Knitters do it for love

So I was over chez Lee Ann reading her latest entry (what baby blanket?) when it hit me. That Lee Anne is brave. Really brave. She is not afraid to walk right up to the line and just stand there…wind blowing in her hair, mohair trailing out behind her….spindle and needles held aloft oozing confidence (in both national languages) wearing a tee-shirt that proudly reads “I take knitting risks”.

(You thought I was going to say that she was edging up to the crazy line for spinning in bed, didn’t ya? Non, non mes petites tricoteuses, a descent into spinning all hours of the day and night with no regard for the appearance of sanity is normal. Lee Ann is right on track with that. I don’t consider loosing sleep or spinning in odd places to be strange. I would however feel that she was ready to check in at the Ha-Ha Hilton if she was dropping her spindle off at
Caroline’s house, feeling truly that she was bored with it.)

What did she do? What feat of daring-do did she accomplish? How is it that I think she is an extreme knitter?

She knit La Petite Autoritaire (otherwise known as her six year old daughter) a poncho. Not just any poncho, but a poncho with a lace edge in a colour that Lee Ann’s daughter selected and Lee Ann affectionately referred to as “pony puke” since it was exactly the variegated series of colours that one would expect to find outside the bar where Fluttershy My Little Pony got trashed on a Saturday night after finding out that Butterfly Island Pony has been engaged in a filthy pink affair with Twilight Twinkle pony, just because she has sparkles on her arse and he can’t just get a hobby like knitting to deal with his fetid little mid-life pony crisis….but I digress.)

Pony1Pony2

(By the way? There is an international “My Little Pony Convention“. Who knew?)

She knit this poncho for the small, powerful, arc-en-ciel obsessed one and I respect her for it. I personally have knit things that I didn’t like for people that I love, it’s all about the sacrifice and I can totally get behind it…but the pony puke poncho was special. The pony puke poncho was so out of the realm of what Lee Ann would usually knit that I actually witnessed her struck senseless by it.

She would push the poncho away on her lap, stare at it and then say “Does this match? I can’t even tell if this matches…does the edge colour go with the puke? Is this ok? Is this cute or ugly?” She was actually rendered opinionless by it. That’s love.

Now remember that she did all this for someone who is six. I know, I know. Six year olds are charming and little and who wouldn’t knit them anything they wanted…but think of this.

They change their minds. They reject things on a whim. They forget they liked pony puke ponchos enough to beg for one, it doesn’t matter to them how long you knit on it and they care nothing for your reputation or portfolio as a knitter.

Lee Ann could totally have knit this thing out of the yarn that La Petite Autoritaire selected, and slogged away on it for hours and hours, suffering dizzy spells and nausea from the unaccustomed exposure to a colourway that she would normally…well. Her last sweater was blue. Plain, respectable, upstanding blue and when I met her she was dressed head to toe in black. That’s yarn color whiplash just begging for a start and Lee Ann didn’t just knit this quietly in the privacy of her own living room where if it all went wrong we could just pretend it never happened..non, non…M’as te dire quelque chose, she knit it on the internet, in public, in other provinces, at Stitch and Bitches….all for love.

That’s brave, because if the little lady had decided to conveniently “forget” that she wanted a rainbow pink poncho, or if she had still wanted a rainbow pink poncho but decided somehow that what Lee Ann had knit was NOT a rainbow pink poncho and refused to wear it out of protest, or if it had been too small or too big or if the neck had been chokey or the hem to swingy or the lace had too many holes or the purple wasn’t the same as the purple that she imagined or if she refused to believe that this was indeed a poncho knit from the yarn she had chosen….if any of those things had gone wrong….

It would have been for nothing. Nothing at all. While there’s nothing wrong with knitting a pony puke pink and purple petite poncho if it makes you happy….there’s a lot of bitterness you’d have to get over if you hated every minute of it and had done it for no reason at all.

That’s a knitterly kind of brave.

What will you knit for love? What will you not knit for love? Will you cross your personal line of good taste for the happiness of another?

Well?

96 thoughts on “Knitters do it for love

  1. I sympathize. I recently posted on my own blog about how much I absolutely hated the colourway for the raglan I am currently making for my charming 2yr old DD. But she loves it, she picked it, and everytime she sees me working on it she proudly proclaims “my sweater” that is knitterly love.

  2. Hey, I used to collect My Little Ponies! (And I just bought myself a Barbie doll. My mom looked at me very strangely and said “Oh dear, you WERE really traumatized of not getting one as a child.”) But I never admit having known about conventions.
    Lee Ann must really love that girl of hers. I can’t wait until my little one starts making knitting requests.

  3. Well, I knit my daughter Hannah a poncho last year. She picked out the pattern, she picked out the yarn and I knitted it. The first time she wore it to school some brat told her it looked like a rug and asked if she got it at Carpet Max. She never wore it again. Sigh. I knit it out of love and I’d do it again except now when I knit something for her I ask her over and over again if she really really loves the pattern and the yarn – cuz if she doesn’t and some crack comment from some preadolescent brat is going to relegate the thing to the back of the drawer, well, it isn’t going to get knit.
    But for Dale – I’d knit anything for Dale because he thinks everything I knit is the most stupendous work of art ever created. Even the first sweater I ever made, which had a lot to be desired – he still wears it proudly. That’s love, I tell ya. I guess that says more about his love for me than my love for him, though. Hunh. Going to have to think on that one.

  4. I will knit almost anything for love. The joy someone else receiving something made for them to their taste is wonderful. However, I reserve the right to mete out justice as I see fit if the item is rejected.

  5. I have a bit of the same problem, but my daughter wants whatever I have knit after the fact. She claimed a pair of CIC socks a while ago (which I quickly replaced). She picked out a host of yarns for a poncho for herself this spring, but then decided (thank goodness!) that she really wanted a tomato red Wonderful Wallaby first. So that’s what I get to knit over summer vacation, yay! I’m sure that poncho will rear it’s **** head after that, but I do love her, even though the risks are just what you described!
    Thanks again!

  6. Or, here’s a variation on a theme: I finished a sweater that I started knitting for my ex-SO *after* we broke up. And am still going to give it to her. Because doesn’t that say, look, just cause what we had didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t real…and the sweater is yours. Even if I can’t let it go just yet.

  7. Well, I spent a good long while thinking about it, and the answer seems to be “no.” If someone really, really wants something ugly I’ll buy them something ugly rather than spend sweat and tears. Money costs less, really.

  8. Evidently, I will knit anything if someone wants it desperately enough. I knit a sweater out of Lion Brand Homespun when my 5 year old begged for it (ever actually used that stuff with needles? Aside from the pain of acrylic, it’s horrible to knit with). When my husband really, really wanted socks the color of oatmeal in a plain, boring pattern, I knit them, too (http://vastamount.blogspot.com/2005/06/knitted-love-check.html). Finally, and most shamefully, I knit a pink poncho. Not any poncho, mind you, but a Harlot poncho…out of that Pepto Bismol/Barbie pink. With a fluffy white edging. With big white pom poms tied at the neck. All for a 3 year old with a sparkle in her eye and a passion for all things pink and twinkly. Thankfully, she loved it.

  9. “fetid little mid-life pony crisis”??? Who knew there was such a complex life behind those (apparently) deceptively charming cartoon equine eyes?
    My 4 yo son was watching Big Comfy Couch the other day, and turned and asked me if I could knit him a great big bright yellow clock rug to strech on like the one Loonette uses. Never mind that his room isn’t actually big enough for one. He didn’t seem to think this would be a big deal since I made him a tiny little rug with a fire engine on it from one of those Bernat latch hook kits you find in craft stores. (He doesn’t know I’m trying to get up the strength to crochet the matching afghan coz at this point, it might never happen)
    On the flip side, after I finished my very first real sock last week, I proudly showed it to him and said that next I’d make socks for him. He looked at me with all the distain a 4 yo boy can muster and said, “well, Mummy, I’m not going to wear YARN socks.” I’m thinking an educational visit to the Textile Museum might be in order…

  10. I only knit for love. Any time someone says, “Oh that’s gorgeous–you could turn that into a business!” I tell them that no one has enough money to pay me to knit. You want me to knit you something? I have to love you first. I won’t knit scarves because they’re boring, although now that knitting has become the latest craze, there are more interesting scarf patterns. Afghans are out. I just finished a baby afghan for my nephew. He was nine months old. When I started it, I was pregnant with my second child. I abandoned it half-way through and said child is now 8 years old. If the project is too boring or requires too much attention (like the teddy bear pattern that had shaping on every row and no two rows were the same), I won’t do it. I’ll start it, but it’ll be abandoned to the never-to-be-completed pile.
    Kids are tough to knit for. I just found a four-cornered hat pattern that I really liked and both declared it “gross” and “ugly” which was fine because I intended to knit it for myself. By the time it was done, one girl liked the yarn and the other liked the pattern. I have yet to determine whether either child will get something made from a) that yarn or b) that pattern.
    THere are certain colors that I don’t think I could stomach knitting. The puke pink probably isn’t one of them. Olive green and maroon are. I have anomalous trichromatism, which is a fancy way of saying my color perception in certain shades of green and red are not so great. Unfortunately, olive green and maroon are two of my dh’s favorite colors. Fortunately (for me) he won’t wear them now, because he doesn’t want me to think he looks awful. So I’m probably off the hook for knitting that color combination.

  11. That Lee Ann is brave on a billion levels. And she is brilliant and gorgeous. She fills me with awe, and I’d even knit a Pony Puke poncho for HER if she wanted it.

  12. “Twue wuv” to be sure *says the knitter about to embark on Laffy Taffy purple knee-highs for a recalcitrant 14-yo girl*.
    But, has she knitted, by request, matching hats for the 6yo and his dollar store duck that goes every.where.he.goes. Because “Duckie will be cold. Oh, and he needs a sweater, pants, socks, and mittens, too, Mom. He might catch cold.”
    The combined insanities of knitting and motherhood. Who knew?

  13. Hmmm. The nearest I get to this is knitting sweaters for the spousal-unit-to-be. Who wears only dark blue, black, or dark grey and insists on plainness. And cannot be trusted with wool, so it’s acrylic all the way, baybee. I managed to sneak a cable down the sleeves of his most recent sweater and he loves it and it’s the sweater he wears most often. It’s these little victories I savor.

  14. seeing the use of Homespun brings on waves of nausea, a painful year of knitting that blasted coatsweater in grrrrr moss stitch for my dd, so I am now a yarn snob, hey its MY THERAPY SESSION!!! It sits in a sad puddle in her room, because it hangs like a snotty cold from her body. She asks shall we rip it out and make something else?! sure I say, be my guest. Every time she sees a pattern picture and says ooo I’d like that I sneer at her.
    socks only for her now, my choice of color and yarn, take it or they are mine.
    btw, the bookbook sits on my night stand like a bible (if I owned one, which I dont) Every night I read a few pages tyo relax before bed. such validation, such peace….
    I am not alone in my sanity… thank you

  15. I confess – I knit a Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, if my memory serves, and most days it still does) for what was then my treasured five year old. She walked around with her chest puffed out for a week. But it had to be acrylic, on the theory that five year olds and washing machines need healthy relationships, and I hated the stuff. Then she outgrew it. And so I gave up knitting for children. Call me a mean and nasty, but now I knit only for people who can take care of their own clothes, will do so and aren’t growing. Of course, there is always the possibility of grandchildren, at which point I may change my mind (it being my perogative to do so – as I point out to said daughter, who (thank the Lord) is no longer five, but wouldn’t be caught dead in something her mother knit. Her problem.) Love to see pony puke just to know what colour it is.

  16. I’m with Rox, I don’t knit for people I don’t love.
    I’m a relatively new knitter so I’ve never had anyone ask me to knit them anything. I would, though, knit something that is poke-your-eyes-out horrible if they asked me to and that’s what it takes to make them happy. However, I might ask them not to tell anyone I made it….

  17. Knitting for love? I don’t think I can quite wrap my brain around that one.
    It’s not that I don’t love, but I’m a selfish little girl and I knit for myself. (The fact that I can spend money on something that gives me pleasure and has the KICK-BUTT side effect of a finished product I can proudly force onto someone..I mean lovingly give someone is a total bonus.)
    That, and I’m holding my boyfriend’s entire “Family Guy” dvd collection hostage until he wears those STUPID SOCKS I knit him. (I love the socks. They are perfect in their llama/wool blended goodness. The fact that he won’t wear them is a giant point of contention for me.)
    I’m still waiting.

  18. Wenders, that’s awesome. You’re a great human bean. Good on ‘ya.
    Oh, this hurts:
    Upon pressure from my 6yr old, I took some superbly lucious AL-freaking-PACA that I’d been saving and saving and saving for that “perfect” project…and made a cat toy out of some of it. Yes, you guessed it…out of JUST enough of it that it would’ve taken me to actually FINISH the perfect project when I found it. Pish.
    And I’ve Lion Branded, and acryliced THREE crochetted blankets for said 6yr old. Good thing he’s mine, otherwise I may have started to twitch at afghan #2′s flourescent yellow. Shudder.

  19. I am presently crocheting(!) a humongous afghan for my son (here’s a pic, though it’s not my blog: http://jpowell.typepad.com/photos/63_square_afghan/) in Red Heart nasty cheap-o acrylic in red, black, and gray.
    I am doing this because I love my firstborn, and because my firstborn needed a new blanket to replace his beloved, but aging, “bubby.” And because said new blanket needs to be “big enough to cover my whole bed, the pillows [all six of them], too.” And because he absolutely could not be persuaded to select the lovely navy, light blue, and yellow combo I offered to him (which, incidentally, would have perfectly matched his nautically-themed room).
    I have tried to abandon the project a number of times, but the little tyke refuses to forget it. “Goodnight, sweetie, I’m going downstairs now.” “Are you going to work on my blanket, Mommy?” “Um, er, um….”

  20. “Oh that’s gorgeous–you could turn that into a business!”
    That makes me go all squinty like O.o when I hear that. People don’t know what yarn costs…
    There is a lady in my town who sells hand crocheted items, but guess what, her relatives overseas in China crochet them… Then she sells them for $100+. Not saying they aren’t exquisite! Just. I wouldn’t do it.
    For love. And for knitters. And if I knit them something, well, they must love me enough to wear it. Just like those crazy reindeer sweaters grandma gave you before you understood how much work went into it.
    Possibly the key to knitting for kids is to use a yarn you enjoy (like a blend/superwash for washability). I could totally get on board with any project that involved Rowan yarn, even if I detested the colors. I’ll wear sunglasses. And I could reverse psychology myself into thinking that 6 balls of Rowan for a child garmet/toy is much cheaper than 10 balls for a half finished sweater for myself…

  21. Purple,Lavender, and red/orange/purple varigated mitered square blanket out of red heart for my little girl. It is soul-suck. It is never-ending. But it’s for her.

  22. I knit a Wonderful Wallaby for my then 5-yr-old daughter in pink (she picked out) Cascade 220 and she has worn it so much more than I ever thought she would – she is very fickle and particular, especially now as a 6-yr-old. I am now knitting one for my son, again, in a color he picked out but I’m fairly confident he’ll wear it. It wasn’t hard to knit these however, because they weren’t pony puke color – but I would, even if they picked out a color like that. Love knows no color, right? heehee.

  23. Hmmm, I guess I’d knit just about anything for love. Fun fur scarves anyone? Yep – I did it. I don’t have kids, so I generally get away with normal colors that I find appealing, even if not my “thing” and luckily my family generally likes simple things, but I’m still trying to convert my sister on the joys of wool. We’ll see how that goes.

  24. I am in the “I will only knit for love” camp. And sometimes I have my doubts about the wisdom of that. Last year I sucked myself into knitting an intarsia sweater for a friend. It was awful. The knitting experience was awful, the sweater was awful, my mood was awful. The westie on the sweater practically growled at me every time I picked the dang thing up. It sucked big time, the whole thing. I made it into a pillow. I’m sometimes surprised I’m still knitting but, hey, we knitters are resilient. I’m even going to Fibrefest this weekend in Prince Edward County to see if I can go further in my new desire to spin!

  25. My 15year old loves two colors only BLACK and hot (as in eye searing pink. Currently we are co-knitting a hot pink and black monkey from Cascade 220 Superwash. Oh yes I agree love is blind!

  26. Reminds me of the time when I did koolaid dyeing with my nieces and promised to make them whatever they wanted with their skeins. One wanted a scarf, which became less than affectionately known among my friends as “the vomit scarf.” I had serious concerns about what the niece would think until one knitting get-together where another member had brought her two daughters. At some point I realize that they’re whispering behind me and tune in quickly enough to realize that the older is trying to talk the younger into doing something to cause a distraction, “and in the confusion I’ll steal the scarf.” Gave me the confidence to finish knowing it was worth a felony charge to small girls.

  27. Knitting Grandma once knit me a pullover in flourescent pink yarn. Flourescent. Pink. Man, I loved that sweater. KGM rocks, let me tell you.

  28. My boyfriend jokingly asked for an anatomically correct full body suit. It was a total joke, but if he had really been serious, I might do it. It would be worth every minute of effort for the humor of it at the end. Plus, it would be a great exercise in shaping!
    Of course, taking photos (and not trashing said photos) would totally be part of the deal.
    I would consider knitting a poncho for a kid. I don’t like ponchos. I think they usually look silly and/or ugly, and I wouldn’t like wearing one. But if it were nice yarn and an interesting stitch pattern, I could see being convinced to make one for a kid. The only people I’ve ever seen look good in a few select ponchos are little kids. Probably because they have no boobs. Ponchos only look good if you have neither boobs nor the ability to grow facial hair.

  29. I agree with Rox – I have to love you to knit for you – or at least like you alot! However, there are people I love that I will never again knit for, because they fail to be appreciative. I.e. they dissed my work. Bye Bye, off the knit list!
    There are people in my life I would endure neon, scratchy acrylic for – but thankfully, almost all of the people in my life appreciate good fibre, so I don’t have to use crap very often.

  30. An international My Pretty Pony convention. World-Wide Pony Domination. Jay-sus…This is the one point in my life so far when I am SO glad my child can’t read yet, and is not here to see me click on this thing…(I clicked. Train-wreck syndrome. Couldn’t be helped.)
    My bloglines didn’t update so I didn’t find out until now that you dedicated an entire post to my bravery…you have made my month, lady, and it’s been a doozy. I’m laughing so hard at the thought of a Pretty Pony Triangle Intrigue that I can’t even see straight. Or maybe that’s this fuzzy stuff that keeps floating up into my eyes…(I’m spinning and typing. Shut up.)
    You don’t want to know what I’m knitting for Norma, and I ain’t tellin’ ;-)
    You rock. Yes, I’m spinning your hand-carded stuff right now. Sniff…it’s so lovely…

  31. Let me tell you that any project pairing the phrases “2 mm dpns” and “size 13 feet” is love. Bonus love points for dreary solid fall coloured yarn.
    Yesterday, in ridiculous summer weather — don’t laugh! 28 feels hot to a Vancouverite! — he actually declared he had cold feet and went and put on socks. In July! Is there anything more endearing to a knitter than loved ones with perpetually cold extremities?

  32. The reason I started knitting was for love. My husband kept talking about how much he wanted a Doctor Who scarf. I thought, how hard could it be to learn to knit? A year later I felt I had learned the basics enough to attempt his beloved scarf. Two months later I had finally finished knitting FIFTEEN FEET of scarf. In garter stitch. I thought I was going to tear my eyes out I was so tired of garter stitch. But he loves the scarf, adores it, and wears it just everywhere when the weather is cool enough. People stop him all the time and ask about it and he always tells them proudly, “My wife made it for me.” And it was so worth it.

  33. Does it count that I knit a feather boa scarf for my grandma (who wouldn’t have been happy with anything less)? I swore never to knit a novelty scarf after my first disaster, but who can turn down the request of a grandmother who took me to get my ears pierced twice, without my parents’ permission?

  34. I spent the end of last summer knitting a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater for my then 3 & 1/2 year old son. I should add that I couldn’t find a pattern for this and spent hours grafting the leaf on the front so that it didn’t look like a bird (frankly I’m still not convinced). Anyway, I finished it and had him try it on thinking he’d be thrilled. He looked me in the eye and said “It’s kind of itchy and anyway I’m a Philidelphia fan now.” He’s still standing, it must be love!

  35. Three cheers for Lee Ann! :)
    Perhaps she had a backup plan all along? One of the things I’ve learned in my long (okay 18 months) experience with knitting is that a backup plan is always useful. Try knitting for a fickle 14-year-old boy. Yep, backup plans can be very useful indeed. ;) In fact, they can be quite useful when painting said boy’s room while he’s away for the summer. Now where did I put that spackle…

  36. well last christmas I knitted up a bunch of fun fur scarves for family.They all love the fun fur I on the other hand was thought I was making all the women in my family look like happy hookers.
    In a way it shouldn’t matter what yarn she is knitting it with,the important thing is she’s knitting.I actually started loving the fun fur knitting,you know it takes talent.Not everyone can knit with that stuff so I felt rather proud I was able to.

  37. I knit a hat with fun fur out of love for a friend who shaved her head for a local children’s cancer charity. Twice. I was knitting away while watching a movie and knit up the end. I couldn’t find that damn end for the life of me. I had to start over.
    Now, a friend of the woman I knit the original fun fur hat for wants me to knit the same hat for her. I would call this woman an acquaintance at best. She bought two balls of fun fur for me in the colour of her choice. It still resides in the paper bag it came in, buried under my stash.

  38. This story makes me cringe a little but, of course, I am not a mother yet…
    I did try to finish knitting something my grandmother was knitting when she passed away. The thing was the most awful scratchy yarn I have worked with. My fingers were rubbed raw. I never finished it and feel guilty about it to this day. (My mom took over.)
    I guess that answers that question. No stamina. I suck.
    Thanks for the beautiful Koigu, Steph! I looooove it.

  39. I will knit:
    - anything a loved one explicitly asks for.
    - anything nice to work on that I think a friend or family member would appreciate as a gift.
    - small/simple things in horrible yarn or pukey colours/patterns that I think would be appreciated by family members who don’t share my tastes (young nieces, mostly).
    - socks or mittens for anyone who has admired my knitting and asked me three times.
    But I don’t make too many commitments. If something meets any of these criteria, it goes on my list of ‘projects I vaguely intend to get around to someday’. I get through a lot of them, but some things do drop off the priority list.
    If the things I dislike are rejected, I feel validated – the wretched things deserved to be rejected (and I never burn huge amounts of time on the yuckies).
    If the things that I like are rejected, that’s OK too, because I had my fun making them.

  40. Hi, My name is Brittany and I’ve been a victim of My little Pony Addiction. Not to mention the opposite of Child-forgets-said-project Syndrome. The IF-you-don’t-make-this-I’ll-talk-about-it-in-therapy Syndrome. I’m glad it worked out for her though, kids can be a tough crowd.

  41. I see your My Little Pony and raise you one Goth MLP webpage.
    http://www.ghostgirl.net/MLP/ponies.html
    One might not want other knitters to know this but there’s a reason why the pink and purple chenille yarn I bought for my 9 y/o’s poncho is still languishing in my stash – also, did I mention, she’s gonna be 11 in two weeks?
    For I am a coward. I admit it. I suck.

  42. I am not a very experienced knitter and so the projects I will knit for people, even for love are limited. Last fall I decided to knit a scarf for my oldest son who at the time was 18. I offered him a choice of nice colours but no it had to be just plain black. I wanted it skinny and long so it could be wrapped around his neck several times. He is 6’2″, even though it wasn’t very many stitches, it took me forever to knit the K2P2 scarf. I agree that it takes a lot of nerve to knit for kids. My mother has knit some barbie clothes for my 8 year old daughter.

  43. My Mom is an incredibly talented knitter who could knit you up a working 747 if she could get enough yarn. When I was 15, I asked her to make me an afghan in a “stained glass” pattern (translation: the most hideous, migrane-inducing garish thing ever conceived by God or Man. In ACRYLIC). She did. Beautifully, flawlessly, lovingly. That was 30 years ago. I still have it.

  44. I thought that the reverse flower bloom washcloths would be cute Xmas gifts paired with fancy soaps. I knit two and couldn’t bring myself to do any more.
    Now I am in washcloth hell. The two recipients really, really like them and want more they even convinced others. Eek!
    BTW – have you every played “My Little Pony or Porn Star”? you have to guess if the name is one or the other

  45. i once knitted two black linen vests, the first on 1s, the second on 2s for my son, because the first was too large because he had not been paying attention to me when i asked him the requisite sizing questions before i started. and my hands ached the whole time.
    but the real reason i wanted to write you today is to pass on a passage from “Women’s Work, The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times.
    The notion of female deities creating a life by spinning a thread is particularly Greek and runs through Greek mythological thinking at a very deep level. It may have begun from the association of childbirth with attendant women who did their spinning while waiting to act as midwives in the birthing room. The parallel between bringing forth new thread and new humans — both done by women — strengthened the image. The Romans, for their part, equated the Greek Moirai with their minor goddesses the Parcae, who presided at childbirth but were not necessarily spinners. Scholars also compare the Moirai to the Germanic Norns, of Wagnerian fame. These female deities had indeed to do with fate, but their function seems to have been to warn humans of impending doom by speaking out shomehow — their name has etymologically to do with vocal noises — and sometimes to produce destinies by weaving cloth.
    and then a little later she talks about if you extend the arms of the venus de milo, based upon the musculature of what’s left of her arms, she was actually spinning thread in the typical greek manner.

  46. “Which would explain her inability to keep her gown up.”
    you’re my hero.

  47. I knit a fun-fur scarf. My 80 year old Aunt really wanted one. I’m not quite over it yet, but she loves it.

  48. Knit for love (and not my sanity) of my 5 year old:
    A Superman Cape. Over 500yds of screaming red acrylic…so it would “fly” better than the plastic one.
    Sigh.

  49. a few things…
    1) Pepto-Bismal pink sportweight acrylic yarn and that goddamn fun fur, for an ungrateful wretch of a daughter that just stuffed it into her closet two weeks to the day she had finished begging me for it. There’s been a rule in place since March of this year, it’s the “never-f*cking-again-will-I-touch-pink-yarn” rule.
    2) For my first serious knitting project, three weeks after re-learning how to knit, Dr. Who scarf in various greens and cream. (This was for a dear friend I’ve never even met in person, but she rocks and she’s a Canuck.) This person, however, was so appreciative (she loves Dr. Who and the color green) that she sent me Bernard Callebaut chocolate. I’m thinking of breaking my pink rule for another Dr. Who scarf.

  50. WOW, tough call. I’d say I’ll knit something I don’t like if at least the yarn is tolerable. If the yarn hurts my hands, it’s out of the question. I will sacrifice my sense of style, but not the well-being of my hands.

  51. I knit a lace scarf for a friend. Actually, two, and gave her her choice of colors, and she picked that-a-one. Okay.
    But she came back to me later with some Fun Fur she’d bought from Joann’s in an absolutely hideous My Little Pony colorway–that really is the perfect description–saying that’s what she really wanted. Oh. I thought, well, at least it won’t take a whole lot of my time! So. I knitted her her FF. She loved it. She wears it all the time. She did NOT, though I’ve never seen her wear it, trade me for the lace scarf; that was hers too. She thinks I’m grand. She’ll never know how much I disparaged the shredded-plastic-bag feel of the FF as I knitted it. Just not my thing; to me, if you’re going to do the eyelash thing, hey, they’ve got this wonderful handpaint silk/merino/rayon version at my LYS… On the other hand–for an hour of my time I made her happy. Not only that: she used to knit, decades ago as a teenager. Hey. An hour! She was going, Then I bet I could do that too! I’m so slow, but even I could get something finished if that’s all it takes! That FF scarf got her seriously interested in knitting again. That alone made it all worth it.

  52. Yes, I certainly DO knit for love — and I use up yarn that I wanted to do something else with. Behold the sweater that my daughter desperately wanted me to knit for her:
    http://www.colby.edu/personal/l/leosborn/eyelet.htm
    The text says that she loves it — well, she wore it, as far as I can tell, ONCE.
    For this picture.
    I do not, ahem, usually knit with pink/red yarn and eyelet lace is not particularly entertaining.
    I also knit random items (from colors and patterns I like, however) because you can never tell when you might need a present or a comfort to send along to someone. In consequence I have a number of shawls, scarves, etc. that await the need. And, alas, the need always does arise…

  53. Well, I’m better now, but the thirteen-year-old me failed at this knitting-for-love miserably. I knit a golf-club cover out of some wild-colored acrylic, stuck a pompom jauntily on the top, and handed it to my younger brother who liked it enough that he said he wanted a whole set. I never made more – I thought he’d forget, like any normal 11-year-old.
    Three years ago the now-grown-up little brother asked me about the rest of those golf-club covers. Argh. I hope the fun-fur Ipod cozy that looks like a whistling muppet I just made him will atone.

  54. OK I’m sorry I’m posting twice in one day but all this talk of love and knitting has me walking down memory lane. My mom, long since departed, taught me to knit. When I was in university, I decided I had to give her something I had made. I chose a cardigan, knit like something out of Tale of Two Cities only in class no less, gave it to her at Christmas. In March, I saw her wearing a different sweater but in the same colour (which by the way, was noxious but one of her favourites). Her response to my query about it’s origin- “yes dear, I made it from the sweater you did at Christmas. I liked this pattern better.” I think I’d rather do a pony puke poncho for a six year old who would love it.

  55. I offerred to knit Dave anything he wanted, as long as it wasn’t a sweater. He knows about the knitting-a-sweater superstition, and he knows that I’m too superstitious to tempt fate until I’m holding my left needle in a more sparkly-fingered manner. So, anything he wants. ANYTHING AT ALL.
    He asks for a jester hat. A JESTER HAT. Not a practical and warm winter set of soft merino, but a jester hat. The yarn he picked at his neighborhood Michael’s? Lion Brand Wool-Ease in dark green, red, and grey, with a black band of Patons wool.
    Sure, he looks adorable in it (as you can see), but still.
    He’s getting socks for part of his birthday present this year, and he’s not allowed to request anything weird. :)

  56. I have knit pepto-bismol pink dorm boots in acrylic. With pig ears.
    That’s love.
    Seemingly the only limit I have is that I will never again knit an alpaca shawl for my mother, as she looked at the last one, said “oh, that can keep my feet warm”, put it in a drawer and never took it out again. I think I’m going to reclaim that yarn one day soon …

  57. Luckily, when my Hannah asked me for a poncho, I got to pick the yarn, so I used a deep ruby colored Manos. She begged for pink leg warmers and now wants a pink sweater and pink scarf and hat and well, you get the general pink picture. For her brother, it’s all about purple. My house is a veritable ocean of pink and purple right about now, and yes, I will knit anything for them. Noah just asked for purple socks for back-to-school. My Little Pony is also a big hit in our house. I would say “I don’t get it,” but then again, I had a Blythe doll that I loved to pieces and scads of “Little Kiddles.” Anyone old enough to remember those? As I sit and write this, i am readying myself for a trip to the post office to return a defective “Brietta the Pegasus” to Mattel. We do all sorts of silly things for those small folks, don’t we? I am a total pushover. I admit this.

  58. I hate to tell you this, but ponies (real or imagined) do not actually puke. It is not possible for them. Snot, however, is quite possible, and is put forth to loved ones at every imaginable opportunity….

  59. I most certainly would knit for love. I have three balls of Debbie Bliss merino aran in glorious red that are destined to become devil hats for my newborn twin nephews. They don’t know me from a hole in the ground but I shall knit because I love them. Children, yeah, I will knit out of love for them.
    The problem is the adults. Nothing will give you a slurpee headache more than realizing that someone you love is NOT knit-worthy. Oh well, all the more projects for me :)

  60. Ok, I am losing my mind? I am sure that it was on your blog that I read about the Sweater wheel…I went to ebay and have in my hands two wheels, I figured I would make an attempt at a toddler sweater to get familiar with the wheel but can’t figure out how many to cast on? I have tried all different avenues and wondered if you have the wheels? Maybe it wasn’t even your site? Hhhmmmmm

  61. In 1969 I knit all of my guy friends weenie warmers. Sadly, I miscalculated on the proper row requirements on several of them and have not heard the end of it since.

  62. Knit for love – Hot pink lace socks. I knit them for myself at the insistence at my 15 year old daughter who insists that I get out of my “mom” clothes. Hot pink!!! Lace!!! I haven’t worn pink since I was in footed sleepers and probably have never worn lace. But I knit them anyway and will wear them just because I love my daughter.
    Will not knit for love – The Little Piggy Toes socks from the Socks, Socks, Socks book. For my 12 year old nephew who wears a man’s size 11 (American) shoe. Intarsia in the round? Toes? Pig button noses with seed beads for nostrils? No matter how much I love my nephew I will not…cannot…do it. So I did what any good auntie would do, I offered to teach him how to knit.

  63. Ohhhhh boy. I have to chime in again.
    Ponies don’t puke, said the pony owner, but….
    The Pony Snot Poncho?
    And have I mentioned I have two skeins of this stuff left and it’s destined to become a dance gear bag?
    It’s no freaking wonder I spin.

  64. I learned in my cross stitch days only to do work for folks who will appreciate it. One of my SILs barely looked at a piece I had slaved over for weeks and oohed and aahed over a nasty scarf I had bought for her as an afterthought. I will make baby stuff for almost anybody, I love making baby sweaters. Currently I am making an adorable baby sweater out of sock yarn (not really as much work as you would think).
    Now I have knitted a hoodie style sweater for my youngest, and he loves it! The only problem is that it will likely be another two years before h will fit into it. The gauge was just fine, I was just a overly optimistic about it being just “a little” big.

  65. what? teeny tiny little bitty cables in DK alpaca. Black DK alpaca.
    truly, love is blind. Keep on knittin’…

  66. I’ve read every comment, and have the warmest glow going on right now. I can’t help but think our world would be a different and better place if everyone knit. *What the world needs now is love and yarn… it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.*
    My stories are similar to others… the crazy colors for my 6 y/o, the too bright red aran sweater that my husband wears once a year (at my insistence), and gifts that are either embraced or shoved in a closet…
    I knit for people I love that I think will appreciate it. It’s a crap shoot. I think I’m averaging better than 500 these days.

  67. For my granddaughter – anything! For anyone else (including my husband) – no, a thousand times no. Of course, my granddaughter is only 2 1/2 months old and is pretty undemanding so far! Having said that – I knit for love all the time, but usually I pick the project.

  68. I could never knit anything in beige, fawn, taupe, any of those brownish neutrals (quelle surprise!). Nope, couldn’t do it. Not for love, maybe for a few million $$$ cos let’s face it afterwards I could buy any yarn I wanted on the planet….

  69. Well, I designed and knit my 7 year old a ribbed sweater and a ski mask for her Purim costume this year (she was a burglar). All that work for one day’s worth of fun. Still she enjoyed it, and got second prize in her class’ costume contest. Your comments won’t let me use the word Geo cities so I can’t post a link to photos.
    I have also spent hours knitting clothing for dolls and teddy bears, does that count?

  70. Well, I knit socks for my husband’s size 13 feet… what I can’t get over is how the foot just keeps on going! When it’s my socks (size 6), I can feel so accomplished doing the heel, since it means I’m almost done. With his, the heel is practically just the beginning, yet I’m already thinking about the next pair. That must be love.

  71. I can refuse my babies nothing. This winter I CROCHETED a pink and purple poncho for my daughter, out of nasty splitty Lion Brand microfiber yarn. She loves it. Next she wants a furry poncho. My son tried wool socks on the advice of his scoutmaster, now he wants me to knit some for his size 12 feet. The middle boy has been asking for an aran sweater. Its all good.
    And, yes, Regina, I remember Litle Kiddles very fondly.

  72. Yes… pony puke *casually hides her own very bright, rainbow cardigan with cute wittle sheep buttons that my inner five-year old NEEDED because my mom never knit*
    I’m currently working away on a little sweater for a co-worker’s puppy. And while the knitting the sweater itself was fun, this danged duplicate stitch is killing me! And I appreciate that this little puppy NEEDS to have little bones stitched into the stripes of his sweater, he very clearly needs this, as well as a teeny pocket to carry real bones in, but dang. This puppy clearly wants my little perfectionsit brain to implode as no matter how hard I try I can’t make the duplicate stitch look good. However normally, I can knit just about anything on request, as long as the requester is willing to wait a century or too as it will be very hard for me to stay enthused about what ‘they’ want when I can make what ‘I’ want (like ridiculously bright rainbow cardigans that very few, if any, sane 21 year olds would wear) :)

  73. I’ve done it once! The color was *bubblegum pink*!! Not only that is was mostly nylon!!!!!!!
    I made a poncho for my grand-niece. I’m still amazed that I finished it!
    Judi

  74. There are lots of things I’ve knitted even for like, although now I’m down to only knitting things for people I love, b/c if you’re not going to appreciate all the time and effort I put into something, I won’t do it again. My mother thought when I took up knitting, it was an old-lady skill, but once I made her a pair of socks, she’s been hankering for more. Now she requested a shawl, so I get to try some lace, but I think it will be fun and I love that she gets excited by my handiwork now.
    This winter I’ll be making a sweater for my bf too. He is most appreciative of handknitted items. He loves the socks I made last Christmas, so I think he’s ready for a sweater now.

  75. I too knit almost exclusively for love. I had a friend ask me what I would have to charge to knit to break even. When it was over $100 for a pair of socks, I truly realized all the hours I spend making my friends and family just the perfect gifts are knitting for love.
    And my first project? A Dr. Who scarf. I don’t think anyone likes weaving in ends… and man, it wasn’t only long, but it had a whole lot of ends!

  76. I am in the knit only for love camp. (Love of the art and of the person) My son’s “really offensive” golf socks are currently in progress. He so named then and picked Kroy in the “Flame” colors. Wow.
    People have asked me to sell certain of my knit items, so I simply name an astronomical sum and they shut up fairly quickly. If they ever offer said sum without blinking, it’s theirs.

  77. ok, i do have to admit the things i’ve knit for love, i just couldn’t cope with staying off the bandwagon. At the moment, my mother and i have an agreement, i’ll knit her the two scarves i promised her (one for x-mas, horrible daughter, i know) and she’ll start/finish a cross-stitched piece lovingly referred to as the blob (it’s a design flaw i think) Also I’m making my sister a stiflingly long harry potter scarf and Crocheting my boyfriend a painfully large blanket (think 6′ x 8′, quadruple stranded, Q hook four colors with immeasurable amounts of little ends to weave in) Yes, i must certainly love them.

  78. Hey, Live Pony. When my husband was a kid, his class went to the zoo. The teacher got sneezed on by the elephant.

  79. No. Never. Not ever. Here’s the thing. Like most people, I don�t do what I love for a living. I don’t hate my job but I’d quit tomorrow if I could. So when I do spend time doing what I love, I please myself. Period! If I don�t like the project I�m not doing it. And I�m glad you brought it up because I�m going to seriously cut back on �handmade� gifts. Only a knitter can appreciate what goes into a knitted garment. Only a quilter knows the sheer amount of hours and dollars one quilt takes from conception to completion. I just made two quilts for someone who was really kind to me a couple of years ago. Really nice person but would I spend $1,600 on a thank you gift? No. But that�s what the quilts were worth.
    Even charity knitting, I buy the yarns I like and do only those projects I like. I�m speaking for myself of course but I think women have a tendency to give too much away. We give away too much time, too much creativity in the name of loving. But what is that really about? What is the expectation? And we all know there is one, an especially loaded one. It�s like the sweater for the boyfriend we haven�t had for very long or the butt ugly garment we�re asked to make because we can or all the ways we are all guilted into doing things we really should say no to.
    I�m learning. I�m learning to be selfish about the things that bring me the most joy. I�ll sit through Sponge Bob, Clint Eastwood and Bill Murray. I�ll give up weekends so I can do things with my stepsons, I�ll go to all (almost all) of my husband�s performances � he sings like an angel. And there�s no end to how many times I will throw ratty spitty toys for the dogs to catch.
    But I�m not knitting ugly. I love this thing I do with two sticks and some string too much.

  80. Llama snot. Square in the face. The Bronx Zoo. After feeding said ingrate llama chow. A *real* treat, and not recommended as a facial.

  81. If you visit my blog you will discover that I am at this very moment beginning a garment for my mother in mauve. Someone else called it orchid. Call it what you will, it is still PINK.
    ONLY FOR MY MOTHER do I knit pink things, because she looks good in pink and likes any shade of pink. I cannot understand my mother’s love of pink any more than she can understand my love of snakes.
    This proves that I love her as much as her 23 hours in labor proves that she loves me.
    Dez

  82. Where did the unicorn pony clip are come from? Does a plastic model truly exist. I have a 6 year old that loves them too. There are worse things, I guess. They are a little difficult to knit clothes for, though

  83. I didn’t know there was a MLP convention, but I LOVE searching eBay for My Little Pony customs. There was an auction the other day for four of them, with the house crests of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw as the little symbols- it was going for an INSANE amount of money. But anyway, alot of those customs are adorable, and it’s on my “I want one” list, even though I have no idea where I’d put it without having my boyfriend gag all the time :)

  84. Great post! I’m not sure I could knit a pony puke poncho, but I admire Lee Ann for doing it. :) Going over there now to check out said puke poncho.

  85. Oh God… the poncho. My beloved, my prince, my manly knight in shining testosterone armor asked me to make him a poncho in forrest green. I love forrest green, but me, being the egalitarian twit that I am, gave him a choice of fiber… fiber–can you imagine that? The guy is a computer programmer, and he chose this thick cotton rope-twine and when my upper lip started to twitch he bust out with “see, whatever I pick you’ll want to use the other kind…” which is, of course, a thrown gauntlet. I crocheted the poncho (because the fiber was sticky and uncooperative and the crochet hook beat it into submission faster) and by the time I was done it weighed (no lie) a shade over ten pounds. It looks like the chain mail tunic worn under a suit of armor, and it gets a yearly workout as a holloween costume for my son (it made a very convincing cloak for Frodo, with my husband’s wedding ring doing the honors as a ring of power) and occassionally (when it’s not too hot and not too cold–remember, it’s cotton, it bleeds heat like faulty insulation) I bring it to school where I teach English to surly adolescents and they all love the way it looks–until I roll it into a ball and chuck it at the kid who I know will catch it with the best sense of humor, just to hear him say “My God, Ms. Mac, this thing weighs a ton.” For the record? My husband, my beloved, my knight in shining armor? He’s never worn it. Not once.

  86. My three year old grand daughter wanted PINK gloves. So, I found pink yarn (PeptomBismo Pink that she picked out) and knit a pair of very little gloves (my first pair). Even though I was convinced that such little gloves would disappear on their second day, I sat up ’til 3AM to finish them before I caught my flight back to Mexico. Much to my delight, she still has them six months later and inisited on wearing them in July to show her “Mia” how much she loved them. Only a grandma would do this, I thought. Every time I tell this to other knitters, I hear about another nutty abuela who did something similiar. Knitting insanity does NOT get better as we get older.

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