Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gifting quandary

My general philosophy regarding gifts of any kind is that, once they've been given, the recipients are free to do what they will with them. This means they can spend gifted money however they see fit, put gifts on display or in the attic, or even re-gift the gifts if they want. Once the gift is out of my hands, it must be let go.

About a year ago, I gave a friend a handknit dishcloth made of inexpensive cotton. The yarn wasn't even freshly purchased, just some leftovers I had laying around. Still, I was a bit taken aback when she IG'd that she had unraveled her "favorite dishcloth" to satisfy a late night knitting urge.

According to my gifting philosophy, this is perfectly okay. But when I considered giving her another handmade gift this year, I paused. Was I going to be putting hours of work into something that might subsequently be deconstructed?

Has this ever happened to you? Do you have standards regarding who is knit-worthy? What kind of recipient reaction crosses the line when it comes to handmade gifts?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

I totally agree with you that the giftee is free to do with the gift as they please... but I also agree that there are guidelines around it. IE... if you're going to "regift" something, do it discretely so the gifter doesn't know, and only regift to someone who truly wants/needs it. (Ie - don't just regift to get rid of something because you don't want it laying around your house). Also... don't give your gift BACK to the gifter (yes... this happens. Dave's family loves to do that. Sometimes is just "i don't want/need this, so you can have it back" but this year I got handmade soap with a whole story about where they got it from... in reality, I'd given it to them the Christmas before.)

And yes... I have standards on who's knit-worthy. If I take the time to make you something, and you give it away, or never use it, I won't be wasting my time making you something again. And that's not to say the person isn't a genuinely nice person... I just need to find them a gift more suited to them... which is really what gifting is about -giving someone something you know they will love and cherish.

I think the only exception would be if you gave your knits away to someone really in need... you gave your handknit hat to the homeless man outside the convenience store when you got milk, because it was cold and he didn't have one. Or you gave your socks to a family who just lost everything to a fire.

And unravelling your hard-knit work (even a simple dishcloth takes a couple hours!!!)... yeah... that person does not appreciate your work. Or your feelings apparently... to actually tell you! I know I'd be pretty hurt, and I definitely would spend my knitting time knitting for other people. They can get a gift card from now on (if anything!)

Mereknits said...

Okay I agree on all accounts of the gift giving but I do have an issue with the unraveling. Really? That is just rude. I would have liked it much more had she re gifted it to someone who would use it. No more knitted gifts for her, but I would buy her some dishcloth yarn instead.