Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?
Yeah. I don’t like to name names (other than names I’ve already named), but certain family members… Well, let’s just say that these days, IF I decide to knit something for them, it’s no bigger than a hat. And it’s made of acrylic that will do absolutely nothing if it goes through the washer by accident or design.
There is a huge difference between not taking care of something, and loving/using it to death. Loving and using something into smithereens is a form of appreciation. I would rather someone come to me a few years after I make them a handful of dishcloths and ask for new ones because theirs are ragged from use, than never use them at all. I want people to use the things I make them. I make them to be useful AND pretty. So if my kids wear the elbows out of their sweaters, then great! They must love them! If my mother-in-law asks for another pair of hand-knit socks because she’s worn holes in the heels, fantastic. What is not great is things I make never seeing the light of day, or being destroyed specifically in a way I warned against, or immediately lost. That’s kind of heartbreaking.
I realize that, to an extent, what they do with what I make is none of my business. I’ve given it to them, and it’s no longer my job to dictate what happens to that thing. On the other hand, knitting takes a long, long time. I enjoy it, yes, but if the person I’ve spent all that time for doesn’t want the thing I give them, I’d rather just buy them a thing and spend my time on something for myself. Or someone else. Or myself. Doing a thing I like. It’s why, when certain relatives ask for Wal-Mart gift cards for holidays, I don’t even try to argue. You want money? Fine. Take money. Enjoy that non-negotiable $10. Have fun. I’m making myself mittens and the whole process is giving me joy.