Holidays are coming and I want to remind you that if someone gives you a hand made gift you probably don't know what they are actually giving you.
First of all, it was probably WAY more expensive than they would have spent on you if they went to the store. Not an exaggeration. We don't blink an eye at spending $75 on yarn and then buying a pattern. If I go shopping though I'm hemming and hawing at shelling out $25 from my wallet, because I'm a cheap ass.
Secondly, you're getting a huge gift of our time. Have you ever spend 20 hours, 30 hours, 100 hours on one Christmas gift? We sit down every night after we put our kids to bed for weeks and think of you. Of course that is after we have already spent hours searching for patterns that would suit you and yarn that would be perfect for both you and the pattern.
When someone gives you a handmade gift, appreciate it and see it for what it is. Ask them how to care for it, and then follow the directions. Nothing hurts more than seeing that your hand knit cashmere shawl was tossed in the wash with the laundry and ruined, or left on a bus, or just loaned to a friend who lost it. That is a huge chunk of our time, money and love. Understand that a handmade gift is not cheap, fine yarn is very expensive. Also, please consider the time gift, when we stop at a mall and grab something we can be in and out in a few minutes, but when we hand craft something it is an investment of days, weeks even sometimes months. You should respect and appreciate that.
Fellow handcrafters, what would you add to this list?
Good letter, Hope lots see this. (Probably won't, as you are singing to the choir of makers.)
It would feel so cozy if people actually understood all this.
that the item was made with lots of love.
This is so well said! I would only add that when they receive a compliment on the sweater/shawl/Afghan etc to sing our praise a bit. Just my ego talking here, but it would be nice if they said that my mother/sister/friend etc made it so when you see her next tell her how beautiful the knitted piece is. I love to hear feedback from outsiders about my work! This is what motivates me to knit for others.
You are preaching to the choir.
When I saw the title, I smiled and thought, there's no way the thousands of members here will agree on something.
Then I read your wonderful post. I think you may have one of the very few posts that all of us will agree on.
You nailed it.
The only thing I can add is this, if you experience someone abusing, loaning or losing a gift you specifically made for them next time, if you give them a gift at all, dash into the mall for 5 minutes and rush back out again:-)
You are preaching to the choir.
That was going to be my response as well.
I treasure every gift I have been given, especially if it has been handmade. But I think that when you gift someone something, it should not come with a list of dos and don'ts. JMO And yes, I have seen items that I have crocheted for someone and they used it as a dog blanket or didn't use it at all. That isn't ok, but once I give it to them it is theirs to do with as they please. The only thing I give with a hand made item is my love and the care instructions from the yarn label.
I love this can I copy and send?
I have nothing to add, but if someone gave me a handmade gift, I would kiss them, hug them, wash their car, and walk their dog when ever it rained, then wash the dog, do the dishes, and clean the gutters. Been awhile since I received anything handmade. I think the last one was a macaroni necklace. Gotta laugh.