Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Location: Canada

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Can't you say that in another way!

Something that I have been thinking about lately is how people comment to you when they see you wearing something that you knitted!

Not everyone was taught by their Mom's like I was - "If you cannot say something nice, just don't say anything!"

Have you ever had people say to you in a tone that makes you feel that they are annoyed that you can do it and they can't - "I suppose you made that too!" Is my skin a little thin? This hurts on one level, but on another I want to say, "Don't you wish that you could too?" Now I know this is a very small number of people who react this way, but why do they do it, and do they do it to you?

I just wish people would either not comment or say something as simple as I like the colour of your sweater, socks, scarf, etc. Now don't think I worry about this too much, I just wondered if any of you had come up with some idea of why some folk will say things like that to a knitter.

Now to be fair, when people comment favourably, I sometimes will say, "Oh it is just a ...... I caught myself saying it today when someone commented on my EZ simple little cardigan! I try to stop myself, but why do we sometimes as knitter's feel we cannot say a simple, "Thank you, it is a lovely little pattern by EZ or don't you love the colour, or won't it make some baby feel warm and loved, or, or, or."

I know this is not something to make us stay awake at night, but I just have been wondering about it. I was raised in a time when it was not considered polite to ever say that you could do something well -- after all, who would have any faith in someone who blew their own horn?!

As a knitter, I am going to try very hard to stop underselling my skill and just say thank you where appropriate and perhaps say nothing where that is appropriate!

Now to sew up the sleeve seams, underarm seams and put the buttons on the beautiful little mauve baby cardi!


Blogger Martina said...

When people say things to me like that I want to brag and tell them how great I really am. But I just smile and say "yes" while imagining them naked! The joke is on them!! bwahaha Seriously though, some people are so insecure they need to belittle excellence. That is sad for them.

5:08 PM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

I've been working hard at learning to graciously accept a compliment and certainly blogging is good practice for that! People are wonderfully supportive in the knit blog community.

As to the negative comment, it's hard to understand with out knowing the person or context, but I'm inclined to agree with Martina. I think that person is trying to foist their insecurity onto you. If you become insecure about your knitting, then the commenter won't have to feel insecure.

It is a very sad state of affairs, but try to let it go past you. One freind tells me to be a duck. They bob along over the roughest water and the toughest rain just rolls right off them!

Peg your knitting is awesome, your garments suit you wonderfully, and don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I think the negativity you received is a strange reflection of our society, which is not sure how to value crafting. I get these comments as well, always from other women, and usually ones who don't craft themselves. They seem to take my crafting personally, as if it is a comment on their non-crafting. There is such a competitiveness these days, esp among mothers, that is makes me sad. (I use crafting here, as I find it with sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, etc.)

I understand your comment on generation as well. My mother, who is of your generation, was raised to never "boast" or brag, and that extended to being pleased with your own work. I can tell it bothers her sometimes to see me wear my things, as it is, to her, a silent boast. Although she is always thrilled for me to make her socks - go figure.
you have opened up many interesting discussions, Peg. I do enjoy reading, thanks.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Peg:

I know where you are coming from. There are a lot of people that I don't wear my knits around for a reason. Some of them don't knit, and would likely be judgemental about my choice of hobby. Realistically, those are people that I don't really care for anyway. I would hazard to guess that the individual you mentioned could fall into that category as well.

Maybe I should get us a couple of buttons made that say "Yes, I made this... do you have a problem with that??" Ha!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Martina said...

Hi Peg! Thanks for popping over to my blog. I purchased a yarn store in Whitby, Ontario 2 months ago. There is a web site www.kniterary.com. As of yet I do not do on-line sales but possibly in the future. I am loving being in the store and meeting the knitting community! Knitters are very caring people.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

I can relate! I need to appreciate my own skills more, and stop selling them short to other people. :0) And I'm sorry someone said something unpleasant, it's amazing how quickly the wrong word or phrase can be hurtful.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I have to agree with Kate and her comment about the non-crafters. It's a strange form of superiority.

"Be who you are and say what you think, because the people who mind don't matter and the people who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

Let's modify it to "Knit what you want and wear what you knit, because the people who mind don't matter and the people who matter don't mind." Tee hee.

4:25 PM  
Blogger chickie said...

I think that people are sometimes jealous of what we can do with two sticks and a piece of string. We are artists!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Artis-Anne said...

I too have been brought up with the 'if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all'attitude. I too agree with Martina and think there is a touch of jealousy as well.
I also find it very hard to accept compliments re anything I have done . I have no idea why I too under rate my own efforts !!
As my teachers used to say many times to me 'must do better ' well at least in accepting compliments at least !!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Peg, you've opened up such an interesting subject here!
I, too, was brought up in the 'don't blow your own trumpet' school', but also - I hope - to be appreciative of others' work, their skill and artistry.
I agree that if a person can't find anything nice to say then they shouldn't comment (unless they are asked, quite specifically, to give a genuine critical appraisal) but if a compliment can be paid then it should be.
The blogging phenomenon means we all show our work to unknown hundreds of people, of whom some will be supportive, interested and encouraging, and others will be ... less so, and I suppose the same goes - to a lesser degree -for 'real life'.
But how petty to try to detract from a craftsman-made piece, and the pleasure it gives to whoever will wear it.
I've got a lot of inspiration from your knitting and yourself, Peg, so I'll say, publicly, thankyou and well done!

12:24 PM  
Blogger kate said...

My favorite, and I think appropriate answers are: Thank you - I enjoyed making it, or I enjoyed the challenge of making i!!

It is hard to accept a compliment, especially a back-handed one. But I'm learning to take them all as graciously as possible.

And with some luck and a bit of evil under-handedness,even the green with envy can be converted to become knitters!!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Peg, when someone is negative about your knitting......tell them "I find knitting makes me a nice person. Perhaps YOU should try it"

1:39 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Hi Peg!

I have a response which comes out in various ways, but with a similar gist. "Thanks. Yes I did. Would you like to come over and [sit down right now and, give me a call and, etc] I'll teach you how to knit." I didn't have to import this from Peru or Nepal, nor did I buy it at Walmart. It's a one of a kind creation that you could make for yourself too."

That either shuts them up or makes them change their tune and take some interest. Depending on who it is, I throw snarkiness in :)

Stitch Stud
aka Charles

6:44 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

don't let those people get the better of you, they are just trying to bring you down because they know how talented and great you are! Just put on a great big smile and say yes I did thanks!
My mum says she's tough as ole boots and won't let something like that wear on her.

7:06 AM  

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