Wednesday 13 May 2015

Re-evaluating handmade gifting

Some of the gifts that I've made this year
Sometime last year I decided to challenge myself to give handmade gifts rather than buy commercial mass produced items. I also wanted to personally make all the gifts so that I had an excuse to do lots of knitting. So I have been regularly busy with projects for new babies and for friends and family since the middle of last year. 

Well now that knitting has become more than just a hobby but a lifestyle to me I don't need excuses to knit; I knit everyday at any spare moment I can get. This results in loads of projects that I want to do and I'm also allowing myself more 'me' projects lately because I believe you need to treat yourself in order to continue to love what you are doing.

This leads me to today's reflection that I need to realistically reevaluate my commitment to handmade gifting. If I hand knit things for every baby born and for all the birthdays I am going to have very little time to work on those beautiful sweaters and shawls that I have been longing to knit. When I put it that way it sounds really selfish, but it's not just the desire to make for self that leads me to reevaluate, it is also the pressure of time. I do feel a little bit of stress when I am working to a deadline and often stay up late trying to finish off projects. I also feel a little sore in the hands lately and I think that is telling me I need to take some rest days from the needles - not that I can make myself stick to it.

I think I need to take another look at my make list and strike off a few of the projects I have hoped to make. So far, I haven't stuck to it very well this year. I have made loads of extra things for others and on top of that I have decided I wanted to make a couple of jumpers for myself. I think I will still aim to make things for my family but I need to cut myself some slack when it comes to friends and their babies and kids. I can already think of other ways to still give a handmade/ homemade gift to friends. A meal for the family for those early days of adjustment after the birth of a new bub is an example of another way to give without buying mass produced items. Supporting independent makers and buying their wares is another thing that I can do.

There will be a time when my kids are at school and I've got a wardrobe full of hand knits and I will start making baby items and other things for gifting again. Just right now I will allow myself to take it easy and find other ways of blessing those around me.

How do you manage your gifting? Do you make more than you buy or vice versa?

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