Friday Open Discussion: Crochet Resentments

by Kathryn on February 3, 2012 · 29 comments

in Crochet Discussion

crochet discussions Friday Open Discussion: Crochet Resentments

About Discussion Posts

I value what my readers have to say and think that your voice can contribute a lot of knowledge to this blog. Each Friday I’ll post a thought or question that I believe is pertinent to crocheters today. It’s a chance for you to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. You can just say what’s on your mind about it or you can respond to other people’s comments and thoughts. Always feel comfortable sharing your thoughts but also use common sense in making it clean, respectful and nice to everyone in the group.

Today’s Topic: Crochet Resentments

On Sunday I shared that I was struggling with some resentments as I did charity crochet. I was a little nervous to admit this in a public space. I want to be a generous crafter but truthfully I tend towards being a selfish crocheter, making things primarily for me. I was surprised to find that others have also felt this resentment even as they actively crocheted for charity. I thought this was an interesting topic. Let’s discuss it.

You can say anything you want here about your experience with crochet resentment but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • When have you been crocheting something for someone else and realized that you resented it?
  • If you’ve been paid to crochet, has that changed your feelings of resentment in any way?
  • What causes crochet resentment?
  • Should we crochet for others if we resent the work that we’re doing?
  • What are some tips for working through the resentment because you do want to donate your crochet?
  • Do you think it’s bad to have these feelings come up as you crochet?

Discuss in the comments below! (I’ll be adding in my two cents in response as the day goes on.)

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27 comments
joyannerose
joyannerose

I read all the comments with interest, as I have had some of the same feelings. I also don't like to repeat the same pattern unless it's really quick and small. And though I don't mind crocheting for charity, again I like it small and quick. I also feel like I have so much I want to crochet and so little time, that I want to crochet for my pleasure. The pointers on crocheting for family were good ones. I want to crochet everything for my 2 yr. old granddaughter (I have all sons). But ..... I find I need to crochet to her parents taste, or they won't put it on her. (Unless I say to put it on her when I'll be watching her, which I do). Thing is, she loves when I make her things. And she puts them herself (like playing dress up). Which is ok too, but darn it, I want to make it and have her wear it. And if I ask her Mother her opinion ahead of time so she will put it on her, she wants to change things up, so sometimes I just don't make it then. It's worse if it's for her, so everyone got crocheted things at Christmas but her. Oh, I did do a make -up remover pad set, and I don't have to know if she uses it or not. lol Glad I found this site.

purplekitty
purplekitty

I don't find that I've had crochet resentment when I'm crocheting for charity but they're usually smallish things that don't take a lot of time, but I have found that I've hated to give a gift that I've made for someone else. That sounds like crochet resentment!

craftopoly
craftopoly

I usually like making things for people when they aren't expecting it. Most of the time I'm happy to take requests but only if its something I would do for myself too, and then it takes me forever to do because I wont do it until I want to. I hate when people say "oh you crochet, can you make me this thing." Even if they pay me, it turns it into a chore and I don't want to do it anymore. I'd much rather teach someone to make something than make something for them. If its a surprise gift though I usually don't have a problem because I get excited about imagining their reaction upon receiving an unexpected gift. I don't think I could sell things either...repetition just kills it for me. I have to be doing something new each time. I guess I just enjoy the process just as much as the product. Some people are different though.

laurindar3
laurindar3

I find I always start more charity projects than I finish. Always more interesting to start a new blanket pattern for my blanket project than to actually finish them. I have 3 or 4 I started a couple years ago & just need to finish the edging. When I designed my CAL Sampler last summer, I started 4 or 5 because I wanted to try the same pattern in several different yarns. I only completed 1 so far, which I ended up sort of cheating and giving to a friend whose baby stayed in the same NICU we donate to, but didn't get a blanket to take home. The thing about having my own ongoing project is I know I'll eventually finish them all, in my own time. :)

I also learned that I don't really like making things I'm paid to make (unless it's for the design so other people can make it). I'm just too ADD to make a bunch of the same things to sell, and I have to be inspired to complete something, so doing customs doesn't really work for me either. This is why I am finally pursuing getting my designs published instead of trying to sell finished items.

thornberry
thornberry

I usually approach crocheting for others in the same way that I approach sewing for others - I only do it on my terms. Which means that generally I am a selfish crocheter/sewer, making only for myself! I support charities in other ways, and don't craft for money at all. If I want to make something for someone else, I will, but usually without much input from them (if any). This is my hobby, so I need to enjoy it. That said, I have made things for charity on occasion, but not with any deadlines. I have enough resentment in my life over who does the housework!

momwithahook
momwithahook

I usually resent crochet when people just demand that I make them something. I know I don't have a 'real' job but it's not like I spend 24/7 crocheting nor do I have an endless supply of yarn - it does cost money.

@pasmonauta I too don't like when charities don't confirm receiving your goods. @CrochetBlogger I too donated to Special Olympics and I think they are the first to ever send an acknowledgement. In the past I did donate items to a local charity which they used to earn a financial donation for their cause - I was thanked via email.

undergroundcrafter
undergroundcrafter

I don't usually start off a project with resentment, but as it gets further in and I want to move on to other projects, I can get annoyed. I don't feel much differently if I'm paid - actually, at times I have been more resentful when people paid me to make things for them and it interfered with my personal crocheting ;). Perhaps resentment is too strong a word - it is more of an annoyance because I don't have any lasting feelings against the person/thing causing the deadline.

As for pasmonauta's comments - I've had similar problems with making gifts for family members or friends in the past. I have found the Rav group Selfish Knitters and Crocheters to be a great place to vent and also to get advice about whether or not to undertake a gift project.

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

I am very happy to crochet for charity, but I resent the fact that I never found out if the intended charity (Kaps for Kendall in Denver) received my 10 hats I sent in November. It cost me £10 in P&P plus all the yarn and my time, but my parcel was never acknowledged even though I'd sent an e-mail confirming date of shipment and asked them to acknowledge receipt. I worry that they never got it or that it might have been intercepted.

I also regret offering to crochet an item for a relative, only for her to e-mail me dictating to change the pattern and requesting for me to send her any wool left over in case she needed to add to it! I found this most ungrateful and rude and it put me off telling beforehand what I am going to make. I'll make things and keep them as surprise till the last minute in order to avoid demands of that sort! Unbelievable.

Misty Ledbetter
Misty Ledbetter

I tend to feel resentful when I feel like a deadline is looming or I am doing too many projects for other people at once and don't leave enough time to work on projects for myself. Having figured this out, I try to do charity projects or gifts for others that don't have a deadline or the deadline is very far off. I also try to not work on more than a couple of projects for other people at a time.

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@joyannerose I can totally see why you'd want to make things for your granddaughter and I'm sure she loves it all!! Hopefully as she gets older and makes some of her own outfit choices you'll be able to make her things that she loves without her parents having to play such a big part!

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

Ido feel the same way about surprise gifts. I don't do them often because I don't know too many people who love crocheted items (sad, I know) but when I have it's always been a nice experience.

Really, really love the idea that you'd rather teach someone crochet than crochet it for them. Very cool.

Anyone else want to comment on being process vs product oriented?

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@momwithahook@pasmonauta I was surprised to get the actual letter for Special Olympics. It was a nice treat. But I think an email confirmation isn't too much to ask.

I've never had anyone demand that I crochet them something. In fact, everyone whose ever asked me as offered to pay so that's been nice.

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

@undergroundcrafter Thank you for your empathy and for the suggestion to join 'Selfish Knitters'. I might just do that! Happy crafting!

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@undergroundcrafter Ooh, great tip on that Rav group. And I think that you hit the nail on the head by calling it "annoyed" over resentful. I probably feel more towards the annoyed realm too because I'm not actually bitter and it doesn't linger. Great contribution to this conversation - thanks!

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@pasmonauta It's too bad that you never heard back from the charity. So far I've only completed one charity donation - to Scarves for Special Olympics last year - and they sent me a lovely letter acknowledging my donation which was a nice confirmation to get.

I definitely hear what you're saying about the relative issue. Most people wouldn't behave that way if you were giving them a storebought gift and yet it seems common for people to be that way when you're making them something handmade. Unless they're a paying customer, it seems very unfair!

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@Misty Ledbetter It sounds like you've come up with a really good solution for dealing with crochet resentment so that you can minimize it and still give to others. I definitely think it's important for crafters to figure out their own boundaries and limits so that they can enjoy the craft as much as possible.

momwithahook
momwithahook

@CrochetBlogger I think I agree with @craftopoly craftopoly too - when I used to make things to sell, eventually the 'joy' I receive is weighed down by the process and it is no longer fun but a JOB.

momwithahook
momwithahook

@CrochetBlogger@laurindar3 financial was the case in my decision. Patterns are easier to sell - take more time in my opinion - than the actual product. I can also see just getting bogged down with orders and feeling trapped and resentful about having to crochet the same thing over and over again.

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

@CrochetBlogger@momwithahook I didn't mean that this relative demanded I crocheted something for her. I offered to do a scarf for her, but then she said she would rather have a shawl and then started making amendments to pattern and finally asking for the remainder of the wool left so that she could add to it when I gave it to her. I felt really insulted and I still feel bitter about it, but I've learned my lesson. I appreciate your comments: it makes me realize she was in the wrong.

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@undergroundcrafter Oh yes, one more thing ... really interesting point about getting more annoyed when you might get paid to do something. Do you think that's related to feeling more obligated to finish the item than if you were just doing it for no reason? I did have one recent experience where I hated what I was crocheting for someone but they'd paid me and so I felt like I had to finish. In the end, she didn't even like what I made so it was kind of a lose-lose but a learning lesson for me.

Anyone else feel differently about crochet for others when it's paid vs. free?

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@undergroundcrafter It sounds like you bit off more than you could chew, tried to make it work and then didn't really get appreciated for the effort. The few times that I've mixed craft work with friends it's been in a barter situation and I've always felt like that worked out pretty well. Helps to have crafty friends. :)

undergroundcrafter
undergroundcrafter

@CrochetBlogger I'm thinking of one situation in particular. It was the first year that I was doing craft fairs and I was really busy working on projects and also getting my holiday crafting done. A former colleague offered to pay me to make a hat for her child based on "a beautiful hand crocheted hat" that she had grown out of. When she sent the pictures, it was clearly a machine knit hat (at that time, I couldn't knit). I went out to find special yarn, interrupted the other work I was doing, created a crochet design, and then made the project. If it wasn't for delivery confirmation, I would never even know if it was received, since the person never contacted me to say anything about it after. This was a good reminder not to mix business and friendship!

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