17 January 2009

Handmade gifts or not?

So, I want your opinions. I have been making some crochet projects intending to give them as gifts to several friends who are expecting new babies. But today, as I was finishing one of them (of course, it was as I was finishing not before I started the project), I was second-guessing myself. Maybe it's not a good idea to foist my crochet obsession on unsuspecting friends?
I was remembering that I got several homemade baby blankets from folks when I had Annalivia and was not very appreciative of them. They all happened to be made of very funky colors. And a couple of the ones I got that were crocheted or knitted were of very scratchy yarn that felt truly horrible. Ultimately, I didn't keep any except some really beautiful soft blankies made for us by our former neighbor.
BUT -- I think I also didn't appreciate them because I'd never done that sort of work. A few years ago, I made a quilt for a friend who had a baby and tried to make it in colors she'd appreciate, etc., but when I gave it to her, it was clear she was unimpressed. My mind immediately flashed back to when I received the other gifts and I prayed I was a better liar than she is and faked my appreciation better.
Anyway, these people for whom I'm considering making things or have made things are people I really care about and I don't want to have to have them fake appreciation for yet another handmade excuse for a gift. So -- if it were you -- would you like a handmade gift (with the caveat that it will be made of good quality materials with an effort to consider the individual's taste)? Or would you prefer something off of a registry?


Silent said...

I would love the handmade gift, with as you said of good quality materials with effort made for the taste of the person.

But perhaps an option is a compromise of something small from the registry along with the handmade gift...like a handmade sweater with a pair of matching pants or a handmade blanket with some lotion or a rattle or something like that.

j said...

I totally get the quandry. I didn't know how to knit or crochet when I was pregnant (I wish I had!), and though I didn't receive many handmade gifts, I really did treasure them...even one which was not really to my taste. Those are among the things which I've saved. Now that I knit, I have the urge to gift people with handmade, tasteful gifts, and I have...but I've done so selectively--given them to other crafters, or people who truly will appreciate them. I agree with silent, that maybe something "bought" would make a nice pairing--like a favorite storybook that will be treasured. At any rate, I love your pics, and I am generally not a fan of crochet, but yours is breathtaking!! Makes me want to have another baby!!

Sarah S-D said...

i LOVE our handmade gifts. LOVE THEM. and it is not just because i'm a knitter... but because i'm a knitter i know how much love and time went into them.

that said... we have more blankets than we know what to do with and it is REALLY hard to part with a handmade blanket. so... i wouldn't recommend gifting blankets. but other than that... go for it. if you're really nervous take up silent's offer of pairing with a registry gift, but... i loved our handmade stuff way better than the registry stuff.

and btw... you are freakin' amazing. so new to crocheting and creating and altering patterns? WOW. i've been knitting for three plus years now and i am strictly a pattern knitter. sigh.

love the buttons and the bunting and wow...

just caught up on your last five posts and loved everyone.

so, my vote is FOR handmade gifts just in case you were left wondering.

Anonymous said...

what about all of us out here in the cold... something like a smart scarf or muffler. those of us that are not persnickity parents of babies, maybe we could take the quandry off the table.

--i am just saying...

ps: i like burberry colors.

Susan said...

April I am soooooo for your wonderful handmade gifts. I have an 8 month old daughter and my favorite sweater for her was hand knitted by our babysitters mother in law in Scotland and sent over just for Natalie. Though gifts sent from central Illinois are just as special : ) I do agree that you may want to be selective as to who you gift these things to. Only people who will appreciate them!
-Susan (Geoff's slightly creepy non cyber-stalker sister)
p.s. the ivory pink and brown dress below is amazing!!

Lucky Fresh said...

I agree that hand-made gifts are awesome, though no one's ever tried to give me one for my cat!

But itchy yarn would be a major no-no. That would be my only caveat. Itchy yarn sucks. But if it's nice and soft and even tries to match their taste -- go for it!

Probably the advice about blankets is good though. So if you can make something other than a blanket do, because some of us can't!

This Heavenly Life said...

I agree with Silent. Your handmade gift out of good quality materials would be a great gift, especially when paired with a little something from the registry.

Deborah said...

My good friend - who is a wonderful knitter - made hats for both of my babies. They were great gifts, event though I don't knit or crochet. I love the dress you made for E. It's beautiful!

Tonya said...

Oh, handmade all the way sister. And ESPECIALLY your stuff. Wow! I love that little blue creation in the post above. Darling!