Friday, February 13, 2009

Craft and Tell?

I have been having an internal debate: if you are starting a project for someone, do you tell them?

I have a tendency to get so excited about what I'm making and working on and how perfect it's going to be and how wonderfully suited for the recipient and all of the other things that are so great about it, that I'm just bursting to tell them everything. But, what if you tell them, make your plans, even start and then don't finish right away? What if you start something else and then something else and then before you know it, the gloves you promised someone two years ago when you first started knitting are on scrap yarn because you needed the needles for a different project and not even one hand is finished? Pretty rough, on the relationship. Particularly if they know about all those forays into other crafting pursuits.

So, it would seem better to not tell the person. After all, if you never tell them and you don't get it finisehd then they are none the wiser. No damage done. Well, except for the disappointment in yourself for not finishing what you had planned. But that's the beauty of a work in progress. Who is to say when that progress ends? However, I've noticed that many people that you tell about projects in progress intended for them, don't take this longer view of crafting. They really are much more into instant gratification. They can get almost downright impatient at times! Not that the freezing weather, other pairs of finished gloves, new scarves, completed hats, and brand new baby sweaters might influence that feeling.

If the project is a gift, it's obvious you can't tell them. Most gifts, especially for birthdays and holidays, are surprises and telling them, "I'm making you a hat" kind of gives it away. This gets tricky when you need things like measurements and once people know you knit it doesn't take much for them to translate, "Could I wrap this string around your head?" to "I'm making you a hat." Especially if you just told them about the other gifts you're making for Christmas, or asked what their birthday plans were. Asking family members only gets you so far, and I'm not really much more creative than that at getting information out of people. Every so often I think I should do a little questionaire for people I know, but then that could get awkward. Would you want to give someone your chest and waist measurements on the chance that they might make you a sweater or a skirt one day?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Especially, if that person still owes you a pair of gloves.