7 Ways to Keep Your Selfish Knitting to Yourself
We’ve all been there: you’re happily knitting along on your favorite sock, minding your own business, and BAM! Someone comes along and asks if you can make them a pair of leg warmers.
Depending on who is making the request, there are a number of reasonable responses. For a small handful of friends and family, the answer is a wholehearted “Yes!” You would be delighted to take time from your selfish knitting and knit for them. Blessed are the knitworthy; may they always be warm.
If it’s a random stranger asking for a gift, you can tell them off for rudely interrupting you in the middle of counting stitches and explain where exactly they can shove their request. (What kind of jerk asks a stranger to knit for them? Do they also wander up to someone eating a PB&J and ask them to cater a dinner party?)
And then there’s the third group: people who are decidedly not worth knitting for, but with whom you have to maintain a cordial relationship. Coworkers, extended family, and hairstylists fall in this category; you have no interest in making a shawl for your spouse’s great-aunt Patty, but you’d also like to keep Thanksgiving with the in-laws as unawkward as possible. For these situations, here’s a list of ready-made excuses for not knitting for other people.
How Not to Knit for Other People
1. Fake an injury.
You’d really like to make them a scarf, but that project is too heavy/too light, the needles are too small/too big, you’re allergic to wool/cotton/cashmere/acrylic, etc. Unless it’s your doctor asking, they’ll never know otherwise.
2. Tell them your base rate is $500 plus supplies.
Everyone wants a handknit sweater, but no one is willing to pay up. Just to be on the safe side, be sure to include a helper monkey on your supply list. Dinner’s not going to make itself while you’re busy knitting!
3. Carry a stunt project at all times.
It may look like you are in the midst of a perfectly well-knitted cardigan, but show off a variegated rainbow acrylic sweater with dropped stitches and an upside-down sleeve as an example of the project you’re proudest of.
4. Tell people you made a pact with the Dark Lord and he’s coming to claim your soul as soon as you finish knitting this Shetland shawl perfectly.
5. Say yes and hope that they forget about it.
This works surprisingly well as a tactic. Most people are very out of sight, out of mind when it comes to you and your knitting prowess and won’t remember they asked. Of course, this probably means they’ll ask again at a later date. Lather, rinse, repeat.
6. Pretend you have an infinite queue of projects already.
(Let’s be real: most of us don’t really need to pretend.) You’ll get right to their project after finishing a blanket for your mom, a new dog sweater for your pooch, a wrap for your friend, a tea cozy for the church bazaar . . .
7. Play dumb.
Most of the time, people recognize that it’s rude to flat-out ask for something, so they dance around the topic hoping you’ll volunteer your services. Don’t fall for it; stick to your selfish-knitting guns.
Them: “It’s so hard for me to find socks that fit.”
You: “That must be a challenge.”
Them: “I’ve tried on every single pair of socks in town, and not a single one fits my feet!”
You: “Have you tried Amazon? They have everything!”
Them: “I think I need custom-made, handknit wool socks.”
You: “It’s a shame how the industrial revolution really destroyed the bespoke clothing industry. Pass the chips?”
By using these simple tactics, the next project in your knitting queue will never again be bumped by an unexpected shawl for great-aunt Patty. Knit what you want, when you want!
What excuses have you used to not knit for other people?
Focus Your Selfish Knitting Power