I love crocheting but I don’t crochet for people on request. Have you ever been told your handmade item was too expensive? Or you gifted someone an item only to hear them say that you could have bought something instead? Well… yeah.
The real reason I crochet is because it keeps me sane. There should be something in life that you do for just yourself. For me that’s Crochet.
So I work really hard on my projects. I am always excited with whatever I am working on. Those who know me personally know that I get really crazy until it is finished. It gives me so much joy to see things coming together.
But… I never crochet on requests and I will not ‘gift’ something to you if you ask me to.
People have told me that I should be more “generous” and that ‘people make things for each other all the time‘ and that it “grows love”. I am still very stubborn about not crocheting for them.
It isn’t like I haven’t made things for anyone. I have. My very first project was a crocheted baby Afghan for a friend’s newborn daughter.
I have made many doilies for my mom; I love making sweaters and slouchies for my sisters, head bands for my nieces, too many things for my nephews and very recently a cap for my best friend’s future grand-daughter. (That last one was a private joke!)
Why I don’t crochet for other people as often
So why is it that I don’t entertain requests to make crochet for others?
I have been crocheting for over 15 years now. It has taught me a thing or two about people’s nature and a lot about what gifting should be all about.
It is quite possible that it is a coincidence that I have come across so many of this sort but I have noticed, that the people who are more likely to request are women who have ample time. Mostly they are too proud to learn something as meagre as crochet. They think that women who do needle arts are less educated and depressed to be staying at home with kids.
I have a few friends who crochet and we have all been hinted at that our hobby will be only till our kids grow up. (We had already been warned previously that we’d give up when we had kids!) So, the reason I don’t crochet for others is because:
1. They don’t know the value of a handmade item.
I really did notice this. People who have never made a handmade item, have little idea about what it means to own something like that. When you give them a handmade item, they think it is cheap.
Aww… you made me something! You could have very well bought something…
I am sure you are very intelligent and quite well educated too. I am sure you know how much hard work went into it. But a person who thinks something store bought has more value than a hand made item…. no, sorry. Just no.
2. You have never handmade anything.
You cannot love it because you cannot see the love with which it was made. Also, you will not treat that item as well as when you had to make it yourself.
Trust me, I have been in this boat. I have owned mufflers and shawls that my aunts and cousins made for me and I put them right through the washer, dyed them even and did what not … until when, I made some of my own.
I almost had a heart attack the first time I gifted my item to the newborn I mentioned earlier. Her mom folded it and kept it on the edge of the coffee table (without the cover, without the tracing paper in the middle and right there directly next to that cup of coffee!!!) No! ::gasp::
3. I hate people who say they don’t have time to make it themselves.
Everybody has time. Please, don’t make that excuse.
I have always had a toddler and a baby in my family and that is when I was the most productive.
When I made this hooded jacket for my baby, my son was 5 and the baby herself was two months old. I have done it with three kids, a WAHM job and illness too. You always have time. Now, if you don’t have interest, that is something else!
4. You are a woman.
Some have told me that they don’t know the art. Well… you can learn. You need to know this. If not you then who?
As women… we are the ones who are supposed to have the patience for it. I learnt to crochet completely online with nobody to teach me. You can learn anything online these days. There are so many ways to do it and it is easier than having a teacher most of the time.
5. You think handmade items are overly priced
I have been told personally that my handmade item was very expensive. She said that she could buy it cheaper anywhere else. Do you know someone who has said that to you? Do you know how that sounds?
I price my handmade items on supplies used + time I spent making it. These are HANDMADE items that I have spent hours on to make for you on your request. You think it should be cheaper than store bought items. Is that fair?
Store bought items – machine made, bulk orders, many people will have that exact same item.
Handmade items – someone made it on order exactly to your liking, it is going to be unique.
How is store bought item = handmade item?
I’d love to teach you how to crochet
If instead of asking me to make something for you, you came to me with asking me to teach you then, Oh! I would love to teach you!
1. I’d love to teach you. If you wrote to me asking me to teach you, I will gladly tutor you online. Send you to all the resources online and very happily answer all your questions. Make videos for you even.
2. If you lived closer. If I knew you personally or may be you lived in my city, I’d give you books and patterns and yarns and needles too. If I was visiting your town, I’d love to give you a master class.
(FYI: I’ve taught many people in person from young school girls to grandmas who pass on the love of crocheting to their community.)
3. I’d support you. If you were genuinely interested in crocheting, I’d help you in every way that I can.
But then, inspite of it all… if you did come to buy from me:
- I’d sell you really expensive. Just so that I can tax you for buying something that you could so easily make yourself.
- For being lazy and not valuing something.
- Yes, I will judge you.
And I will think all sorts of ills about you too … like you are going around spending money… when you should be spending some time instead. And… I’d wonder if you learnt something on that sitcom too…
Yes, I know… I am very opinionated… and sarcastic… and judgemental. That, is why I crochet…
Tell me: Would you teach someone an art or would you just gift them without presenting them the opportunity to learn?
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