Don’t You Know You Could Buy that at Walmart?

So, every now and then I take a hint from the WordPress people about what to write. Right now, they’re publishing a topic a day. Today’s topic was to write about a question that you hate to be asked.

It being the Christmas season, pretty much every knitter I know has been caught in the quandary of whether to buy or make gifts. Of course, there’s the question of knit-worthiness for each giftee – after all, knitting is a lot of work and making spending hours to make a gift for someone who won’t appreciate or take care of it is a waste of effort. It’s much faster and easier to pick up a gift card or something ready-made.

But whether it’s the gifting season or not, we tend to run across people just don’t understand why we knit. They don’t see the value of handmade, or made with natural materials, and they ask that question all knitters hate, “Don’t you know you could just buy that at Walmart?” Of course, if we want to be flippant, we might answer with something like “Really? I had no idea. Where is this Walmart of which you speak?” Most knitters I know, being kind people, greet the question with a sigh and something to the effect of “Yes, but I like knitting so I prefer to make it myself.”

I was once even asked this question by another knitter when she found out that I had recently taken up spinning. She seemed shocked that someone would waste their time making yarn by hand when they could just buy it, probably, in her case, at Walmart. I’m a yarn snob and therefore don’t shop there. Also, I try to only use natural materials and prefer to support local businesses.

As for the question of Christmas gift-worthiness, I avoid the topic altogether. My work life is driven by schedules, so instead of also putting my knitting life on a deadline, I have a hard-and-fast rule against knitting for occasions. Instead, I prefer the random gift, sent unexpectedly to people who have no idea it’s coming. Sometimes I don’t even know it’s for them, like the sweater I finished a while back. The whole time I was knitting, I thought it was for me, and when I got it done, realized that this garment was intended for my sister because it was more her style than mine.

So, if you’re knit-worthy, don’t take it badly if a hand-knitted gift from me doesn’t turn up in your Christmas stocking. There may be one coming eventually, when the right project speaks your name.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t You Know You Could Buy that at Walmart?

  1. Concetta says:

    Argh! Mardee, I follow the same philiosophy. I usually don’t knit anything for Christmas, save a hat my adorable little brother asks for each year. And he’s nice and values it each year, so I continue to do so.

    Friday, I caved. I ended up knitting a stocking for one gift, have a knitted game in the works for another, and have a small mug rug for another. Folks asked and they are so nice about it, I felt like they deserved it. One asked for a larger piece, but I said no, feeling that they a) wouldn’t appreciate it if they thought I could do it in a week, and b) I couldn’t do it and I didn’t want to disappoint.

    No one else though. No one else.

    • Mardee says:

      Oh dear. That sounds like a lot of knitting to accomplish in a week. Hope it all goes smoothly. Sending best wishes for a tink-free Christmas knitting experience. 🙂

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