aren’t without their pitfalls, so I always make sure that he has seen the yarn before work begins. Not that he wouldn’t wear a pair of pale pink socks (with lace and ribbons) just because I made them for him, but, I figure, why not keep the pink for me and make him something he actually likes. Over the years I have accepted that he (like most men) only like about 4 colours and I do keep an eye out for suitable yarns when shopping.
So, for being generally lovely (and as I am nearing the end of Operation Chrimbo) I decided to stash dive a pair of socks for him. Orange (always a winner), green (a fast becoming new favourite), white (plain) and small flashes of yellow (which have featured in at least two new t-shirts); boy did I feel smug finding that yarn. Nope. Apparently it is too bright…
Seriously, this is the guy who owns and wears socks with neon pink robots on them, socks with eyeballs on them, socks with a pattern that looked like a complicated skin disease and many eye-watering others.
Admittedly, I cannot complain too much. I did ask him *before* I started knitting and he was being honest. I am just baffled why he rejected the perfect yarn and went for one with various (bright!) greens.
Personally, I think he is just trying to mess with my head.