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Monday, March 24, 2008

I have a question for you

I was at the doctor's office with my hubby, he's was sick last week and we needed to see a Gastroenterologist. While he was in the consultation room, I was in the waiting room, of course knitting. I had a few curious stares, but some comments as follows:

1. Oh that's so nice you entertain yourself while waiting, this from an older lady.

2. What are you making? This from a child that was attentively watching, I bet I could have taught, if the kid's mom didn't make the following comment.

3. You know you can buy a sweater really cheap at XYZ. The kid's mom, who was yapping into a cell phone and couldn't shut up long enough other than to tell me where I could buy what I was hand making.

4. I couldn't waste my time, if you can get it at XYZ. This from a 20 something, to which I had to answer.

I'm not really wasting my time, you see, I'm making a sweater for my daughter, not because I can purchase it, but because I simply can. You really can't buy this sweater at XYZ, because it's hand made and they don't sell anything that is hand made. I thought about the pattern, took the exact measurements for my daughter's body and selected a yarn that she will love. So you see, it takes some thought and preparation to make something hand made, that the person you made it for will feel special every time she puts it on. You really can't buy that. The room fell deafly silent, I was in shock of what came out of my mouth, but really felt it was the truth and simply stated, although I think it might have sounded kind of snide, but I don't know, no one made another comment after that. I've had the similar comments on the handwoven pieces also, mostly from my SIL's non are fiber addicted, or do any creative anything.

So my question to you is how do you answer someone when they ask; Why are you doing that, or why would you if you could buy it?? I'm interested to know if you have a different take on what we all know is one of a kind handmade item.

8 comments:

Kansas A said...

Bravo! Yes it sometimes is more expensive and certainly more time consuming to make a hand made item, but the sad thing is they will never feel the joy of giving such a gift. I often wonder just what those type of people spend their money on?
I also wonder if the young lady takes her children out to McDonald's every night just so she won't "waste her time" cooking too?

Marie said...

My answer, though not original I'm sure is, "because I can".
Your reply was brilliant.

Peg in South Carolina said...

I'm sorry you received such negative comments. I don't think I have ever received a negative comment. Even the occasional man has been very interested in what I am doing.

Woven ~N~ Spun said...

I often tell people that I hand knit (or weave) because I want the person to know getting it that they are worth my time and are a one of a kind original just like the item I am making. I futher tell them that I don't do it for everyone. Just those who apreciate my time and talent.

Susan B. said...

I think your answer was perfect! I don't think it was snide but it explained process is as important if not more so than product!
(and thanks for visiting my blog!)

Lynn said...

Bravo! Good for you! That was a perfect reply!

Leigh said...

I think you gave an excellent answer! I often just say "Well, people spend their time and money on what's important to them." That usually gets them thinking. Then I go on to say, "To me, spending money of golf(or whatever is written on their t-shirt) would be a waste, because I wouldn't enjoy that." That usually gets a chuckle and diffuses any weird feelings.

Marlene said...

I've never had negative comments from strangers, but once had a discussion with non-creative relatives about the ratio of dollars spent per hour of enjoyment. Hand making an item requires hours of the "entertainment value" I get from the yarn purchase. And when I'm done I get to wear a beautiful, one of a kind sweater whereas they come home from a movie and with snacks and .... that's it. No more value for $$ spent.