Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah! and gift tips

Happy Hanukkah!  Best wishes to one and all!  In honor of the holiday, I thought I'd list a few holiday knits "don'ts" based on things recently seen and heard.  Givers and receivers alike, listen up.

No pom poms on menswear.  No matter what the TV "stylists" say, apparently this trend only exists in the minds of a very few.  As a receiver, well, it's very trendy.

Easy on the fringe on garments for pet owners.  Apparently cats can't get enough of the stuff, and once they start after the fringe, the rest of the garment is on borrowed time.  If you receive a fringed garment as a cat owner, do the right thing.  Frame it.

No one really wants a knitted toilet paper cover.  Honestly.

Non-knitters will never fully understand what it took to hand-knit a garment, and you cannot exact revenge of any kind when they throw it in the washer and dryer and then complain that it shrunk.  You can't kick their shins, make them pay for the yarn, or throw the damaged garment in their face.  They don't take it the right way.  (This goes for folks getting tea on and washing tea cozies as well.)

When receiving a "random act of yarn" as a gift (like one skein of acrylic and a pattern for a sweater from the 80's) you must act grateful and promise to use it, even when it's green and orange eyelash yarn.  From Big Lots.  With the clearance price tag still on it.  Yes, you do.  It's the thought that counts, no matter how little thought there was.

A fun fact from my own life - I have a niece whose husband is in the US Air Force.  While stationed in Japan, she gave birth to their first child.  In anticipation of this blessed event, I designed and then knit her a baby blanket with an (accurate) American flag in the middle, and a border of flags of countries where they had been or might be stationed.  It took 5 months of her pregnancy to get it designed and knit.  I then lovingly packed it up with a congratulatory card explaining that I had designed the blanket specifically for their family, and shipped it to Japan.  The first baby pictures she emailed to all of us in the US had the baby wrapped in the blanket.  But she never sent a thank you of any kind.  Oh well, busy new mother.

And then, when she was stateside about a year later, she saw me knitting at a picnic.  "Wow!  I didn't know you could knit!" she said.  Yes, really.  After the shock wore off, I realized two things.  One, I should never assume non-knitters will understand knitting, and I should make and give these gifts for the joy it brings me to do it, and not expect joy on the part of the recipient.  Two, I will not be knitting for her family any time soon.

Happy Hanukkah, my friends.

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