Everything I’ve ever made is mine. That includes the stuff I gave away. Yes, even the hat that lives in a wadded up, sad and forgotten, little ball in the bottom of someone else’s closet. Its still mine.
And from now on everything will be getting a label to prove that It’s Mine.
Last week Jenny of Crochet is the Way, gave us a horror story of the worst gifting experience I’ve ever heard. She made a few crochet lovely-lovies for a “friend” and they were treated with the worst kind of contempt. Readers jumped in with sympathy and love. Then we all promised ourselves that we would never, ever give our handmades to the Unworthy ever again.
You know we were all lying right? We will, sooner or later, end up giving a yarn-y creation to a jerk that won’t appreciate it. Its inevitable. We are weak and soft-hearted and most of us can’t even say no to our cats. Of course we are going to get talked into giving a handcrafted gift to someone who we know won’t appreciate the work that went into crafting it. Its only a matter of time.
So today I want to talk about labels.
This hat is mine. I designed it. I knitted it. I wear it. Knits By Jenn. Mine. Now it has a label to prove that.
I’m slowly adding these labels to all my finished knitted stuff. I’m also adding them to my finished crochet stuff. Yep, from now all the crochet stuff will be Knits By Jenn. Why? Because its mine.
Eventually all my stuff will have these cute little labels in them and when other crafters see them they will smile and say “awwww”. They will say “those are cute” and “that’s a good idea”. Yes it is a good idea and you can bet your sweet little fanny that EVERYTHING I give away from now on will have one of these labels in it.
People are stupid. Is that too rude? Should I put in another way? Should I say people are foolish/careless/thoughtless/brain damaged/addicted-to-their-phone-and-don’t-know-how-to-behave-in-society? Okay. I’ll say that. But they are also stupid.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. – Harlan Ellison
We have to make the effort to teach the gift-ee about what they are getting. Just because a person
- has seen the amount of yarn you purchased to make them a sweater,
- has sat next to you while you knit,
- has observed how slow knitting is, and
- has heard you complain about The Jerk Who Didn’t Appreciate The Last Sweater You Made
does not mean they understand that they are obligated to appreciate and wear the sweater that you make for them. Why? People are stupid. We have to be veeeeeeeery plain and veeeeeeeeery clear and veeeeeeeeery imperious about this. I think that labels will help.
I’m not making any wild claims that a label in a handknitted sweater will overcome the stupid and ensure that said sweater will be given its proper respect. I’m saying it may help, especially if that label come with the following
lecture helpful discussion:
- See this label? I put that there.
- This is a Knits By Jenn. It was Knitted. By. Jenn.
- I’m Jenn, by the way.
- So this sweater is mine. I spent hours and hours and hours on it.
- It will always be mine.
- I’m letting you take it and wear it.
- But it’s still mine.
I really think that a label and a lecture will reduce the number of handmade items going unappreciated in this world. You can pick up cutesy generic labels in almost any yarn shop or craft store. Those are the kind that say “Made with love” and “knitted for you by:” Here is a link to a set that you can order from Jo-Anns.
Mine are from It’s Mine. (Lol I really liked writing that sentence.) They were a birthday gift from a person who doesn’t want to be named here on the blog. So I won’t do that. But I will tell you that this person was pretty darn smug about having come up with a knitting notion/accessory that I didn’t already have. Its Mine has lots of options for labels and that includes iron-on, snap-on. She gave me the “sew-on” labels with a custom icon. Here is how they look on the reverse side:
They are very nice and very well made. I’m told the order took an extra month to fill and I think that is because it was a custom job. And it was a pretty big order. I won’t be running out of labels anytime soon.
Dear crafters, arm yourself with some labels and practice your lecture. Don’t go into this holiday season (oh yes, its coming) unprepared. Remember, if you made it, its yours. Now and always. You are simply letting them borrow it for awhile.