Thursday, November 19, 2015

procrastiblogging


I should be doing so many things right now that my head hurts. I could list them but I suspect that wouldn't help.

I thought spending 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer might help. So I got changed and hopped on and loaded a podcast, but then something happened and it didn't work so I had to get back down and turn it off at the wall. And now I'm sitting here in my exercise gear thinking it might have been a blessing after all, because wearing exercise gear makes me feel good and sporty, but exercising makes me sweaty and tired, and if I have any hopes of doing any of the things I have to do before the night is through, then tired is not going to help.

So while I'm here and procrastiblogging I want to talk a little bit about handmade. The giving and the receiving of handmade to be precise.

If you have ever read this blog before you'll know that I'm a bit of an obsessive hand maker. Despite the cost of the materials and the time it takes to make something, I'd rather make it a million times more than I'd like to buy it. And because I make stuff myself, I know how much time, energy, effort, money and love goes into handmade.

And because it does take all that, I love to make and give things to other people. I like to choose the project carefully, gather the materials together and then make the object with the giftee in mind.

Recently I knitted the socks in the top photo for a friend who I haven't seen in years and years. Good quality sock yarn isn't cheap and the socks took me a couple of weeks to knit but I loved every second. And while I made them I thought about my friend and how she's going through such a difficult time, and I felt happy that I could knit a bit of my heart into them and send them off in the post to her.

But then as I was knitting the last few stitches I started wondering about giving a handmade gift to someone who may or may not make things by hand herself. Would she understand what my socks and I were saying? Would she think a gift of socks out of the blue is a pretty weird thing? Would she even know that they are hand knitted?

Would she feel loved every time she put her toes in them and pulled them up over her heels? Would she be happy that although life might be a bit crappy at times, someone somewhere down south cares about her? Would she save them for special occasions, or would she wear them everyday?

And does any of that really matter because I loved making them and I loved making them for her and making them made me feel a tiny bit less helpless?



In other news, today the sock knitter, me, got a pair of socks in the post from another sock knitter, Donna from New Zealand. Up until the time that I opened the parcel I'd been having a pretty overemotional day, mainly due to the crazy list of things I have to do that I mentioned before. But that all changed when I pulled out those socks. Those beautiful socks.

And I noticed how they are made up of so many scraps of wool which means Donna would have had to darn in all the ends. And I saw that they are crazily beautiful and happy. And I felt giddy about all those stitches and all those hours and all those kind hearted feelings. I was, and still am, overwhelmed.

I guess I'm just interested in what you think.
Are you a hand maker and giver?
Does handmade have more, or less, value to you?
Can you personally feel the love in a handmade present?
Do you think I should write a note explaining that I knitted them?
Do you think I should stop this and get on with what I really should be doing?

I know you're right.

Goodbye!

xx

Oh and the socks at the top are raveled here.


38 comments:

  1. Knitting definitely takes time and certainly isn't cheap - how wonderful to receive a pair of handmade socks in the post! What a beautiful surprise.
    I'm sure you're friend who you're knitting the socks for will love your gift. Giving someone a present without there being a special occasion is wonderful enough as it is, but giving them a handmade surprise is even better.

    And I totally understand your mile-long to do list that is driving you crazy.
    Sarah x

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  2. Both pairs of sock are fabulous! Gorgeous to give and receive. I only make for people who I know will appreciate it. I would write a note with the socks and just say what you said in your post, she'll love them and will feel the love I'm sure. You are a fantastic knitter :)

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  3. Totally totally love handmade, I wish someone would make me a pair of socks! Defiantly a tag or note saying handmade by Kate, just as a quilter labels their quilts you should label your work. Happy Days to you, xxBrenda

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  4. I am a handmaker who rarely makes due to not prioritising the right things in my life. But I am handmade LOVER and GIVER and I seek out things made with love and devotion and attention and care. Those are the things I like to give best. x

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  5. I make and give, sometimes, hopefully to people who would love and appreciate it.
    Just add a note if you're attaching a card - handmade by Kate. Or "I used this and that yarn-loved working with it, hope you'll like it too" blah blah. Then it's not shoving the fact at her?
    Go for a walk in the woods. Much better that the elliptical ;-)

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  6. I used to give handmade a lot, but it turns out no one else was really into that! Totally fine of course. My mother in law loves handmade gifts, so my kids and I shower her with all our crafts and knits, and everyone else gets a (boring) gift voucher ;).

    My only exception is new babies. Whoever I know that is having a baby gets a handmade gift. It just feels right to me that a new ban starts his/her life with a handmade hug!

    I'd put in a note. Let her know you knitted love into those socks and a tip on how to care for them. Even if she never wears them, she'll know that you spent time on something just for her. Xx

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    1. Didn't proofread! Grr. "That a new babe (not ban??)" I'd like to blame my baby brain please?

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  7. I'm a maker! I needle felt, crochet and sew, I've given a few things as gifts to close friends who understand, and I have loved it, only ever had one go topsy on me because the girl who I thought I knew, just didn't understand it. Those socks are lovely by the way
    ! http://maybemayhemmakeup.blogspot.com.au/

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  8. Your socks are fantastic! I love both of them. I make but have found that my family and friends don't appreciate it. I made hampers for my family. Everything from the chutney was handmade. They gave the quiet thanks for them. I also made the ladies earwarmers and the men scarfs. One family member actually took the mickey out of them in front of me. I was heart broken. I have never got over it. Now I buy them something generic online and don't make any effort.

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    1. It does hurt when our love, effort and thoughts are mocked or not understood.

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  9. I'm a maker, too. I don't give my handmades to everyone because not everyone understands the love that goes in. I'd send your friend a note that explains that you put love in every stitch. Even if she never wears them, they'll go in her drawer and every single time she sees them she'll think of the love you put in them. Which is the point.

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  10. I make handmade gifts for almost everyone I know. But there are a few who don't understand the work, effort, and the time that goes into each gift that is given. Those people I have chosen not to make homemade for any longer. But most people know how much effort I put into each gift. And they understand the love that goes into each one too . Blessings, Betsy

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  11. I make (sew) a lot of gifts and I always worry that people won't realise the love and value of the gift. You could enclose a little note with your socks similar to this, " made with love, so each time you wear the, you feel a hug from me". You could knit me socks any time. Hope you got everything done in your day you wanted to.

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  12. I think you should definitely write a note saying that you knit them, you can tell her about how you thought about her while you knit them, and then they have value not only in the present and the future but also the past. <3

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  13. I think, who never hand makes things will never (cannot) understand what you are giving them. This happened lots of times to me, too. But I decided: I have to fell good with a gift, not who is receiving it...
    Procrastiblogging", I love this word! Could be a definition for me :-)
    Ciao and hugs from Italy
    Helga

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  14. I'm a BIG maker too Kate... There is so much joy to be had in creating something special with your hands for someone that you love.

    I absolutely love getting handmade gifts too - I love thinking about the time and effort that went into creating something super special, especially for me! I love feeling special enough to someone that they would take the time to create something for me, something so unique that it can't simply be purchased from a shop, that truly is special with its very own story to tell.

    I like to add a sweet little note with my handmade gifts, just explaining why/how - if you know what I mean...

    Jodie xx

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  15. Procrastiblogging is a beautiful thing! Your words, while distracting you are the greatest gift, to ask us to think! While I'm ticking off things that I want to make for Christmas, I'm coming to realise that despite the risk of the value of the gift not being realised, that the value will always be realised by the maker, because we gain just as much as the receiver in just taking the time to make, think and create. Also can you direct me to some good spoon carving tools ??

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  16. Gorgeous socks x 2 (or 4?)...so pretty. I love to make and package homemade/homegrown things too. I tend to do homemade food gifts such as biscuits, preserves, home grown garlic etc because I cant sew or knit! I love taking time to put things in nice packaging and make thoughtful labels. I also LOVE receiving homemade gifts...they are the best. I don't think it hurts to put a little label on things explaining the homemade love that has gone into it. Some people don't even realize but I am sure would like to know.

    A few months ago a blogging friends sent me a gorgeous little homemade basket and it wasn't until later that I realised it was homemade and had been made especially to match the colours in our landscape. Have a wonderful weekend Kate xx

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  17. You are doing wonderful work Kate and I think it would be lovely for your friend to know you had taken the time to knit those beautiful socks. I have been knitting and crocheting since I became a granny two years ago. It helps me express my love and stay connected to my grand babies who live interstate and overseas. It also helps me express my love and appreciation to my kids and daughter in law. What could be more important. Handmade is where it is at! I would love to make socks! any recommendations for first timers?

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  18. Hi Kate,

    I love your blog so much, because of the beautiful photography, but also your nice handmade socks! So I am going to answer your questions;-)

    Are you a hand maker and giver?
    Yes! I crochet a lot. Mostly I make something for the new baby's in our family. For birthdays I find it still hard, sometimes I bake or cook something.

    Does handmade have more, or less, value to you?
    Absolutely more, because you know a person thought about you by making something and I think thats wonderful!

    Can you personally feel the love in a handmade present?
    Yes, I can, I ceep it and treasure it.

    Do you think I should write a note explaining that I knitted them?
    Maybe, that's up to you;-) A personal note is always sweet I think..

    Do you think I should stop this and get on with what I really should be doing?
    Hahaha:-D

    I hope you have a nice day! xox Lidia

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  19. Oh i hope you sent the socks, i could think of nothing nicer and remember to tell the receiver that you have made them and they will be even more special to her.

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  20. I love handmade items, they are so special to me and I hope for the receiver has well. Just like you, I think of the person who shall get an handmade item while I am making it.

    I tend to give handmade gifts to people who will love them though. Giving something to someone who doesn't appreciate all the love and work makes me sad. I know there are some people who consider handmade items "cheap" and those won't get those special gifts from me. Fortunately, most of my friends know the value for my handmade items though and I love getting pictures from them with their babies wrapped into my blankets. :)

    Take care
    Anne
    Crochet Between Worlds

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    1. I totally agree with you Anne about everthing you have said. It is disappointing that some people consider handmade 'cheap' and these people usually prefer shop-bought items and put a lot of value into brand names and wanting what everyone else is wearing. I do not make for people with those values. It is sad that they cannot recognise the value of a unique personalised item. A handmade 'one-off" item is very desirable to me. I suppose only makers truly understand how much the recipient is considered during the making process, from choice of item to colour, fibres and details. I always feel very special to receive something home-made.

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  22. Adding my vote for a handwritten note explaining where you knit them, why and how you thought about her as you made them. That's a double whammy of thoughtfulness right there, I can't imagine there would be a heart that wouldn't warm at that!

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  23. I always put a little note with my handmade gifts "Handmade with love and care by JaneLovesRed" (my creative brand). Hand made is just so full of active, infused love and care and thoughts and ponderings for the one you are making for. I realised once that my handmade gifts are not only a gift of love to those who speak gift-giving, but also to those who speak quality-time - and I love the time I spend thinking about the person I'm making for. It is prayerful and loving and I trust healing for both of us. :) Thanks for procastiblogging. :)

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  24. Last year I joined in with a Christmas decor blog swap and I was excited to join but wasn't prepared for what it would feel like to receive a handmade item. My heart swelled as a string of buff coloured Christmas trees covered in little button baubles arrived and I thought about all the time the person had put into it just for me. I make things for other people but didn't really appreciate what it is like to receive something handmade. Of course there are people I wouldn't send handmade things to but for those who 'get it' it is a wonderful thing. Jo x

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  25. I make and give but I would always put a note in - particularly with knitting, because you actually spend so much time thinking about the person whist make each stitch.

    I also make for my nieces and nephews at Christmas time but this usually ends up with me "sewing in anger" because there are so many of them and always so little time!! And at 1am I often curse myself because "the bloody 2 year old is not going to care whether it's a handmade doll or something I bought from a shop" - but it's what I do.

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  26. I make and give. I'm lucky in that I married into a crafty family and so in-laws and most of the nieces and nephews understand and love handmade. There are some that I don't make for because I know they will not appreciate the time or the value of handmade. So on the family front handmade is pretty much the way we go.

    I do always think twice about making for people who aren't into handmade themselves. We live in a place where it is hard to buy quality children's birthday presents that aren't plastic knock offs of major brands, so I prefer to make when the child is invited to parties. In most cases the handmade gift has been well received, but I think it comes down to knowing the child's tastes and interests. There are some children that I absolutely won't make things for.

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  27. I'm not much of a maker. I can knit a little bit. I definitely can't sew. I'm not a great baker or anything. Which means that if I get a gift from someone (or if I buy something) that is handmade, I appreciate it all the more because it's a skill I don't really have myself. I know how much time it can take to create something beautiful and it's time I just don't have myself, so if someone has made something (especially if they've made it with you in mind), well that's just a very lovely thing indeed.

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  28. I think you should always tell someone you made them the thing you are giving them. I took a cake to some young teenage girls I am working with, for our last session yesterday and I told them I baked it from scratch and I thought about them with every ingredient I mixed in and thought about how much they had learnt from our group and how much I had learnt from their honesty and insight and that I didn't want to just go and buy a packet of biscuits because I wanted them to see that by me stopping and thinking and making an effort for them it was my way of showing them gratitude for all they have shared and showing them how important they are and how they are worthy or having an effort made for them.
    I think its the same with knitted / crochet embroidery sewing etc, like Angela said, those things take so much time and you do think about the person you are making them for so much when you are making. xxx

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  29. I love making and gifting. The quilts most people know I make, but I always say I made them when I gift a pair of socks. Like you, I like to think and pray for the person as I am knitting the socks. P s...you make the most beautiful socks!

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  30. Aloha. Found your blog via Tanya of Little Things Blogged. She posted her top 30 reading list. I love how you styled your chocolate socks. I'm planning on making socks next year for Christmas. I only knit for those who I know will appreciate my knitting and who I know will take care of the items.

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  31. Are you a hand maker and giver? YES!
    Does handmade have more, or less, value to you? MORE
    Can you personally feel the love in a handmade present? YES & NO.
    It depends on the giver and the appropriateness of the gift.
    I do not like receiving gifts that are obviously someone else's 'cast-offs' (pardon the pun) in the sense of an unwanted item where the maker is unhappy with the results and eager to palm it off to whoever will take it rather than make the effort to frog or fix. That is not a personalised gift at all! Their excuse is that it is better to give it to someone than waste it but it comes across as a back-handed compliment - a "cold prickly" instead of a "warm and fuzzy". I would rather have a wonky beginners' scarf made with love and care than a more sophisticated item that has been made with a slap-dash attitude.

    Do you think I should write a note explaining that I knitted them?
    YES! A lot of people cannot tell the difference, particularly if you have such an even tension (as you do!)
    Do you think I should stop this and get on with what I really should be doing?
    Probably, but so should I! hehehehe
    I popped in to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your bloggy friendship this year. :-) Peace and love.

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  32. I'm a designer who makes and loves all things handmade. I even 'rescue' handmades from the op shop because it breaks my heart that so many hours of love and skill have been put into something special and now it's found itself marked at 50c or $2 in a basket of cast-aways. I see the magic. And I take it home to cherish. You go girl! xx

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  33. I gambled on making my own invented tea towel design for a friend,I appliqued gingerbread men onto tea towel and with white pretty material and lace made them girly aprons and cokes caps and called them SPICE GIRLS.The receiver just loved these and took the fun Pun nicely,also threatened her family if they wiped anything with them! So glad I let my giving and sense of humour loose

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  34. Lovely post. I too am a giver of handmade gifts (lifelong activity) from handmade goodies canned/baked, crochet/knitted even sewn/embroidered, you name it I've probably gave it. lol I also believe you should label them as such for some may not know otherwise, and some will still not realize the time and effort that went into them but I still make and give. I'm sure she will love and appreciate those beautiful socks!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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