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Topic: how do you let a muggle down nicely when they ask you to knit something?  (Read 126394 times)
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procrastanator
« Reply #840 on: December 16, 2009 04:58:36 PM »

i can't believe some of these stories, or that i spent the past 4hours unable to tear myself away from this thread hehehe!
i became obsessed with my knitting after falling ill and having to suspend my phd, that coupled with living in a draughty tenement that didn't have any central heating and deciding i needed some gloves to enable me to use my laptop for work (which i was convinced i would be getting back to in a few months - this was 2years ago). those gloves ended up too big got fobbed off on my dad and i just had to keep churning out others, you know how it goes...
i only knit for family members and close friends i know will appreciate it, and being unemployed it can help cut down on costs (mum's stash is HUGE!) and it fills my otherwise empty days. i do feel awful though for things like, stealing stuff from my mum to knit her a cardi - she wont mind the theft as she rarely knits anymore, and i know she'll love it and that i took the time to make it for her but i still struggle with the guilt.
my dad gets a lot of socks, ever since my mum made me a pair and he did the whole "oo i love knitted socks shop-bought ones are too tight with the elastic". mum wont make em cos he didn't ask for a pair only hinted but he's murder to buy for so i do. he's also fond of his whisky and often would comment on my knitting whilst drunk - "do you ever think about knitting little molecules?" he's a retired chem teacher and i'm a synthetic chemist who gets overly excited by my 'babies', so for his birthday i knitted him the DNA scarf. it was mostly a joke, and infurating to knit esp. nearing the end but he not only thought it was hilarious, loves and uses it (a lot, we're in Scotland) but no longer annoys me when he's been to the pub and we get to wind him up constantly. everybody's a winner!
i knitted my long term (when are you getting married, i would love grandchildren etc) boyfriend the 'cursed' sweater, made him try it on for size occasionally and he didn't even realise it was for him, bless. he then told me that i "alway give the best presents" - i could've cried!!! these are the things that help me shrug off the randoms who ask for the impossible (jokingly or not) and make giving away my stuff worth it.
anyone who doesn't deserve my 'bespoke creations' gets told so (sometimes even politely lol) because i know i can share my talents with people who will understand the effort involved (and get just as excited as me over sad things like discovering that my sewing machine can sew on buttons all by itself - that is the sign of a truly special friend!)
appologies for the long post btw, as if this thread wasn't long enough...
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saltytango
« Reply #841 on: December 27, 2009 04:29:11 PM »

I've had multiple requests for scarves and things knitted, but I just learned so I usually say "I'm not very good... If I get around to it..."
Now, I taught one of my friend/coworkers how to crochet hats, and she turns them out like nobody's business. She gives them away, too, because she just likes crocheting. I get requests for matching scarves, but I've made 2 scarves and I'm part way through 2 more. And I have a list of ones I want to make for others as belated Christmas gifts, but I don't know if they'll ever get done. This friend wants me to teach her more complicated stitches and how to knit, but she doesn't understand patterns and doesn't understand while reading, what to do. I let her borrow both of my Stitch 'n Bitch books, but I got frustrated because those books are how I learned to read patterns, etc and told her she needed to figure it out on her own. I told her I can't dumb it down for her any more than the books do lol

The guy I talk to/hang out with (basically boyfriend with no strings, it's complicated) asked for a yellow hat. So I made it, no biggie. Had the yarn, the pattern was simple and I was crocheting a lot at the time anyways. Tried to give it to him and he wouldn't take it. I don't know if he understood that THAT was the hat I made him or if he thought I was just offering him one because it was cold, but I had two of those hats so now I'm at a loss as to what to do with the extra.
He's also asked me if I'd make him some things from Creepy Cute Crochet, and I bought the book and planned to make something for him, because I wanted to learn how to make them anyways. Well he asked a few times, and I looked at the book and realized that they may be beyond my skills (I can really only do simple things, though I've been crocheting for almost 10 years), and the last time he asked, I honestly told him I didn't think he was worth it. When he asked, I said I'd have to buy tons of materials, including hooks and thinner yarn and filling, and clay and such for the details. I told him it'd be a very expensive gift for someone who doesn't even know if he wants to be with me or not. And I abide by the curse and refuse to do any lengthy project for a boy unless I KNOW it's going somewhere and would be appreciated. (I know he'd appreciate the Amazon or Zombie Office dude or whatever, but still). Now, I did offer to make him a scarf, asked what colors and if he thought he'd wear it, because I was in a mood to practice knitting and I always do better when I knit for others. And he told me, honestly, which I'm thankful for, that he didn't know if he'd wear it and told me not to worry about it. He's watched me knit and crochet for short amounts of time, so he sort of understands what a big deal it is to make something for someone.

Sorry for the rant. :] This thread is perfect because I have this issue a lot and it's basically a daily frustration.
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Connielass
« Reply #842 on: December 29, 2009 08:53:41 PM »

My best friend no longer asks me to make her anything after I tried to show her how to knit.
She couldn't even understand that you take the old stitch off the needle. So she decided it's too hard and gave up.
And now somehow, that's given her an appreciation for the effort I put into my projects.

As for my boyfriend... he's watched me knit, and watched me tear apart a project in frustration, then watched me knit it back up again, only to see me finally put it away for a few months at a time before finishing.
So he rarely ever asks for something, and when he does, it's always a simple stockinette scarf. Although I may get ambitious this time and make him a ribbed scarf, which probably won't get finished until next Christmas.
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SpecialKRJ
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« Reply #843 on: December 30, 2009 12:06:15 PM »

I've only had two people request things from me since I learned to knit. My brother wants a scarf. Fair enough, I bought some really nice yarn at my LYS, and it was discounted, I told him it would be his birthday and Christmas present. Then I decided to make it a little wider than normal, so it's pretty short. I told him at Christmas, if he wanted it longer, he would have to buy the rest of the yarn, and he had no problem with it, asked me how much, and gave me a 20 (which he later took back to order pizza and told me he'd give me money at payday.)

Also, when I knitted my first thing ever, a single arm warmer that didn't quite fit right and was a little weird and misshapen, my friend (who's in England and I'm in Texas) asked if I would make him some in red and black. I told him sure, figured he didn't actually want them, and went on to learn how to make a sock, and then a (bad) sweater, then jumped into my brother's scarf... And every now and then, my friend would ask me if I was going to make his arm warmers, and when I figured out that he actually really wanted me to make 'em, even though I know he has a ton of pairs already and could get them at the store instead of waiting months and months for me to get around to it, I was thrilled. I didn't have any suitable yarn, though. And then when I ordered some roving, the seller threw in some red-and-black roving for free. Perfect. And there's more than enough for a pair of arm warmers. So since he is the best ever, I'm going to not only make him a pair of arm warmers, I'm gonna spin up the yarn special for him. Cheesy

*knock on wood* Haven't had any horror stories yet, though. Let's hope it stays that way!
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erdbeerblau
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« Reply #844 on: January 05, 2010 11:59:13 AM »

mhm. these threads always make me want to cry. somehow.

so, this sommer i graduated at a design school.
i sew a lot of my own clothing, make everything possible myself. so not that they just want me to sew/knit/crochet for them, they also want me to do "some graphic designer stuff" for them. like:

a girl i've never spoken more than five words with asked me to make her THAT SUPER COOL SHIRT (read: complicated button up with special collar that would need 700layers of interfacing and stuff) she had seen somewhere. this was the second time we've seen each other, right when she noticed that i was drawing a pattern for some dresses at lunch break.

AND, because i'm already doing stuff for her, she told me that she would need some professional stationary. without even thinking to pay anything for that. being a graphic designer is my job and no one seems to notice that this is work too
(of course i get endless requests for invitations or every stupid simple thing one can imagine at least twice a week. except nothing is simple if the "customer" wants me to spend 3 hours to try every colour combination that's possible for the flowers on a invitation for a stupid birthday party)

oh my. i told her that she could come and i would help her to sew it, told her what to buy needless to say, that she never mentioned it again (that was when we started to work on a two-year-long school project together. good start, no?).

usually, i offer to teach them how to make something. if they're nice, i even offer to come to the yarn store/fabric store/ with them.
when the girl with the shirt came to me, another girl of the project team was around too. she wanted a pair of pajama pants. when i offered her to teach her, she was more than happy, so i think she will appreciate the lesson.  the project took all of our time for a long time, so this will happen in a few weeks

AND: that's why it fits here:
I crochet a lot of simpler things, and i REALLY want to learn how to knit something other than a plain scarf. but obviously i'm too stupid to learn knitting from books
the part that really, really, really annoys me: i CROCHET tiny things when i'm at university or at the train and always people want me to KNIT something for them, when they see what i'm doing.
i'm sure that crafters can understand that, as others usually laugh at me when i'm unhappy about that.

they don't even know the difference between one hook and two needles. and want me to knit them *a scarf* *a hat(heard that one many times)* *a sweater* *a life size plushie*
2 or 3 friends would ask me for a knitted scarf/sweater/other thing every time they see me crocheting, and every single time i tell them, politely because i like them, that this is not knitting. they don't seem to get it
man. maybe i overreact. but when the answer to "that's crochet, i don't knit" is: pfff, i don't care. make! i want one! or something like that, i won't even offer to teach them. or think about a polite answer.

and, just because i heard it today and it hurts me every single time:
i gave handmade christmas presents to my family. and the most people just answered "do you have too much spare time?" you know. i give stuff that takes hours to finish and the only thing that comes to their mind after recieving that is to ask THAT?
this happens often to me. no matter what craft it is when people see me crafting, they ask if i'm stupid or something because i waste my time on that.
this makes me so sad.
my answer now is something like: i spent a lot of time on that because i like you/WANT to spend time for you. this is a special present and it makes me sad to hear that from you.
and, if you don't understand the first part: you would not have said a single word if i just bought something like that. except this is worth more. if i would have spent the time working for my design jobs and then spent the money for a present, this would have been normal.

people that are not that close to me just get the second part. sounds not that sentimental in real life tough.







 
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SpecialKRJ
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« Reply #845 on: January 05, 2010 01:13:31 PM »

*Raises her hand* I'm guilty here. I have to make a confession.

My mom crochets. Before I got into the whole realm of craftiness, I could not get it through my head that she didn't knit. We would go somewhere, and she'd bring a bag, and I'd ask, "Oh, is that the blanket you're knitting?" At craft stores, we'd see those free pattern sheets and I'd ooh and ahh over something and ask her if she could make it for me. She'd tell me that it was knitted and she didn't knit. And then there was my typical answer of, "But you could probably still make it."

She taught me how to do a single crochet stitch when I was playing a grandmother in a play. After the play was over, I quickly forgot all about how it was done, and I still remained ignorant. I mean, I got better. When I would see a hat that she'd made, I'd ask, "Did you knit that? Uh, crochet it?"

FINALLY, in about May of '09, I saw a Flying Spaghetti Monster crocheted hat and fell in love with it. Of course, I had gotten snobby at that point, and I didn't think my mom would do a very good job of it. So I asked her to teach me how to crochet. I picked up on it pretty quickly and soon I was hunting all over the internet for cute things to make. And that was when I came across the Sackboy pattern. But when I opened it to make the doll, the instructions said weird things that I didn't understand. That's when I realized it was a knitting pattern. And that's when I finally understood.

Since then, I found out about spinning, and I made a spindle and began to make some crappy looking yarn. After I'd gotten a little bit of it made, I saw online somewhere that crocheting takes up more yarn than knitting. So I learned to knit. And now I feel really terrible about how ungrateful I was when my aunt made me a knitted dance bag back in second grade! I used it all the time for my ballet class stuff, but I didn't really appreciate it as much as I should have.

Really, as a former ungrateful, demanding, ignorant muggle myself, I have to say that I really had no earthly idea.  It was like night and day when I learned to crochet and knit. This may be a weird analogy, but it's a lot like when I learned how to solve the Rubik's cube. After I did it once or twice, I couldn't remember what my previous confusion felt like.

So even though I haven't had a bunch of people asking me to make things for them (yet), I think maybe the best response is to just explain it to them. I don't know if that would have worked if my mom had done it with me, but I do think that the biggest problem with them is that they just plain don't understand.
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zigzagleigh
« Reply #846 on: January 09, 2010 09:22:55 AM »

I can't even count the number of times that I have told someone "Sure, I'll make you something if you buy the yarn" and never hear about it again. I have one friend (who is like my best-friend in the making) who actually made me take her to a yarn shop and help her pick out the right kind of yarn. I made her some armwarmers, and I know she appreciates them (however I knew she would in the first place because we both go to the same art school for half of the day). I have actually helped get like three girls in my grade into knitting, because they'll see me doing it in class and be like "cool!"

Unfortunately though, the worst people about wanting things but not willing to compensate are my non-knitting family members.  They (My aunt and my cousin) have tried to get me to make numerous complex patterns for them, and I have tried, every time, to get them to get the supplies or get them to understand its not really easy at all. I even taught my cousin to knit! But she isn't willing to keep on with it because she gets bored with just the knit stitch over and over again but is "to lazy" to learn anything else.

It's a difficult situation whenever the question comes up, if I really don't feel like making something for someone I'll explain why. If I don't mind but just can't pay for the materials, then I'll try to get that person to buy them and it normally falls through.
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technicolor-werewolf
« Reply #847 on: April 26, 2010 07:32:30 PM »

Some of this stuff is just awful - I feel so bad for y'all! I've kind of had good experiences and bad experiences...I tend to really just knit stuff and then give it away to whoever wants it, especially since it took me a while to get things to turn out the right size, so I have no idea what's happened to most of my finished objects and surprisingly, I don't really care. Except for a couple of things...

Last year I was a high school senior and had drawing class with a freshman who just adored me, and once he saw me knitting in my spare time he begged and begged for me to make him a Gryffindor scarf, swearing he would pay me for it. Though my wise art teacher opened my eyes to the value of my work when I offered a pair of knit baby socks for the fundraiser auction, I somehow gave in and agreed to do it for $30 (mostly because I was too nice to him and felt bad because he adored me so much. I was too naive to realize how much of a stalker he would become.) Even though he clearly adored the scarf as well, to the point of carrying it around and occasionally sniffing it creepily, I had to literally drag the payment out of him bit by bit with the help of aforementioned art teacher. Angry Also, I made what must have been a six-foot-long Hufflepuff scarf for my sister when I was just starting out, but of course the acrylic itched and it was hot and so it's spent the last three years on a hook behind her dresser...and we all know what happens when garter stitch gets HUNG like that. *wince* I even made her matching mittens, but they haven't been touched.

My good experience is the scarf I'm knitting right now for my best friend (allergic to wool - makes me sad.) I offered to knit her a scarf for a cosplay we planned together, and she in turn offered to pay for the yarn and find me a pair of her old shoes that were perfect for my half of the cosplay. She's scoffed at me every time I try to teach her to knit, but she really appreciates handmade stuff. I'm actually really proud of her, because she's promised me several times that no matter how it turns out, she'll be sure to wear it - always on an occasion when I've been crying and cursing over the stitch pattern, or making the ugly discovery that the cotton pilled like crazy and left red streaks over everything it touched. (Fingers crossed that it'll stop once I wash it!) Even though it's at the point where no one knows where those shoes are, or if I even need them, and where she honestly can't afford to pay me back, there's no way I'm not finishing it for her!
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bleedingfingertips
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« Reply #848 on: May 02, 2010 10:13:57 PM »

Well.. A little of topic but the problem is down to the core, exactly the same.

When I was living in sweden (before developing my sewing interest and moving to China) I was a pretty heavy DIY guy when it comes to carpenting and interior decorate my flat.

Alot of people gave me really stupid requests, for example in a friends home:

"I have though that after this livingroom wall it would be nice with a bar."

and when I replied like:

"why don't you buy one and put it there?"

the answer i got was like:

"they are too expensive, and my idea is to build out the whole wall 6 inch and have "built in" shelfes. Then the bardesk should be attached to the wall without legs. Like floating in the air like a diving board. I will also have led-lighting for every shelf, ofcourse dimmed by a dimmer. Can you help me to build this. Ofcourse I will pay you for it"


The fact that he mentioned the standard "of the shelf" bar as too expensive obviously made me understand that he had no intention to pay me more than the price for one of these.

My first thougt was: "Do you have the slightest idea what the h*ll you are babbling about? Have you even the remotest idea what a carpenter would charge you for this!!? ..not to mention the electrician.." But as a friend of mine I knew that he was not mean or ignorant, just clumsy and for this occasion, plain stupid.

So I kept my thoughts to myself and just answered:

"I have not enough time now, we can discuss this later on when I have time to build it for you"

At that time I was driving an old, dented, rusty Volvo 240. Famous for decaying fast but never die. So the next time he was talking about the bar we actually was infront of my car.

I told him:

"we can swap, If you rework the body of my car so it is smooth as a babybutt and give it a fading, cherry to pink candy paintjob, and also give it a creamcolored leather interior and install a kick ass roaring monster engine in it. Then I build you your bar after your desires."

He replided with a smile, as if I were joking:

"Do you know how much work this is?"

I just felt that this was the time to use the "poisoned, discussion killing dagger" I had waiting in my bootleg, so i replied with a death serious look on my face:

"yes I do..actually, I really do! when do we start? ..next week maybe?.. it is up to you."

After that discussion we have never ever, for one time discussed his redicilous bar.

I have more examples like this but I will not bore you with it here, my point is simply:

Instead of trying to politely avoid or turn down their requests, quickly think out something they are good at and then "counter request" and propose a swap with something that you feel would make it fair for your troubles. 99% of the times, this will let you sneak out of the discussion with your head held high and your friend will think twice before asking some redicilous requests again. Surprisingly many "friends" want to have "favours" done for them but when they are faced with some "counter favours" they suddenly understand the proportions of what they are asking and they will be the ones, trying to get out of the discussion as smooth as they can.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010 10:47:49 PM by bleedingfingertips » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Always trying to improve my needle skills to prevent my fingertips from bleeding..

Armed with a needle.. but no needle in my arm.
Sherrie B, UT
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« Reply #849 on: May 31, 2010 07:21:33 AM »

so I read thru the thread...I get this alot especially at holiday time.
I'm a crocheter relearning knitting.
My DH was a PITA for the longest time until I tried to teach him how to do bare basic knit & purl & crochet--he in turn opted for sticking with fishing.
Lunchtime conversations got weird at work until I made the "first one is free, the next one is $10 for slippers--I got an order for 15!!!! It was fantastic!
So hang in there-figure what the supply & cost of you talent is worth & go from there.
*I like the counter offer idea tho--I may use that in the future*
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