“Can you make that?”

As a newer knitter and returning crochet artist I relish in the idea of making something new slightly more challenging than the last project to grow in my skills. I’m sure many of you feel the same way when working on something new. Often times you will get one of two responses from people (friends, family and the like). “Why do you do that boring/stupid/worthless/unnecessary/useless/time-consuming thing?” Or, “Can you make me that?” The first one is nothing but insulting to all crafters who work hard at what they do and beam with pride with a finished project even if it came out less than stellar.

You have a feeling of accomplishment that; Yes I did make that! Or it was hard but, fun and I learned a lot in the process. The second such question asked causes mixed reactions/emotions. You’re glad someone wants one of your handmade items and thus perhaps will quickly cast onto the knitting needles/chain up a few stitches with the hook ready to delve into the latest project with gusto because you have an already made recipient of your item. Or you wonder to yourself, “Who do they think I am? What do they think I’m made of? I don’t know whether to be honored and proud they think I’m capable of such magnificent work or insulted they think I can whip up anything at the drop of a dime.

I’m having one such moment. My middle to the youngest niece is asking me to make her an overwhelming amount of projects. We picked out a few months ago a kimono I never got to as of yet. She wants a shrug now instead (I think). She wants a hat and now tonight while I was browsing Ravelry she decided she wants a bear.

Now a couple of pros and cons:

#1 Pro – the things she’s asking me to make I’ve not really done much of (especially the bear which I have never done) so I can learn new skills and techniques.

#2 Con – the things she’s asking me to make I’ve not really done before so it’s overwhelming

#3 Pro – I want to make her happy

#4 Pro – I want to always have projects to make

#5 Pro – I want to always have people to make things for

#6 Con – I think she’s going to kill me with these requested items

#7 Con – I don’t want her to lack appreciating for the amount of time it takes to make these items.

Knowing me: I’ll attempt to make them for her OR wait until once again she changes her mind about wanting it (the fickleness of a six-year-old).

How do you feel about making things for people who ask?

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6 thoughts on ““Can you make that?”

  1. It depends on the person and the manner of asking. If I like them enough and/or I think they’re good for some reciprocal activity, then I’d go for it. Otherwise I tell them how much the yarn would cost (which makes most of them lose interest as I price in Wollmeise :D), and then estimate the time ‘costs’.

    With a kid, though, I’d be inclined to make one thing and then teach her how to knit herself so she can make the rest. Though, perhaps that would be a good tack to use with adults, too. Hmm…

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    1. I never thought about the making one item and teaching them how to knit themselves. I like knitting for other people but, I like to have them appreciate it. I’ve tried to teach her how to crochet but, she’s left-handed and six and my left-handed skills are sub par. Any suggestions on teaching a left-handed six-year-old how to knit? She gives up on the crochet after not being able to make it do what I can make it do.

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      1. Just keep it simple and small, really. Scarves for dolls, tiny handbags, that sort of thing. Make the same thing at the same time, or alternate rows so she feels included but not intimidated.

        As for the left-handedness, you can use a mirror to work out the actions, or YouTube should have some demonstrations. I’m not even sure if it’s necessary to swap hands… Particularly if you knit continental, there’s less imbalance in what the hands do.

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  2. Great post!!! I enjoy knitting but after I complete a project, I want to just keep it for myself!! I don’t mind knitting for others but it can feel overwhelming with so many requests!

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    1. Thanks! I’m the exact opposite. I love making things for others because the stuff I’d really like to make for myself would take much longer. Did I mention I’m a slow knitter? So that really determines a lot of projects I do as well.

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