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It's that time of year when everyone is getting ready for the holidays;  picking out perfect projects to knit for lucky friends and family.  Is there really anything better than a hand knit gift?  Probably not, I say.   That's why, especially for beginner knitters, I have a philosophy about knitting up all those scarves and hats:  Keep the good stuff for yourself.

That's right, let me say it again:  Keep the good stuff for yourself.  

That first scarf you ever knit that is 4 inches wide at the cast on end and 8 inches wide at the bind off?  You're Auntie May will love you more for that then a "perfect" scarf three seasons from now. (I'm speaking from experience here)

That hat where the brim is a little too tall?  Your brother will still wear it to play in the yard with his kids, and will never notice that hole where you accidentally dropped a stitch.  

Too often we think, "I don't want to give away this (insert knitted item here).  I'll keep this one and give the next one that is really good to that person that I love."  There are a few problems here:

1.  There are no "knitting Nazis" who will come and point out your imperfections to the people who receive your knitted gifts.   They are knitted with LOVE, and that, in fact, is a big part of the gift that should not be underestimated.  

2.  If you keep for yourself the things that aren't perfect, you'll never wear them, as you might be so focused on tiny mistakes that you won't wear your creation with pride.  That means that no one will get to show 'em off.  Where is the joy of knitting in that?  Trust me, most friends or relatives will proudly wear what you have made, because YOU have made it - if not, you need to be knitting for friends who would.

3.  If you keep the good stuff for yourself, you can wear it happily,  and get the joy of hearing all the compliments on it, rather than apologizing for it's imperfections.   Close your eyes and imagine the lift your day gets  when a stranger or coworker says, "I love your scarf - that's so cute", and you can say, "Thanks.  I made it myself." 

Now, isn't that the whole point?  As I said, keep the good stuff for yourself. 

Written by (Shabby Sheep) — March 20, 2013