Are they fiber worthy?

Posted by on July 22, 2012 at 5:41 am.

My life stays busy, and while I wish I could sit around the house and play with fiber all day, I can’t. I have a daughter, clients, a garden, I volunteer with a few ministries with my Lutheran church, I exercise, etc., You get the picture… I don’t have a lot of free time for crafts.

I enjoy making numerous crafts, many of which are fiber related (crochet, embroidery, knitting, and sewing). And while it’s true that I’m a process crafter (I enjoy the process more than the finished item) when it comes to giving away items, I’m very selective as to who receives my handmade items. After all, not everyone is worthy of a hand-crafted item. A handmade item isn’t the same thing as going to your local department store and giving someone a similar item.

About a week ago, I stumbled upon this yarn worthy diagram on Panopticon’s blog, I smiled, while reading through the yarn worthy chart. You see…I go through my own mental checklist before making something for someone I know. Before investing time into a project, the receiver has to be worth the investment.  I do make an exception… I make a variety of items for charity organizations, like Lutheran World Relief and the Mother Bear Project. I rarely know the recipient of these charity item, but these organizations I support are definitely worthy of my handcrafted items.

I love receiving hand crafted items

My favorite gifts received happen to be hand crafted items. It’s obvious the items aren’t slapped together, those who’ve made items for me put a lot of thought/time goes into making the items I’ve received. Just like I do when making items for others. And while I don’t expect a handcrafted item, I’m always thrilled on the rare occasions that I do receive them. After all, they could have easily purchased an item for me, and I would have appreciated that too.

Several years ago, I received a beautifully detailed wood crafted case to store my essential oils. I was blown away by the detail, and asked the person who gave it to me how much time was spent on the item. I knew they were a carpenter/woodworker. Oh, at least a 100 hours was the response. Let’s say I was touched, that they thought enough of me to take the time to make something I still use today. I also have a hand-sewn quilt that took much longer, but that was handed down to me, since the original recipient had passed away — but I still treasure it. And like the cabinet, and the other handcrafted items I receive, I feel blessed that someone thought I was worthy of a handcrafted gift.

9 Comments

  • curls and q says:

    LOVE this post! Made me smile. 😎 It’s nice now that I’m retired I can play with fiber all day. 😎 That chart is great! Fiber Worthy – added to my vocab. Thanks. 😎

    When I was in Okinawa a few years ago visiting my daughter’s family I picked up some special fabric and a pattern to make this awesome purse for one of my sisters. There were two types of fabric a special woven type I haven’t seen in the States and a cotton which had Japanese stylized horses on it. Sister is a horse fanatic! Anyway, made the purse which came out quite wonderfully and sent to her for her birthday. When I was up there in June, I found the purse in their storage building/garage holding junk. 8-( She off my list as Fiber Worthy!

    I’m actually working on a pair of socks for myself. Except for the Tea Do-dad, I’ve given everything else I’ve made away. 😎 I”m going to look into the charities you’ve mentioned.
    curls and q recently posted..Clever Recycled-Items Art

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    Opal Reply:

    @curls and q I forgot where I heard the expression, but it’s stuck in my head now.

    It’s kind of frustrating when that happens, when people don’t realize the importance of hand crafted items. I’m always in awe over others talent, so naturally I’m thrilled when they share some of their creativity with me.

    Some of the people I know are awesome, but they aren’t fiber worthy. They get a regular gift, since they wouldn’t use the item. My parents are fiber worthy, but I’ve learned by now to make sure items I create for them are machine washable. They can’t be bothered with special care items, lol. I take that back, my mother is actually good with that, but since my father occasionally washes clothes, I make sure everything is easy care.

    Although I’m in no rush, it’ll be nice to have extra time to play with crafts once I reach retirement age.

    Except for the Tea Do-dad, I’ve given everything else I’ve made away.

    I’m the same way, most of the items I make are for someone else. My friends are good at reminding me to add myself into the equation. The thing is… I have everything I need. The list of items I want is very slim. Also, I’m happiest when I’m sharing with others.

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  • Nicky says:

    My goodness … it’s amazing to me how much we think alike. I’m going to “borrow” that chart for my own Christmas list update. I’ve found out that some of my recipients would prefer the Anthropologie or Gap or some other brand name tagged items rather than the same or similar handmade gift from me. One wants a Macy’s card. Errr … okay …

    My list is going to be severely chopped down. On the flip-side though, from the list of those who are getting handmade items — they can’t wait!!!! They definitely are worthy and it’ll be my pleasure to make the items for them.

    I love handmade gifts even more now that I’m crafting. Handmade gifts are definitely a labor of love.
    Nicky recently posted..One A Day Project: Granny Square Throw Pillow

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    Opal Reply:

    Yeah, we do think a lot alike @Nicky, I get a chuckle every time I see the similarities. 🙂

    It can be frustrating when you encounter those who don’t get how awesome one of those items can be, but I say it’s there loss, and the time devoted to making them an item, can be devoted to crafting a piece for someone who’ll truly appreciate my time.

    I learned at an early age how awesome handcrafted items are. My mother is a talented crocheter. There were plenty of church ladies that regularly gifted me with items too. My Sunday School teacher I gifted me with several colorful hand-knitted socks when I was about ten-years old. I loved them because they were unique, and bursting with bright colors. I wore them ragged. That, of course, thrilled my Sunday School teacher.

    I’m passing on that respect to my daughter. Her best friend, O, is fiber worthy too; thanks to her mom (my friend) who’s an amazing seamstress, and her grandmother that crochets and knits. When I make items for my daughters Monster High dolls, I usually end up making something for her friend O too, because she’s appreciative and actually uses the items I make.
    Opal recently posted..Knit Picks & customer service; an excellent experience

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  • teeni says:

    Very smart post. I love the diagram you found. It is definitely worth asking those questions when making something for someone. Usually, when I make something that is not for my nieces/nephews, the only time I go out of my way to put my labor of love to work is for special occasions. I have a lovely wedding ring afghan pattern that I have made for several bridal shower gifts and some special baby items for baby showers. Other than that, I usually make what I want to be working on. If someone loves it, they may end up receiving it and if not, no matter. I love it, anyway! LOL. This is very different thinking than I used to have and when I used to think I had to make something for everybody. Not anymore. My how I’ve grown. LOL.

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    Opal Reply:

    Good for you @teeni, Yep, when it comes to people I know personally, I’m very particular of whom receives the items. My reasoning, if I’m spending x amount of hours making an item, give it to someone who will appreciate it.

    Those that don’t will get something store bought since it doesn’t take a lot of my time to purchase an item from a store. Today it’s much easier since I can purchase it online, and have it sent directly to their house!
    Opal recently posted..Knitting: Diamonds and Pearls shawl; work in progress

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