Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Get a Knitter to Make You Stuff: a List

This week at the library, I realized how easy it is to get me to knit stuff for you. I thought about it, and there really are five simple things you can do that make me dive for my needles and a spare skein of yarn. I'm betting it's the same for all of the knitters I know. I am counting on my fellow-knitters to add to the list or to edit what doesn't seem right.

  1. Appreciate our work. When I spend hours and hours working on a sweater or heck, a hat, it makes me feel awesome when you notice. Awesome enough for me to think, "Hey, maybe Allison would wear handknitted things instead of thinking they are too precious to wear..."
  2. Wear lots of knitted things. If I never see you in a sweater, or wearing gloves or a hat, and then you ask me to make you something, I think it will sit in your drawer. I think it will not be of any use to you, and so I do not feel moved to knit you things.
  3. Look cold. If you complain a lot about being cold, or if you shiver meaningfully from time to time, I feel like I should help you. So you get knitted stuff.
  4. Start small. Making a sweater takes AGES. I only make sweaters as gifts for babies. This is because babies can't tell you they don't like a color or a style, so there's no way babies won't like something I put a month into knitting. Ask me for a hat or mittens or a scarf. Heck, ask me for a wedding shawl. If you really want a sweater, come prepared with meals and several seasons of good TV on DVD for me to watch (then promise to love and wear it no matter what).
  5. Bribe us with yarn (Red Heart does not count). Decent yarn is expensive. Good yarn is very expensive. I can't afford to make knitted things for everyone. This does not mean that I don't love you. It just means I need to eat this month.

There's also a bonus thing you SHOULDN'T do if you want knitted things...Don't lose knitted stuff.

This one time, I made this crazy-complicated cabled scarf with lovely red wool. It was gorgeous, and I loved every inch of it. I wrapped it carefully in tissue, put it under the Christmas tree, and waited for the recipient (who shall remain nameless to protect him or her from the wrath of my fellow-knitters) to open it. He or she was properly enthusiastic about it, and I was thrilled. A month passed, and I noticed that the scarf wasn't as visible. When I casually brought it up, I discovered that the scarf had been LOST. Either lost, or stolen by a roaming knitwear thief.

Knitters want you to protect their craft with your life, if necessary. The only acceptable reason for letting knitwear vanish is if you give it to someone you know or see who is in greater need of warmth or love than you are. (In fact, that might even get you another knitted thing.)

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