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2manythreads

Made all my Xmas gifts, am not happy :(

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Anyone else look at some of their projects they had worked SO hard on, and spent so much time and effort to make, then when they are done you look at it and say "Gee, this looks like something you'd find in a garage sale"? I am so embarrassed at the things I gave for Xmas this year. They were all made by me, took so long- some had to be "re-done" after making them and not being happy with the pattern, plus I had to alter some patterns after finding I didn't have the right yarn or enough of it, anyway, I am almost embarrassed to ask family if anyone liked any of their gifts. Them being painfully polite, they will of course answer oh we LOVE them THANK you-

 

but, in all honesty in my opinion if I saw the same things for sale in a store I would not buy them.

 

Sighs.

 

Anyone else feel the same? To me, the items looked super when I finished. Probably because I worked so hard on them so they had a bit of a false value. When I had gotten ready to package and ship them, in the boxes they looked kind of depressing and "poor" if I can use that as a description.

 

Just getting this off my chest.. feeling rather blue.

 

Sign me: Regretful Crafter

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I think sometimes we are our own harshest critics! I always worry if the things I make will be liked, is it the right color or yarn. I'm sure they appreciated the time and love you put into making the gifts.

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I agree with Greyhoundgrandma we are sometimes are harshest critics.

 

I will say, I tend to make stuff early, set it aside for a bit and then determine if I want to gift it to family/friends.  Sometimes I realize honestly I had a bad day and it isn't worthy of gifting and I have to decide what to do with it.

 

However, most of the time I find it is fine and people are cool with it.  You can tell if they are using the stuff, wearing it, cleaning with it (I make scrubbies and dishclothes), playing with the toys, etc.

 

Also, realize some people aren't fans of crochet/knitted items.  There are some things I love, but I can't wear certain things for long.  I have mostly fleece gloves and scarves because yarn irrates my skin against my hands and face when I wear it for long periods of time.  No insult to the maker, hey I've been the maker, but I only have a couple I wear.  However, I wear out stuff people make for my house because I use them constantly.  You have to know who you are gifting to and what they will and won't accept.

 

I will say I had been so focused on doll's this year that I made an ami for a friend and it wasn't the best ami I'd ever made.  I was a bit concerned as he's not the hand made kind of person.  I almost wanted to go out and buy a figurine instead.  However, he laughed and laughed and was thrilled with the ami.  You just don't know how others will react to what you do sometimes.  If it had been awkward I would have accepted and moved on as I knew going he wasn't someone who loved hand made stuff.  It worked out, but I wasn't going to let myself be crushed over it either.

 

I generally don't buy much knitted or crocheted stuff when I see it at a craft show.  This year I bought a pair of Minion knitted mittens because my nephew is nuts over minions and I'd made him a scarf that would be a great match.  My Mom usually makes the kids all their mittens so I have no need to make or buy.  However, who could resist when they matched so nicely?  I try not to judge what is sold figuring if it didn't sell they wouldn't offer it?  That is how markets work.  I don't think that is the best way to judge your work.

 

However, I will say this, if you feel you honestly aren't producing quality work than perhaps think about what is the challenge?  Is it the project, the quality of the work itself, the yarn used, etc.  A while back my Mom loved making sweaters for all of us.  Mine never fit and the ones that were close itched constantly.  I hated those sweaters with a passion. 

 

I finally got her making afghans.  I love my afghans.  Her grandkids love their afghans.  They are warm, they fit, and they don't have weird sizing issues.  We got her into making fleece blankets, pillows with sports themes.  Those have been a huge hit.  She makes these amazing puppet mittens and her great grandkids love those.  As the older ones have outgrown them we've given her hints about what themes, colors, etc. to make for their hats, mittens, and scarves each year.  She's expanded to donating to friends and charities as well. 

 

My point very simply is sometimes you need to find your niche if you are feeling you aren't hitting the mark.  My Mom's niche wasn't large items of clothing.  She still makes some stuff for the smaller kids, but she does do well with accessories and blankets, and doll's clothes.  She hears more thank you's now than she did before because people really like what she makes, it isn't that forced "oh how nice of you to think of me what am I going to do with this."  It's is genuine because kids have winter wear, etc.

Edited by Bailey4
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 I beat myself up all the time...its that artistic temperament ... Are you a creative perfectionist?  I pretty much am... it stinks!!

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 I am almost embarrassed to ask family if anyone liked any of their gifts. Them being painfully polite, they will of course answer oh we LOVE them THANK you-

 

 

 

 

Don't ask!!  seriously, don't put people on the spot like that.  As far as I know, the rules of etiquette are that the recipient is supposed to simply thank the giver---no matter how they feel about the gift---and the giver should say "you're welcome", not pester the recipient about their opinion/whether they use it/demand to see the recipient using the gift.  

 

If you are mailing things and the recipient doesn't bother to let you know they got it, then I would inquire if they received the package, but that's all.  And really if somebody can't be bothered to acknowledge receipt, they would not be on my gift list next year.  

 

As far as not being happy with things I make, sure I have that experience, I would guess we all do at times.  If I am really unhappy with something I would rip it out, then try to recreate the original idea only better this time, or drop it completely and move on to something different.  

One thing I've found is that sometimes I am critical of my projects and mentally comparing them to magazine photos or beautifully-photographed project photos here and on Ravelry.  But if I take a photo in the best light and background I can manage, those projects often look much better than I would have thought, better than the item looks in real life to me.  Sometimes I think I am just too "close" to the project and can't see the forest for the trees.  Taking a photo helps me be more objective about it.  

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Oh oh MagicCrochetFan, I wouldn't dream of putting them on the spot! No way- never- lol- I meant to say, or should have stated, that I certainly would ask them if they'd received it, that's about it, there are ways of asking if they liked it without having them lose face. My family is the sort that follows etiquette at cost, and believe me, I am not one to break tradition lol!

 

But yes, in answer to the other comment, indeed I am a perfectionist to a fault, I am almost never pleased with my results.

 

To Bailey: "However, I will say this, if you feel you honestly aren't producing quality work than perhaps think about what is the challenge?  Is it the project, the quality of the work itself, the yarn used, etc.  A while back my Mom loved making sweaters for all of us.  Mine never fit and the ones that were close itched constantly.  I hated those sweaters with a passion" <<<Yes, indeed I should choose my yarns more carefully, and etc, I will admit I was using yarns I got second hand, some only "singletons" and had to make do with what I had, so to speak- so I was not working with exactly what I would have liked and was limited in what I COULD make based on the limited product I had to begin with.   What I'm doing differently now is: buying GOOD yarns and enough OF them in order to produce some better items next time! And, I am starting early this year! I've already started on next Christmas' gifts, in order to have plenty of time to pick out nicer things.

 

I started with limited skeins of yarns, wrong colors, started too late & erroneously thought I had had enough time- so ended up giving half a--ed things that weren't done to satisfaction. So, to sum it up- I failed! lol truly failed. Hated the hats, hated the scarf, hated everything except one pair of fingerless gloves that were gorgeous, but took one morning to whip up. I screwed up and feel bad. Ugh... the more I remember the items the worse I feel. I took no photos of my finished projects, I was afraid they would be used against me in a court of law lol. Cheers thanks for everyone's advice, great advice!

Edited by 2manythreads

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I am definitely my own worst critic.  There have been things that I made that wound up in the trash.  For example, I stink at making hats!  LOL  There have been things that I thought turned out just fine, but when others saw it, the response was "that's nice."  I have found that showing my items at my yarn groups and showing the photos on here has helped my criticism of my work.  If I get a genuine reaction either place, then I know it is good.  If the reaction is good, then it's OK.  If the reaction is lukewarm, like just a couple of short responses, then it's either not good or the photo stinks.  (I'm a horrible photographer!  LOL)

 

The point is that with everything I've made, I've learned something.  I try to apply what I've learned the next time.  I made a ton of things last year, because I crocheted at least 350 days.  The stuff from January is nowhere near the quality of the stuff from December.  My hope is that by the end of this year, my stuff from 2015 won't look nearly as good as the stuff from 2016.  And next year, even better.  I don't know how long you've been crocheting, but the more you do, the better you get.  Even the best artists and musicians had to spend years practicing and they still goof up now and then.   Don't beat yourself up about it.  Move on to the next beautiful creation!!  :)

Edited by redrosesdz

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The other thing is matching the yarn with the project.  I made some fun kids scarves for Christmas this year.  The yarn wasn't the most expensive in the world, but the kids love their scarves.  I managed to find the colors that matched the themes and they wash wonderfully, which makes Mom happy.  Not everything has to be expensive yarn, but you do have to match the yarn with the project you are making. 

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This is one reason why I will not make anything that someone ask me to make, I will not sell anything I make and I, except for special friends do not make anything for anyone.  From family I get "GOT PACKAGE" on the e-mail and sometimes I get "WHAT IS THAT".  Just got that one on a bowl I made.

 

Like others have said, we are our worst critics.  I am in the middle of a graph gahn, that I started right after Thanksgiving.  I have till Feb 2nd to finish it.  I will BURN or SHRED the graph when I am done.  I have never had so much trouble and I worry about it not looking right.  I WILL finish it and send it one it's way.  I know when it is received I will get an e-mail with "GOT PACKAGE" that is all.

 

Don't beat yourself up.  We are all in or have been in the same boat.

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This is one reason why I will not make anything that someone ask me to make, I will not sell anything I make and I, except for special friends do not make anything for anyone.  From family I get "GOT PACKAGE" on the e-mail and sometimes I get "WHAT IS THAT".  Just got that one on a bowl I made.

 

Like others have said, we are our worst critics.  I am in the middle of a graph gahn, that I started right after Thanksgiving.  I have till Feb 2nd to finish it.  I will BURN or SHRED the graph when I am done.  I have never had so much trouble and I worry about it not looking right.  I WILL finish it and send it one it's way.  I know when it is received I will get an e-mail with "GOT PACKAGE" that is all.

 

Don't beat yourself up.  We are all in or have been in the same boat.

'

 

Haha I LOVE it!~!!  "GOT PACKAGE"    classic! lol- I absolutely love it. Thanks for posting- I was so down in the dumps today, for a few days actually- and after I posted that depressing post and read all of these responses I have really cheered up.

Tampa Doll I especially got a nice laugh out of yours, just love it. Thanks for sharing, it's very nice. 

Edited by 2manythreads
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 sometimes I get "WHAT IS THAT".  Just got that one on a bowl I made.

 

DH had an old friend getting married--older gentleman marrying for the first time--and we couldn't come up with any gift ideas. Finally I said that I had an afghan I had made that wasn't for anyone in particular (Mary Maxim Marcelle afghan--it's round and large made with worsted weight yarn). It never occurred to me to say it was an afghan on the card. We got a nice note thanking us for the tablecloth.

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This is one reason why I will not make anything that someone ask me to make, I will not sell anything I make and I, except for special friends do not make anything for anyone.  From family I get "GOT PACKAGE" on the e-mail and sometimes I get "WHAT IS THAT".  Just got that one on a bowl I made.

 

Like others have said, we are our worst critics.  I am in the middle of a graph gahn, that I started right after Thanksgiving.  I have till Feb 2nd to finish it.  I will BURN or SHRED the graph when I am done.  I have never had so much trouble and I worry about it not looking right.  I WILL finish it and send it one it's way.  I know when it is received I will get an e-mail with "GOT PACKAGE" that is all.

 

Don't beat yourself up.  We are all in or have been in the same boat.

 

I don't do anything for anyone who doesn't know what to expect and I don't do lots of requests.  If I've made the kids ami's before and they want something similar to something I've made before I'll do it because they know it isn't going to look like a plushie in the store.  However, when people hint their grandkids love .... I don't take the hint because their grandkids likely love the plushies.  There is no guarentee they'd like a hand made ami and its lots of work to make one for someone who won't like it.

 

My SIL saw a pocket scarf I'd made for my niece and we were talking about how cold her hands get, I had her try a scarf I'd made for a different niece on and she clearly understood what she was getting and I made her and her daughter one for Christmas.  We don't normally exchange adult presents (we cover all the kids, so her daughter, another niece had plenty of other presents) but this seemed like something nice to do for her.  They both seemed to like the scarves.

 

I only do stuff when people have some expectations for the kinds of stuff I make so there are no misunderstandings.  I don't make stuff when people look in a magazine, etc. and say can you do that.  No, I can't sorry.  I have looked up patterns to see if I can find stuff when the kids are interested in specific characters, themes, etc. to see if I can find something that I can make.  However, it has to be something I can do because otherwise we are all going to be disappointed.  I'm going to be frustrated if it's not in my ability or interest to make and they are going to be disappointed if it isn't what they want.

 

Sadly, bad manners isn't solely restricted to hand made items.  I honestly am fine with people verbally saying they like something, emailing, etc.  I know I for one am terrible about thank you notes.  However, I also try to make sure people know I appreciated the time, effort, and thought that went into a gift even if it doesn't come with a note and a stamp.  That's all I expect in return.  There were times just knowing a gift had been received was a welcome relief.  I'd have to call or email to confirm items were received. 

Edited by Bailey4

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I second what everyone has said.

 

If you feel your skill needs improving, well now you have a whole new year to work on items and you can take lots of time to focus.:)

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DH had an old friend getting married--older gentleman marrying for the first time--and we couldn't come up with any gift ideas. Finally I said that I had an afghan I had made that wasn't for anyone in particular (Mary Maxim Marcelle afghan--it's round and large made with worsted weight yarn). It never occurred to me to say it was an afghan on the card. We got a nice note thanking us for the tablecloth.

 

That's better than it not getting used.  I made a dozen shawls/wraps/stoles last year so that I could learn a variety of new techniques.  One of the shawls has a button at the top.  It's now covering one of my great niece's round bedside table.  I'm happy that it's not stuck in a closet never to be seen again!

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I am going to say it, I'm the first to admit I don't mind when people tell me what the gift is and what it used for when they give it to me.  I've received a few handmade items that when explained are perfectly obvious and I have a DUH moment.  However, I had no clue when I looked at it what the item's purpose was and how to explain what I'd received.  It was no insult to the maker, once I knew what it was supposed to do it was a wonderful gift.  I'd just not had experience with one before.

 

Therefore I tend not to assume with gifts.  When the kids were opening up their themed scarves I made sure I mentioned the characters so they could "see" the character/theme that the gift represented.  Other than the Who scarf it worked.  For the most part I didn't need to hint, but I find it removes my disappointment if they don't get the more subtle references.  Thankfully the Pokeball scarf, Minecraft, and Minion seemed to come off without my hints, but I was ready.

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Looks like it's a lesson learned.  I think it's happened to most of us at some point. 

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Oh boy- tell me about it #1CrochetFan, I have a whole year to start anew on the gifts for next year.

I am going to buy enough yarn in the right colors and right kind for the pattern- instead of relying on my stash and what's at the thrift stores, I am going to FOLLOW the pattern this time instead of removing rows in the cowl or using a larger hook for the beret (because I didn't have enough of xxx yarn)

 

LOL all of you guys responses- I love them all! The story of the afghan - Thanks for the TABLECLOTH lolol fantastic haha!

 

The stole as a table topper- even with the button! that gets me.

 


 

I am going to plan plan plan this time. I wasted at least a month by trying to complete a pattern that is for "experienced" crocheters and knitters,

I barely learned how to crochet a year or so ago. I  learned how to "cast on" a knitting needle last month, too, but think I can "make my own gifts" and that hot pads and dishcloths are "below me".

  I ended up unraveling (raveling..?) the whole thing I wrongly thought I could complete just as a beginner, and rushing at the last minute with one-day projects like hats n cowls etc, even those did not turn out right as I said.  Sighs.

 

The only item that turned out beautifully were the fingerless mitts, those I could do with my eyes closed. Maybe I should have just made everyone a pair of those! Then they said they'd like boot toppers next time. Simplest is best after all. I'm gonna go ahead and make a bunch of pairs of those and send them as "Consolation Prizes" lol.

 

No one complained, (of course not lol) but you know, you can tell if the things are really liked or not.

 

I am hoping I get a "PACKAGE RECEIVED" email- lol I would really get a kick out of that.

Edited by 2manythreads

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This JUST happened to me yesterday!  Someone asked me to make an Owl baby sack and hat for their new grandson.  I severly undercharged them for it just because I knew they didn't have a lot of money to spend and I really didn't mind making it.  I bought the pattern, all the yarn (because they didn't want "traditional" baby colors) and spent probably 4 weeks making the thing.  She finally posted a picture on FB of the baby in it and her comment was "Isn't this cute for Deb's first try".  First try?????  Not sure what that meant or how to take it so I just let it go.  Mind you, I've been crocheting for over 30 years!  But I'm glad she liked my first try!  :lol

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This JUST happened to me yesterday!  Someone asked me to make an Owl baby sack and hat for their new grandson.  I severly undercharged them for it just because I knew they didn't have a lot of money to spend and I really didn't mind making it.  I bought the pattern, all the yarn (because they didn't want "traditional" baby colors) and spent probably 4 weeks making the thing.  She finally posted a picture on FB of the baby in it and her comment was "Isn't this cute for Deb's first try".  First try?????  Not sure what that meant or how to take it so I just let it go.  Mind you, I've been crocheting for over 30 years!  But I'm glad she liked my first try!  :lol

Ouch.  Glad you let it go. 

 

This is again why I don't work from people's pics of what they think something will look like when done.  It didn't end well the few times I tried before I learned to stop doing it.  While they don't have the skills to make it themselves, they also unrealistic expectations of what something is going to be when finished.

 

Part of the issue again comes back to people not having any clue what time, talent, or treasure it takes to make hand made items.  In your example you undercharged to be nice, but this woman clearly had no appreciation for the deal she got.  She probably thinks she was being nice helping you "earn" some money by asking you to make something.  I don't make stuff for money, but I know people who charge for the materials so they can afford to keep knitting stuff and it blows my mind to hear people tell me how they are "helping" this person out by having them make stuff for them.  Well you are allowing them to knit, but you aren't helping them with their bills, just so you know.  Truly, they don't know.

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"First try" sounds like she's planning to ask for something else, to give you a second chance!  :thair

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"Isn't this cute for Deb's first try".  "  I do not like the sound of that at all. Sounds a bit, something I don't know what! - good for you to let it go. lol I liked what Magiccrochetfan said- maybe they're planning on giving you a second chance? ha ha. SOME people, you know?? Can't win.

 

PS- my package I sent that I told you all about, that I hated- well, turns out USPS says the box was delivered on Jan 8th, and I haven't heard a peep from the recipients (not like them at all) thinking A) they are out of town or B) a package thief swiped it!! I am secretly hoping for "B", even though the fingerless mitts, I added antique WWII French military buttons, which weren't easy to find. The yarn was all Goodwill stuff so it wasn't a HUGE loss.

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A crochet friend and I sell at a craft show once a year. Some of the items that my friend didn't like and almost trashed were sellers while things that we both loved didn't sell.

 

Your recipients know that you put your heart into your gifts. They know that you care enough to put your time into making something for them.

Edited by webpen

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oh thank you, Webpen- oh I wouldn't dream of asking whether they liked them or not! No way lol. That's putting someone on the spot for sure. I had a 3rd party who's going to see them tomorrow, have a cockamamie story in order to find out whether the box was received. In fact, she has a pair of my fingerless gloves, same pattern I used in one of the gifts, she may have them look at them and say I think she made the same pair for you, niece... you should have them, by now" if she gets a negative answer that means the package has been nicked. Which means, I get another chance! (just like "Deb" got, lolol)  so, I can't even ask them if it was received myself, that would force them to speak to me directly. I have a feeling the box was taken because they are the sort of people that just would immediately call to thanks and gush and gush over the "wonderful gifts" and so on. They are SO kind, and sincere about it too. I'd not dare place them in a position that would well, you know.

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This JUST happened to me yesterday!  Someone asked me to make an Owl baby sack and hat for their new grandson.  I severly undercharged them for it just because I knew they didn't have a lot of money to spend and I really didn't mind making it.  I bought the pattern, all the yarn (because they didn't want "traditional" baby colors) and spent probably 4 weeks making the thing.  She finally posted a picture on FB of the baby in it and her comment was "Isn't this cute for Deb's first try".  First try?????  Not sure what that meant or how to take it so I just let it go.  Mind you, I've been crocheting for over 30 years!  But I'm glad she liked my first try!  :lol

should've gone "Nanageddon" on her!!

post-76089-0-34784400-1452649274_thumb.jpg

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"First try" sounds like she's planning to ask for something else, to give you a second chance!   :thair

Ummmm...would have to say thank you but NO THANK YOU! 

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