It's only been over the past year or so that I've thought my knitting was getting good enough to be able to make things for others.
I gave the first scarf I ever made to my husband - I discovered it recently, five years later, under the bed when we moved house. I did knit a few scarves for colleagues at the newspaper I used to work at but they were very plain, stocking stitch made with cheap yarns.
For a couple of years after that I stuck to making things for myself. I figured I needed more practice and I didn't want to give people things that I wasn't entirely happy with. I started learning new knitting skills, making a pattern and if it was successful I'd make it again with a friend in mind.
My first big endeavour to knit for others was knitting gifts for my bridesmaids last year. I finally felt comfortable enough in my abilities to turn a sock heel to be able to give a pair to someone else.
2013 has been a year with a lot more knitting for other people.
It's also been the year of the hat, and to date four hats have been gifted.
I'm also half-way through my three-vintage-hats challenge. These will be given to three colleagues on the condition that they all get worn at the same time.
I like knitting for others. I think people do appreciate the time and effort that goes in, as well as having a hat or pair of socks that no one else would have. I like that I've given a gift that makes a bit of a statement about me - how I prefer handmade over mass consumerism, more individual than mass produced. The effort I put in to knitting a gift is a pretty good gauge of how much I value someone's friendship.
So what am I supposed to feel when said knitted gift gets lost at the office or left on a train on the other side of the world? Obviously, the two missing hats in question were very much loved by their owners and they were devastated when the loss was discovered but there is a bit of me that is a tad annoyed about it. I'm generally not a person who holds grudges. It takes up way too much time and I like to be positive rather than negative, but still. HOURS of time goes into knitting a beanie. Love too. I guess I thought the same amount of care would go into looking after the gift as what went in to making it.
This shouldn't really be a big deal. I should move on. It's a nice gesture to knit and it's good karma to give and all that - it's not about what happens to the gift afterwards, right?
But now they're asking me for new hats. In an I-just-got-a-bad-haircut-and-need-a-cover-up-now kind of way. Like knitting is instant. What if they lose it again? Is it wrong of me to hesitate a little before casting on another? Or should I just be the bigger person and get to it?