What it means to be crochet-worthy

This past Mother’s Day, I read an unhappy post at a crochet group I belong to.

A fellow crocheter had made a throw for her mother-in-law, and to say that it was insufficiently appreciated is an understatement.

Then last week I saw a thread on Reddit that described how someone had gone to great lengths to make something special for the baby of a good friend, and instead of a heartfelt thank you, the crocheter got a dismissive note about the “home-made” present — a present that was an original (and very clever) design that had taken more than 30 hours to make.

Every crafter has at least one story that is similar to these sad tales, but while stories like these are legion, I want to encourage all crafters to think long and hard about whom they give their work to.

With seven billion people on the planet, you have no excuse to give your work to someone who doesn’t care.

Somewhere on this earth there is someone who is lonely or cold or in need of a hat or celebrating a birthday alone and that someone will love and appreciate your work; it is far better to give your work to someone you have never met who will appreciate it than to give it to someone you know who won’t.

So that is what was on my mind today as I resumed work on one of two shawls that I mean to give to my mother’s long-lost cousin who — thanks to the modern ability to travel with relative ease and to find and exchange copious amounts of information with relative ease — are no longer lost.

These shawls do not work up quickly, and when I finally finish them, they will not just colorful scraps of wool joined together, they will be a reflection of what I value and how I spent my time — time that once spent, I can never get back.

As for the shawls, my progress was modest. Most of what I got done while there was still daylight was to cut lengths of yarn and determine in what order I would use them for two additional rows of the shawl I think of as “the first shawl”:

yarn for two rows of crochet flowers for a join as you go crochet shawl
I prepare to add two rows of crochet flowers to the first crochet shawl

So what does it mean to be crochet-worthy? It means that the recipient recognizes that the gift is not just an object, but a reflection of the person you are and the person you want to be.

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11 thoughts on “What it means to be crochet-worthy

  1. I’m sure you will find your mother’s long lost cousins to be crochet worthy. I can’t speak for them, but I suspect they are the kind of people who truly love and appreciate the hand work involved in crochet.

  2. Leslie,
    Wonderful post and so very true! Some of the most appreciative recipients of my handmade gifts have been other crafters, who understand and appreciate the time and effort expended.

  3. I have made multiple afghans, Christmas stockings, etc. for my daughter and all three of her children. I never see them in her house when we are there. They must be put up somewhere and it’s so disappointing, it almost hurts my feelings.

  4. I made a afghan for the work white elephant Christmas exchange and they literally almost fought over it. It was so popular that I have made another one for a coworker and was paid to do it, So do not give up. I have also made ones for certain family members and they are never used.

  5. I’m also not a fan of, “But, if I use it, it might get damaged” (e.g. a hat or gloves).

    I pick patterns and fibers specifically for the item and recipient. If I was worried that it might be ruined by normal wear and tear (don’t let your dog chew on it, folks), I would’ve given you something else.

  6. Hmm, I can´t believe, that someone can be so disrespectful and react in such a rude and hurtful way to such a well meant and thoughtful gift! I do understand, that if someone doesn´t like a style of such a handmad gift (that is completely understandable, taste is a very personal thing), that the person doesn´t have to use it. BUT, the only acceptable answer to such a gift is still “Thank you VERY MUCH”, because even if the person doesn´t like the gifted thing, just the idea of a handmade gift and all the effort and time and hard work invested in such a gift don´t deserve anything less than that!
    I feel sorry for these people, who don´t understand what really matters in life…

  7. I have found mostly that the only people who really appreciate handmade gifts are those who are crafters themselves as Jean has said. I have tried to sell a few little crochet items before and no one wants to buy then no matter how well made or cute they are unless they are sold for practically nothing. Almost everything I make now goes to charity then I know for sure that the things that I make go to a worthy cause where they are both needed and appreciated.

  8. I know the reddit post you are talking about, and I was just so sad to read it. I love making things for friends. I had a friend that I made a simple phone case for… she THREW IT AWAY. “Oh it got dirty and I didn’t know if it could be washed.” She didn’t even think to ask me. I was so hurt. I told that I would never make her anything again if she couldn’t appreciate the effort that went into it. Some people.

  9. I came across this blog only by chance, and I am fairly new in this kind of network. But I must comment now, I simply must: What wonderful and inspiring thoughts! Thank you! From time to time I feel a little isolated with nobody around being fond of crocheting as I am, and no-one really appreciating my inspiration and lifetime I invest in gifts. But knowing that you – in a very far away place – think as I do, is so good to know. Thank you for your blog and for your nice & kind words.

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