My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Thursday

Blog Etiquette

I mentioned this in my comments yesterday and I’ll say it here too. If any one of you would like to use the language on my blog etiquette page (and edit to suit you if you so desire) to post on your own blog, please feel free to do so. With my blessing.

By the way, it was not my intention to apologize for the position I’m taking on my blog. (Yeah, I know I said “sorry guys” when I asked you to not send me any more photos. I look upon that as more of a figure of speech than an apology. Heh.)

So fear not — I’m not feeling apologetic. But I do thank you for your support, which was evident in yesterday’s comments.

And for what it’s worth, the very few of you who know me in Real Life will be snickering at my description of myself as a non-confrontational pushover. That is true of my online persona only. In Real Life I am feared far and wide.

Izzy doesn’t care about any of this — she just wants to watch tv.

izzy mar19 Thursday

Disco Socks

Finished the first disco sock and started the second disco sock — lookie here.

sipmar19 Thursday

Notice anything? Yup, the striping pattern is different. Isn’t that funny? I’ve heard other people mention having this happen with self-striping sock yarn, but it’s a first for me. Kinda noticable, ain’t it?.

Hank

Hank is progressing. Here’s a photo with almost half of a pattern repeat done.

hank mar19 Thursday

And here’s a close-up, showing the autumn substitute at the top of the photo.

hank mar19a Thursday

Knit Leeches

I got email the other day from a fellow knitter (Hi Mary!) who brought up an interesting topic, and one that is close to our hearts. What do you say to people who ask you to knit something for you? Not family or close friends — casual friends or acquaintances who think because you knit, you are dying to drop everything and make something for them. Either free or for an insultingly low fee.

Yeah. What’s with that?

I bet that’s happened to most of us. I know it has to me. I used to feel bad about saying no to them (although I always did manage to say no) but these days I have absolutely no problem refusing these requests.

I say: “I don’t knit for money” if someone offers to pay me to knit something. If someone wants me to do it free I say “I only knit out of love.” If pressed, I say “It’s not open for discussion.”

How do you all deal with this issue?

That reminds me of something that happened recently. I was knitting a sock on the train, as per usual, when one of my fellow commuters struck up a conversation about my sock-in-progress. She was admiring it and said “and I bet you save lots of money knitting your own socks, don’t you?” You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that each pair of socks that I make costs between $12 – $18 for the yarn.

Non-knitters just don’t get it (I say in a superior tone of voice).

Comments

  1. Wendy, I’ve been away, so first, let me just add another note of support for your postion. You are one of the reasons why I’m plugging along on Henry (though I joke about it!).

    As for knitting for others — I’m like you, I used to feel a bit guilty about it, but now I’m pretty firm. Interestingly enough, it’s rare for a family member to actually ask me for something — my niece did ask for a shawl, and she definitely falls into the “knit for love” category. Also, the “get ‘em hooked on your knits while their young” category .

    I’ve knit one item by request in the last three years, a Maltese fisherman’s hat for an acquaintance at the gym, who offered me a fair market value for the thing, and who actually felt bad when I said that really, I’d just prefer to trade it for a book. She then offered two books (which was tempting), but I insisted on one — taking into account that in a society where it’s difficult to break through the barriers, she has been kind enough to chat with me, help me with new vocabulary, and just let me ramble on to the point where my very broken French has become passibly fluent (depending on the day, time and weather ).

    I figured it was a fair exchange. But I choose my moments. I didn’t feel guilted into this one, I felt appreciated, and happy to be able to do this. And she was So Thrilled with the hat, I couldn’t believe it. Gave me a tin of cookies as well, and promised the recipe for same cookies (traditional French recipe, been in the family for eons, I love to cook, I’m thrilled, too!)

    But I’m with you, it’s just another example, I think, of an increasing selfishness and self-centredness that seems to be at play in the world today .

    (P.S Would you smack me upside the head if I said I missed the singing? )

  2. katherine: says:

    Oh, dang, it took out all my comments about grins and suchlike. There was an especially important “very, very naughty grin” note after that comment about the singing…

  3. Wendy – re: Knitting for Money. I either mention an exorbitant figure which makes them blanch and back off, or, like you, say I only knit for myself, friends and family. If they are a “friend” then they usually get the message!

  4. i simply say that i don’t have time to finish all the projects that i have for myself!

  5. Katherine, yes I would smack you upside the head if you said you missed the singing!

    (All your grins, evil or otherwise came through on the copy of the comment automatically emailed to me)

  6. katherine: says:

    Yeah, but did you at least laugh?

    BTW, I’m under the illusion that Henry is moving a little slower than you’re usual pace because you’re being kind to the snail-paced knitters like myself working on it. In reality, I know it’s because you’re busy, but I like my version…

  7. I don’t knit for others either. I usually tell them how much the yarn costs, how long it takes and how back logged in projects I am. Most people don’t want to pay $400 to $700 for a sweater and wait 5 years for it!!

    On the subject of socks, I have a friend who regularly shops at thrift stores and is always talking about her clothing bargains. One night at knitting class, she said “I’m probably the only one in the store who’s entire outfit cost $5 and is wearing $30 socks!!

    Dianne in western WI

  8. What a difference in your 2 socks. So far I’ve only used Regia self-striping yarns, and as long as I start in the same place in the color sequence with each skein they pretty much come out matching. Were your skeins the same dye lot?

    I have to say I didn’t care for the Henry when I saw it on the models, but now in your photos I can see how beautiful it is.

  9. Yep, I laughed.

    And of course I’m deliberatelty knitting Henry slower. No — that’s a lie. My eyes are so tired when I get home from work I can’t see to knit more than a few rows. Sigh.

    Dianne, I’m a member of the $5 outfit and $30 sock club too!

  10. Kristen’s comments reminded me to mention my surprise at the difference in the two Opal socks.

    As for her question — I don’t know about Opal sold in the US, but I can say that any Opal that you buy at the factory doesn’t have colour number or dyelot information on it.

    My theory as to why this is? If I remember correctly, the factory that creates Opal also creates the colourways for most (if not all) of the other self-striping yarns that you see. This, I believe, is why you saw the Opal Mexiko collection first, then it disappeared when Fortissima brought out the exact same set of colours.

    And this is my theory, too, about why there’s such a variation in Opal yarn. I have some that’s like Fortissima (thinner and less springy), some that’s like Meilenweit (thicker and more springy). Most of what I’ve seen at the factory store comes out as Fortissima later on.

    I’ve long suspected, but have no confirmation, that Opal exists as a way to do test runs (which is why they produce a certain amount, and then don’t produce it again — it moves into the other Brand line). I’d be interested to know more, if anyone can confirm or otherwise offer up information.

    I found it interesting that (at least up ’til this point in time) Opal Royal wasn’t offered in the US — I figured with the additional glitz it would be a great seller. I’ll be curious to see if it ever does make an appearance.

  11. I have a slightly different bias when it comes to the idea of knitting for others. My husband will voice that I “always” knit for myself, and not for him and our two children. Although he says he understands and I should continue to make my sweaters, he often will add…but how many sweaters can one person wear…..? Now please understand…he is trying to loose weight and has also said to wait till his size comes down. The last sweater I made him was very difficult to complete because he had me restyle the neckline several times because it wasn’t lying the way it should. (Trust me, it was!) My daughter wants only sweaters that look like they came from the Gap. My son does wear his Dale ski sweater a couple of times each winter season, but again likes the store bought look. When it comes to knitting for others, I prefer baby stuff…quick and the recepients coo with appreciation.

  12. I have a SIL who “told” me, “You’ll have to make me a pair of those someday” as I was working on a pair of socks for my MIL. My response was “How long are you willing to wait for someday!” I then told her I could teach her to knit and she could make her own pair long before I would get around to them. The thing I am tired of hearing is, “You know you can buy socks at the store!” Doh! You mean I have been knitting socks for 2 years and I could have been buying them?

  13. Wendy,

    Hank is the most beautiful piece of knitting I have ever seen. Truely. The colors almost glow, don’t they? Very rich, regal indeed. The pleasure of watching it grow through your fingers is inspiring. Thanks for sharing with all of out here in webland.

    Barbara

  14. yuenmiao says:

    wendy: “If you read Tuesday’s entry, you’ll find out why I removed the tagboard” + “I find this a little insulting because it means the writer doesn’t want to bother reading what I’ve written but expects me to take the time to send a personal response.”

    eek! sorry about that! (red faced and tail between legs…)

    but your progress photos of the hank loook woooooonderful!

    as for knitting for others, i only do it when i want to. i simply say that i havent got the time with all the stuff i want to knit, that i cant do requests and leave it at that. no one has been rude enough to pester me after i say that. :D

  15. Really appreciate the remarks re not apologizing for your feelings and needs re your blog. As one who has suffered from the need to please disease, I enjoy the boundary-setting modeling.

    And, I’m seeing the same principles to follow in responding to others’ requests for custom knits. One part of me would love to be able to knit well enough (besides socks and scarves which I’ve gifted almost everyone on my gift list) that I’d be asked. A stronger part of me doesn’t want knitting to seem like a job. So that’s probably how I will respond to someone asking me to knit something for them.

    Before I took early retirement from my engineering career, I started studying astrology and did readings for friends and coworkers. When I got “good” at it, I started charging. But my perfectionism kicked in and I was spending more time than I enjoyed preparing for a reading. So now when I’m asked to do a reading for someone, I only do it if I feel like it and usually end up in some kind of trade with the person requesting and that feels O.K. I’m guessing it will be the same with knitting.

  16. I hope Izzy isn’t flaking out in front of the soaps! At least get her a DVD player, too. ;-)

    I can think of one time someone asked me to knit him a scarf, and I did it because he was a friend. But before I finished it, he moved across the country and left no forwarding address. It’s still sitting in a desk at home! It wasn’t very expensive or difficult, so I didn’t begrudge it. I don’t really get requests like that, even though I knit all over the place, including some meetings at work. I was going to make the same suggestion as someone else — offer to teach them to knit for themself!

    And on the price of yarn, I keep thinking that I could “save money” by making things for myself, but I know it doesn’t really happen. Although, I was surprised at how “cheap” the shetland was for my AS project-in-waiting — way under $100, for a sweater that would clearly cost over $200 in a store (if you ever find something like that in a store).

    Now, someone once complimented the last scarf I made myself, and said she thought I could sell something like it for over $100. That did get me thinking, I must admit!

  17. Wendy, you usually knit identical twins. The disco socks want to be fraternal twins! Do they really look like a good match for the Hank sweater or is it just my screen?

  18. Izzy has a DVD player but she prefers to watch “Big Cat Diary” on Animal Planet.

    L-B — the socks do like they’d go good w/ Hank onh screen, but not in person! I’ve abandoned them for the time being because they really don’t match each other at all. Fraternal twins? Nah — second cousins! ;-)

  19. Last year, I was asked to knit and item for a stage show. I had 21 days to complete it (last minute request) and all I had to go on were 2 grainy photos of the original.

    It was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. I will never knit for pay again. I was so worried about everything being perfect that I derived no enjoyment from making it.

    They paid double what I asked them for since I had such a tight deadline, which was nice but in hindsight, I should have charged even more for all that work (22 different colours…ack!)

    I think one of my biggest enjoyments of knitting is giving the item as a gift of love to the recipient. It’s much more satisfying & rewarding. Plus, there’s no deadline so I’m not completely stressed out.

    It’s hard when people keep pressuring you to make something, especially when they’re merely acquaintences or people on my daily commute! I usually quote them a price of 30 cents a yard and then say most sweaters require about 1200 – 1600 yards. That usually makes them stop asking. My favourite line is: you can buy a sweater in the store cheaper than what it will cost for me to make it for you. Just like tailored suits are more expensive, so are custom-made sweaters.

    Where did people get the idea that handmade knit items should be cheap?

  20. I’ve had the occasional request from my mom for a pair of socks for my grandma or for her, and that’s fine. But a couple people at work have asked me if I would make something for them. I’m like, first of all I’ve only been doing this for a few months..so I’m still selfish and making almost everything for me. :) And second of all, it’s that whole price issue. I had a lady ask me to make her a pair of socks and I told her sure..if she buys the yarn. So she hands me a $5 (I was going to the yarn store at lunch..hehe) and says “Will this be enough?” HAHAHAAH. :) I told her it would cost at least $12 for the yarn, and then I’d charge her for my time to make them..so she’d end up having a $25-$30 pair of socks. Guess who I’m not knitting for now?

    Then of course there’s the people that think you’re a grandma for knitting..I dealt with that last night. I just brush it off and figure if they only knew what it took to make some of the stuff we aspire to make..they’d shut up quick. :) Gosh, can I ramble on any more? Hank looks great as usual Wendy! And I am having fraternal twin socks too. :)

  21. Is it just me or do the two fraternal socks look *slightly* different in width? Could you have undergone a spontaneous gauge chang ebetween sock #1 and sock #2. It’s been known to happen to me…

    As for knitting (or beading or spinning or weaving or whatever) for others… I say I knit for others only as gifts but I’d be more than happy to teach them to knit.

  22. You know Wendy, I have a few more balls of the same colour of Opal I sent you in the stash — I’ve been looking at them, and it’s funny, they all look the same. I’m *very* tempted to start knitting up some swatches to see if there’s any difference. L-B, you got some in blue and turquoise, did you not (my mind is completely blitzed these days) — it’ll be interesting to see what you get.

    Personally, Wendy, I like the second cousins, but then I wear a lot of layered and mismatched stuff. On purpose. Well, most of the time on purpose…

    Back to Henry. Row 16 of second pattern repeat. 16 more rows and I steek for armholes!

  23. Nope — they are identical in width and same gauge — one may be smooshed down a bit and make it look wider. Even if there were a slight gauge change, it would not be enough to make such a dramatic difference in the striping!

  24. Wendy Hank is coming along great, I love those colors, it looks like a painting!
    I have a question about a Starmore sweater, can I email you or can I ask it here?

    Thanks

    Maus

  25. So what’s Izzy’s favorite channel?

  26. About knitting requests – I DO knit request items, only for people I like and know will appreciate the finished item, only if the yarn is something decent, maybe if there is a technique I want to learn. I don’t usually accept payment in cash, though I’m not averse to the odd “gift” of a knitting book or some yarn. Why do I do this?? I do it because I love knitting so much and can’t afford to buy as much yarn as I want to. If someone asks me to knit a beautiful garment with beautiful yarn it feeds my habit without me having to pay. And as someone commented, “How many sweaters can one person wear?”

    Kate, in spring-like Warwickshire, England.

  27. Greetings from a long-time lurker!

    Don’t worry about making rules for your blog.

    As for people who ask you to knit for them. My answer is always “No, but I’ll teach you to knit.” I then tell them the truth, that I’m about a year behind in my planned projects.

    Most of my knitting for friends is for stuff that they can’t buy in a store, but meets a need that they have. And is fairly small. And they at least have to try knitting.

  28. THe knititng for others topic reminds me of a woman who used to order a sweater from us each year, when I worked in a yarn shop. She had the Starmore book Celtic Collection, even though she was not a knitter and refused to learn. She would come in with the book marked to the page of the sweater of the year. She would have us order handpainted cashmere, or other VERY expensive yarn, and when we would quote her $3000, or so, she wouldn’t bat an eye lash. Two years ago, she ordered the Maidenhair done in Great Adirondacks cashmere. The yarn alone was over 500.00 WHOLESALE. She loved it so much, she also had us make a pair of socks to match… are you ready….. She paid us $120. for the socks.
    It was a real treat to make these things, but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine spending that much on a sweater, much less a pair of socks!

  29. I was recently burned by the “could you knit this for me” monster. A co-worker tried for years to conceive and when she had her daughter I was genuinely thrilled for her and offered to knit her a hat. Free and clear. After that I made the mistake of bringing in a cute baby pattern book and the monster reared its ugly head “I’ll buy the yarn if you knit this for me”. Like a goof, I accepted with one condition – I wanted a picture of her daughter wearing the sweater that took me 5 weeks to knit. I later learned that the sweater was still in the ziplock bag in her car 6 months later. No picture. Luckily she had another kid and quit work, so I don’t have to see her anymore. I am very guarded about my WIP at the office now….too many babies around……

  30. Hank is gorgeous and I like the mismatched disco socks, even thought it wasn’t your intention. You inspire me to knit — well at leat think about it — daily. :)

  31. Katherine, yes, the blue in my Royal Opal is more turqouise, but I’ve almost finished the first sock, so don’t know how the striping will look on the next sock…yet! Will let ya’ll know!

  32. A really annoying co-worker (I call her the *Mosquito* because she doesn’t understand the concept of personl peripheral space and always stands about a half inch from you when talking) saw me knitting on a sock yesterday.

    Her first response was “Oh Goody! Now you can knit me some socks to wear with my clogs!”

    I gave her the ususal response i give everybody, “Hmmm, let’s see that’s 20 hours at $50.00 per billable hour, that’s $1000.00 plus materials.”

    She laughs and says, “No, really – I want some.”

    I say, “No, really…”

  33. Hi Wendy — I just want to echo Kristen’s comments about the socks. Regia’s homepage says explicitly that their -self-striping- yarn is so made that if you start in the same place in the color sequence you’ll get matching stripes. (Not all their yarns have this color sequencing, though.) As for Opal, I checked their homepage too — http://www.sockenwolle.de — they don’t give any info about color sequencing one way or another. BUT at least some of their info is in English AND they will ship to customers overseas, for those who are interested in their wools.

  34. Debbie, I’ve knitted a number of Opal self-striping yarns and have never had any problems making the stripes exact on both socks — like with Regia, if you start it in the exact same spot in the striping pattern, it works. So this has me flummoxed!

  35. Wendy, maybe if you get another skein of the same parte and farber (or whatever it really says) you could have a pair… I’ve only had one skein of opal that wouldn’t match, no matter what. I still like them and wear them. No body notices.

    If someone asks me to knit for them, I offer to teach them. That usually stops them. If not, I tell them I’m way behind on projects and I’ll keep them in mind, but it could be years.

    I knit because I enjoy it. I gift people with things that I have already completed when I choose to. I hate deadlines and knitting because I have to. I knit what I want, when I want, anything else and I wouldn’t enjoy it.

    The colors in Henry VIII are truely awesome.
    Hi Izzy!!! Stay away from Jerry Springer and those shows, they’ll rot your brain.

  36. Katherine, do you have more of the Opal Royal you’re willing to part with?? Email me if you do (I couldn’t find your email address). :) Are there more colors than the blue?

    Wendy, my Regia line steps socks aren’t matching..they match to where I started the heel gusset and then when I finished it the stripe that was right at the heel is now further down after the turn. I measured and counted the rows and they’re even as far as I can tell (I checked twice). I probably did something wrong. :) But I’m hoping it was just the yarn.

  37. Okay… here’s the martyr… I never NEVER knit anything for myself! I’m currently waiting to start on a pair of socks (need the addi turbo to make them, and it’s on order) and I kid you not, they will be the first things I ever made for myself!

    I knit for my hubby, my kids, and my one close friend. That’s it. If anyone asks me to make anything for them, I simply tell them that I don’t have the time to knit for my family and theirs. Cold? Yes. True? Yes!

  38. Wendy –

    I got some Opal from Emma (Brasil) and in the middle of the skein, (the last inch of toe on my first sock) the color way changed from Brasil to something that looked more like one of their other colorways (can’t remember which one). I finished off the first sock (b/c the toe didn’t matter as much to me as doing the matching and having extra ends).

    I used my swift to help me figure out where the color pattern started correctly again — which it did 10-20 yards later. Good thing they have a lot of yardage on their skeins. So I suggest that you see if the pattern in the first skein can be matched somewhere by the pattern in the second skein, if you haven’t already done it.

    As for knitting for others… the first thing I do is tell them the cost of the yarn, and how many hours it would take me. Usually I don’t even have to get to the $$/hr part…

  39. Dunno — you’ve heard of “Monday cars”? Maybe you’ve got a Monday skein.

    People seem to be interested in Opal yarns. The US representative is PTYarn (www.ptyarn.com).

    As for making things for others — I decide on a case-by-case basis. As someone else said, making things for others does help satisfy my personal urge to knit/sew/embroider… But whether a creation is a present or is sold, I do think it very important to remember it’s not mine anymore, very well knowing that not everyone will treat “my” work as I might wish. C’est la vie.

  40. Wendy, Henri looks really great – those colors are amazing! And I really like your disco socks, even if the striping doesn’t match at all.

    As for being asked to knit for someone else… I almost don’t knit for me, but alot for my kids and those I consider very close friends. I did finaly start knitting for my sister, but only because she was genuienally interested in my knitting after seeing me stick to it for more than a year and actually finish some projects ;)

    There is one woman at work who really really wants me to knit her a pair of mittens (I double-knit them with angora inside – very toasty warm!) and she will pay me. I will, but I don’t think I’ll do it again.

  41. Hi Wendy…. I became a stay at home mom about three years ago and recently went to visit my work wearing a cashmere and qiviut tunic sweater. It was yarn I received from my hubby as a gift and the only thing I have made for myself at the time. A woman there who I had indirectly worked with came up to me and asked if I could make one for her. I told her sure, but in exchange she can buy this Chanel jacket I have been eyeballing at Nordy’s. She shreiked and couldn’t believe I would ask her to buy that in exchange. I simply told her the cashmere was about $20 for a 50 gm skein (I needed 32) and the qivuit was $32 for one oz (my hubby bought me two large cones of it). With labor….. she got the picture real quick!

  42. I deal with people like that by saying, “I don’t really have the time, but I’d be happy to show you how to learn to do it yourself. I can recomend books and stuff, and it’s really fun, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.” That weeds out the leeches real fast. :-) And if you run into someone who says, “Ooh, great!” then you know that you created another sock-knitter, so that’s good.

  43. I have a friend who constantly insists that I should be selling my knitting and does *not* understand when I say that it would not be worth my time! She told me that her husband bought her a hand knit pair of socks for christmas for $20, and that I could sell my socks for that much. I informed her that I couldn’t charge $20…I’d have to charge a whole lot more!

    She hasn’t brought it up since.

    I’ll knit for family, and occasional friends. Anyone else starts at $200. a pop!

  44. Guess what I found on the Interweave Press web site, on sale, for $19.95 a copy? Alice Starmore’s Aran knitting. After all I’d read on the lists and blogs I thought it was hard to come by and was grateful when I purhased my copy at cover price several months ago. Anyone who still needs a copy… now’s your chance. Go for it.

  45. Hey Wendy! Do you schlepp up to MS&W in May?? Inquiring minds want to know!

  46. I have in the past. Haven’t decided whether I will this year.

  47. What’s MS&W??

  48. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments with interest. In my case it was a casual friend and she asked right after her grandson died. But her request will take me a year and she knows I knit for my family. I felt like an emotional hostage and I didn’t think it was fair after we sent flowers, food, went to the funeral home, etc. I smiled sweetly but didn’t say yes. I’d love to if I had the time and if I was inspired to do so. Anytime I try to do something creative like someone else envisions, it’s just too stressful! I couldn’t knit for money even if it was a LOT! I just stress too much!
    Thanks all especially you Wendy. I think the answer is “I’d love to — but I can’t.” Enough said!
    Mary

  49. Well, I don’t get much requests to knit anymore.

    When I first started knitting socks, I was making ‘Joan’s Socks’ from Wool-Ease and I would end up knitting in my office over lunch. I ended up with 3 or 4 requests of for a pair, from co-workers and/or admin staff. I ended up making only a single pair for a favorite secretary who had already done more than my fair share of special jobs for me.

    I too, now knit only for love. My Mom’s been the greatest recipient of my knitting, but Eileen loves my socks and she received my first lace shawl and my fiber friend (who’s been my greatest source for fixing problems), received my first Faroese Shawl. I hate being under pressure and now I can enjoy both the knitting and the giving.

  50. Knitting for others is a timely subject for me. My dear SIL is a stay at home mom (though she is rarely at home!) with two little ones. She is also addicted to clothes. She’s expressed mild interest in learning to knit, so I thought I would win her over with some Debbie Bliss children’s books, etc.

    My plan may have backfired – instead of motivating her to learn to knit, I think she now has a longer list of what she would like ME to knit for her kids!

    Time is my decision maker – I’m just too slow to knit for profit or others. If anyone asks, I mention a sum that is over $500 and the subject is quickly dropped!

    One other observation – Appreciation is the greatest form of payment. The story that someone told about the baby sweater that was still in the ziplock bag six months later is the worst. When I knit for someone, I only do it if it’s something that is really “them”. I also tend to keep them in my mind while knitting. To me, the end product is full of meaning and my feelings are hurt if it turns out that the giftee puts the item aside.

  51. Just thought I’d let you know that I think Henry VIII is absolutely stunning. Wow! :)

    I’ve never had a knitting request, but I know that with *anything* I like to make and/or do, once I start doing it for someone else, it’s so stressful and hard. We’re meant to express *ourselves*, not what other people want to express, right?

    On the other hand, I *love* to make things for other people, just when they aren’t expecting it :) That’s totally different!

    That story about the baby sweater being left in the car is so sad :( I would have cried!

  52. Add me to the people who felt their throat seize up at the baby sweater story. I have a good friend who had a baby recently and she makes sure to send me pictures of the baby in anything i make, even if it doesn’t fit yet. I know she has a lot going on as a new mom, so I appreciate that gesture. Someone had it right when they said once you give it you have to try to just let it go…

    But as for the leeches, I’m impressed by those of you who are willing to teach them! I don’t mind showing friends who will then take off on their own, but I find knit leeches are also student leeches, knitting only when getting their lesson, never bothering to do their own research or to try to improve or progress on their own. It took me 4 or 5 sessions this summer with someone before I managed to peel her off. My own darn fault, I know.

    Great topic!