Knit Yourself a Little Something


Knit yourself a little something…or something big, and really exciting. There, I said it, knit something for you!

I know that gift season is coming up, and even if you’re  tell yourself you’re a hardened non-gift knitter, you still secretly have a list in your mind like this: Flatso for Belle, have Mom tell you her perfect hat silhouette, finally finish that sweater for Little Buddy, knit DH a hat to match the scarf he got last year, recreate the ski socks Great-Grandma knit for Dad…

And those are wonderful goals, and you’re sure they would love them, when you get to them (though it might not exactly be in time for the holidays; isn’t it more fun to get a gift when you’re not expecting it?).

Knitters are some of the most generous people in the world, and that’s why I’m so happy to count myself among them. But sometimes, we can go a bit too far. I literally did not keep one thing that I knit for the first three years, instead lavishing my finished objects on friends, my Sister-in-Law (a knitter, so she appreciated it) and the toddlers blowing me kisses and dropping whole cartons of eggs on the tile floor. And, let’s be honest, the scarf I knit for my brother out of gray Noro Kureyon looked fantastic, but did he really want to wear that scratchy fiber on his neck? My mom proudly wore the hat I made, cleverly combining glitter and alpaca yarn, but she maybe shouldn’t have.

My kids did love their fun fur fleece-lined scarves, and my husband wore the Malabrigo hat I made for years, so I’m not trying to tell a knitted-gift horror story. Knitted gifts bring people closer. But, really, when I looked around, the only knitted items I owned were the scarf and purse that my lovely sister-in-law had given me at Christmas. That’s just not right; in fact, it’s kind of embarrassing when people hear that you’ve been knitting away for years and taken classes and you don’t have one of your own scarves to toss on when you go out to eat, to the PTO meeting, or the Knitter’s Guild meeting, for heaven’s sake!

So, yes, knit your sister that shawl, and your teenager the black ribbed hat, buck the curse and make your boyfriend a beautiful cabled sweater. Finish mittens for the school social worker to give out.  Dishcloths for everyone!

I’m not going to go all crazy and tell you to knit for yourself exclusively. But you are a knitter, and you’ve learned to read a chart, and to use a cable needle, and how to block a shawl, and maybe finally gotten a handle on gauge, and you deserve something good. Knit something for you every other project, or every fourth, but make a promise that you will knit something for yourself at predictable intervals and stick to it.

You deserve to use that special skein of yarn you bought on your trip, try out a drop-stitch pattern, tackle a complicated lace chart or make a perfectly-fitting sweater, simply for the satisfaction of doing it, not to please anyone else or beat a holiday deadline. Chances are, you do a lot for the people in your life, and it will add to everyone’s quality of life if you’re happy.

Knitting something just for you is the best kind of gift, because you not only get the surprise of a finished object, but are involved every single stitch of the way. Revel in it! Don’t hide your knitting for yourself away because it’s “not important, it’s jut for me.” Set aside the time, tell yourself that you just finished the scarf for Porchlight, and now it’s time to concentrate on and enjoy your Monkey Socks. Take a deep breath and let the guilt flow out of you. You are knitting for yourself, and that’s worthwhile. Because you know what, Knitter? You’re worthwhile, too.

4 thoughts on “Knit Yourself a Little Something

  1. Last January, the Yarniacs had a self-indulgent KAL. The only requirement was that you knit for yourself. I thought it was a great idea.

    Personally, most of what I knit, I keep. I’ve knit my husband an iPod cozy and a scarf for a family secret Santa gift exchange. That experience taught me early that not exerone wants a hand knit gift. Luckily my sister in law loves wearing it on really cold days.

  2. As I am currently sitting, knitting yet another fingerless glove for a teacher’s holiday gift…… I needed to read this to inspire me to put my needles down and get back to that Steven West KAL that I have neglected (since the finished project will be for ME). Thank you!

  3. So true. For over a year I knit/crocheted for everyone else. This year I finally made something for me. It’s important for our self-esteem! Thanks.

  4. So true, Jaala! While I have knitted for others, and still do at intervals, I’ve found deep satisfaction in knitting for myself! It takes the time pressure off (although I have been known to give Christmas presents in March, or even June!), and I get a lot of pleasure from it. In the busy life of a working mom/wife/corporate wage slave, knitting is one thing that I do primarily for me. Some may say it’s selfish, but taking this time for myself (and making things for myself) helps me to balance the other things in my life and do them better!
    Thanks for the honest answer!

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