Selfish Knitting

I learned how to knit in the spring of 2011. I think I truly fell in love with it about a year later with this project, the Day Brightener Ascot.
Ascot Scarf
To me it was a complex scarf with lace chart reading and new techniques I hadn’t tried before. I felt so proud of myself when I knit the first one (for my Mom) and each once since has gotten better and better. But as I got better, I got more requests and pressure to knit people things. Over the last few years I’ve learned how to say no politely but sometimes when your mom says, “you should knit everyone scarves for Christmas…” you feel like you have to do what your mom says (even at my age). But at the beginning of the year I told myself I needed to focus on knitting for myself, or selfish knitting as I like to call it. I’ve made so many things for my family and close friends but often I would not have anything to show for myself! My goal is that one day my closet will be filled with handknit sweaters and I’m starting to realize that goal is actually realistic for me.
A lot of sweaters
This year I’ve knit 18 adult garments. 10 tee/tank/short sleeve items and 8 elbow length/long sleeve items (Boothbay is missing from this photo). I’m finishing up Mountain Top this weekend (one sleeve left to go!) and that will make 19. Out of these 19 projects, 12 have been for myself but 2 I didn’t love and didn’t really wear. But 10 projects for myself isn’t bad at all. I’ve still got a few other things I want to cast on for myself and I’m in no hurry to knit for others right now – other than my husband. He has gotten the least and I’m starting an advanced sweater knitting class at my local yarn shop to work on a complex sweater pattern I want to make just for him. Hopefully by the time Thanksgiving rolls around and classes end I can whip up a few things for my sisters and my Mom but if I don’t before Christmas I am sure they will happily wear a sweater I made them in January too. I’m starting to realize I shouldn’t feel pressure to do anything because I learned to knit for me – not to supply others with hand knits. That’s just a perk of being my friend or family member. I don’t want to sell my goods, I don’t want to mass produce anything, I just want to make things that make me happy. And right now, selfish knitting is making me very happy.

Do you feel a lot of pressure to make for others to? How to do you handle requests?

Have a good weekend knitting friends!

7 Replies to “Selfish Knitting”

  1. I made my MIL a shawl at her request, which I gave to get a few weeks ago. The day I gave it to her, she asked for another one!! She said “maybe for Christmas…” I gently told her the first one was supposed to be for Christmas but I gave it to her early so she could use it.

    1. HA! You feel bad for a split second and then you realize, no this is a gift…I’ve got other things I want to make too.

      1. Yeah, pretty much! I told her I’d make her another but that I had a lot on my knitting plate at the moment.

  2. I will make things for other people, but I will not accept deadlines. Deadlines KILL me and take all the love out of knitting that something.

  3. Absolutely keep some hand knits for yourself! Every time i knit an item, everyone wants to know who it’s for perhaps hoping it’s fir them. I appreciate the compliment and they always understand when i say, “this one’s for me.”

    1. I was knitting in a waiting room and was asked who the sweater was for, when I said myself the guy asked me didn’t I have kids?! No but am I not allowed to knit for myself? LOL

  4. I used to feel pressured but now I don’t. I choose who I want to gift to and 2016 (God willing) it’ll be knitting for me, me, me. I’ve finally decided to quit the 50 million challenges, games and the like and just focus on knitting for myself.

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