Today I attempt to combat a problem that not very many people care about in the least. But I care! From the response to yesterday’s post about heirlooms, it seems at least few readers out there care too. I must take advantage of that! So in order to strike while the iron is hot, I’ve thrown together a rigorous screening method to determine who is truly worthy of your next big knit (or crochet, or quilt, or what have you). If you decide to use this to also determine who is worth cooking dinner for, or whose laundry you will do this week, that is of course, entirely up to you.
Are They Worth All That Knitting?
Sometimes we have to make a hat or a scarf just to make a whiner stop whining and go away. Oh don’t look at me like that! You all know what I mean. These are the whiners who say “You gave my sister/brother/best friend/dog a scarf and I want one too!” So you make them a scarf just so they will leave you alone.
That’s perfectly reasonable. But before you take off on a HUGE summer project, make certain that the intended target of such yarn-y affection is worth all that time and effort. I don’t ever want to hear another story from a crocheter who went to visit their soon-to-be-ex friend who thought it was a laugh to let their dog drag her handmade something-something around in the backyard. (Who was it that happened to? It was one of my regular commenters and it just broke my heart.)
So I’ve came up with a point system we can all use to determine if the person in your life is worthy.
By the way, this system shouldn’t be used on babies, cats, or dogs. They are almost certainly not worth the knitting effort on their own merits because they are usually spoiled brats. But their cuteness makes up for that, and we are big enough to make them wear what we’ve made whether the little cutie likes it or not!
A Practical and Thoroughly Impartial System to Determine Who Will be Getting Your Next Masterpiece
Start by giving your possible gift target 100 points. Yes that many. I’ve had my coffee and I’m feeling generous.
1) Ask to see their holiday decorations.
It doesn’t matter what holiday they hoard for be it Easter or Christmas or Halloween. That’s not what we, the crafty crafter, are interested in. Instead listen to them as they pull out their ornaments and knick-knacks.
- If they say things like: “This one was made by my nephew when he was 4 and its supposed to be the Baby Jesus but it really its just a pink blob. But he stills comes by for the holidays so I always put it out”, then give them 50 points.
- If they say something like: “I got this candelabra set from the Martha Steward collection but it in last year’s colors…. do you want it?”, then smile, take the candelabras (donate them somewhere), and subtract 273 points.
2) Have they ever saved you from looking like a complete dork?
If your possible gift-ee has ever walked into a room and interrupted a conversation so they could immediately tell you that you have something stuck in your teeth, give them 20 points. If, however, you discovered that they let you teach a whole lesson with a piece of oregano from your pasta salad stuck between your front teeth, subtract 139 points. Also make them some pasta salad with lots of oregano in it right before their next job interview.
3) Are they willing to look like the dork to make other people happy?
Any adult who goes to their job while wearing the rubberband bracelet that their daughter made for them over the weekend gets 10 points. If they are male they get an extra 10 points. Don’t fuss at me about gender equality and fairness and social conventions. I live in the real world and men who will wear kiddie/girly stuff to make their kids happy are rare so they get extra points.
4) What happened the last time you showed the possible gift-ee a pattern you’ve found on ravelry and would like to make?
- Did they nod and listen to the 15 minute long explanation of how you want the body to be just like the picture but you’re going to use a different ruffle for the edges and you might not have enough hand dyed yarn so you’re going to try it on a larger needle and see how the pattern looks even though the gauge will be wrong? Okay well they didn’t understand any of that and were only pretending to care about the words that came out of your mouth. Give them 30 points.
- Did they turn on ESPN and grunt at you periodically while you blathered on? Subtract 30 points and leave them alone with their sports commentary which is probably as boring to you as knitting is to them.
- Did they interrupt to gleefully tell you all about the last episode of Game of Thrones and just exactly which brother and sister duo is committing incest now and who had to suffer having their body parts chopped off? Back away slowly and subtract 89 points. But if they interrupted to tell you all about the knitted thingy that Claire was wearing in the last episode of Outlander, that’s completely different. Give them 50 points.
5) If you tell them “Yes, I can make you that sweater but you’ll have to buy the yarn” and they:
- immediately pull up yarn.com and ask how much of this Koigu they should buy, you give then 1,235 points. Then try very hard not to inflate the yardage just so you can trick the gift-ee into buying an extra three skeins of Koigu that you will keep all for yourself.
- explain that they just can’t afford to buy the yarn right then because they have to make a down payment on a pair of jet skis, you subtract 7,014 points and tell them to buy a life vest too. Then loose their phone number. People that stupid probably can’t remember things like safety equipment or how to be a decent friend.
If you’ve diligently applied this method then your gift candidate either has a several hundred points or is a couple thousand in the hole. Its one or the other with very little in between. The appreciation for handmade things is like that I think. Some people see the value and they LOVE it. The others will treat your stuff they same way they treat a cute coffee cup. Your gifts will either be priceless or disposable. Give accordingly.
Now.. if you are in the middle of a big project and realize that your intended recipient is turning on ESPN and talking about jet skies, here is what you do. You finish the item and KEEP IT FOR YOURSELF. You could always use another blanket. Men’s sweaters look cute on women. That baby-girl dress will look adorable on your dog.
Hope that is helpful. Hope someone read all the way to the end. I mean there aren’t even any pictures in this post. Its all just me and my snark and that’s kind of boring.