This is for you close friends and family members of knitters. You may find knitting dorky. You may be annoyed that the knitter is always knitting. Even when you are going out to eat, to watch a movie or at a party. You may dismay over the mountains of yarn and knitting accessories everywhere. But truly having a knitter close by is a great thing! And here is why!
The obvious: Hand knit items!
If you are close to a knitter – whether they are a good friend or family member – chances are you will be presented with hand knit items sooner or later. If you play your cards right then, you will receive a lifetime supply of handknit items and may even request for specific things! The following points are important, however:
Appreciate the hand knit item sincerely. You should be actually happy to receive it, admire it and feel it. Bonus points if you wear it right away.
Let your knitter see you wearing it. This is important. If the knitter never sees you wearing, you won’t get any more hand knit love. And don’t just wear it when you think you will see your knitter but regularly, so if you happen to run into them, they can see you even wear it when they aren’t there. And so the hand knit item will actually look like it’s being used and loved after a while.
Treat the hand knits well! Ask your knitter how to care for the knit item, if you don’t know. Most hand knit items don’t like to be put in the dryer. And they don’t like high temperatures and heavy cycles in the washing machine (wool doesn’t anyway). A gentle cycle in the washing machine with a cool temperature (on a German machine, that would be 30°C which translates to 86°F; however, I know nothing of non-German washing machines), is usually okay and then lay it flat to dry. You don’t have to wash woolen items often, though. Mostly it’s enough to air it out and let it rest for a while. If you are uncertain, ask your knitter. They know.
Try not to destroy the hand knit item too quickly. Things get worn and worn out over time. That is okay and expected. But think of how much time went into knitting that item. If you don’t know, again, ask your knitter. If there is a hole in the sock two weeks after you got them, that’s less than ideal.
Papa Wolf started out not liking hand knits very much. The things he got from his grandmother were often scratchy and just didn’t suit him. So, I went and found really soft and durable yarn and got Anniken Allis of Yarnaddict to dye some sock yarn for me in a semi-solid black color (back when she still dyed a lot of yarn). And then I knit him a pair of socks (Globetrotter) – even though he has large feet. He’s been a happy recipient of knitted items since. Unfortunately, he’s also really good at destroying them. He’s had socks made of really good strong yarn, that didn’t last longer than half a year. And every now and then I find his woolen items in the wrong basket for washing… He still gets handknits, though. He has the “husband” and “I’ve known him for more than half of my life” bonus.
You will never run out of present ideas for your knitter
One word: Yarn. Every knitter loves yarn. And I don’t think there is a single knitter who doesn’t love the prospect of acquiring more – especially if they don’t have to pay for it. If you don’t know exactly what yarn they would like it is better to get gift coupon. Otherwise, you may buy them something they would never use – especially if you don’t really know much about yarn!
If you want your knitter to be really happy, go with them to their favorite local yarn store (LYS, they will love it if you know the right term). Have them pick something out they would really love themselves – and listen to them rave about all that beautiful yarn – and then pay for it. They will not just appreciate the yarn itself but also the time you spend with them and the interest you are showing in their craft.
There are other things knitters love to get that aren’t necessarily yarn. Pretty project bags, yarn bowls, pretty knitting needles. Coffee mugs and T-Shirts! Or they may want to try a related craft like spinning or dying. Or photography. Knitting makes beautiful photos. You can get some more ideas in this previous post about why to become a knitter in section 8 on things to collect. Also, ask your knitter what they would like. They will definitely have ideas. And lots of them!
Patience and an open ear
Your knitter has patience. They may not mind doing something for your that requires a lot of waiting around. Not if they can take their knitting along! Knitters also often don’t mind long hours of traveling because that is a lot of knitting time! They may not like traveling by car as much if you expect them to drive, though.
Don’t let the knitting bother you! Knitters are great listeners. Even if it may not seem so, you have their attention. More so than you would have if they weren’t knitting. The knitting occupies their hands and that keeps them focused on you. They will be able to listen to you patiently and hold a conversation just fine!
However, don’t try to talk to them while they are counting! Be respectful and wait until they are done. Usually, knitters will take simple projects along on outings, so that should only be a problem if you encounter them in their own home.
If your knitter had a frustrating day give them a few minutes to knit (something easy, though) and their mood will have improved a lot. A knitter is unlikely to let their frustrations out on you. The knitting helps calm them. And that makes for a much nicer time with them. Also, by proxy, the knitting may even relax you. There is something about the clinking sound of the needles and the rhythmic motions of the knitting that even calms your mind if you’re not doing it yourself but only watching.
But stay away from your knitter if it’s the knitting that’s frustrating them or they have a knitting deadline they are unlikely to keep. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!
What would you other knitters tell your non-knitting friends? What do you think is great about knitters from a non-knitter perspective? Please, let me know in the comments below.
Since my birthday is coming up, next time I’ll show you some of the things I have on my wishlist. That’s a nice way to get to know some Germany-based internet yarn stores since I had to put together a short list of some for my mother-in-law. So, come back on Friday for that!
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