In my last post, I asked you, my Fidgety Readers, what you did with lacy gifts for non-knitters. Specifically, how to care for them. There were a lot of good suggestions (thank you for your comments) and I love seeing how other fabulous knitters share their gifts.
I don’t give away a lot of lacy projects (well, I don’t actually MAKE a lot of lacy projects either). When I do, I give them to the knit-worthy. Knitters know what I mean. Knit-worthy are people who understand the love and effort—and yes, the money—that goes into a hand-knit item. These are the people who truly appreciate what their knitter has made and truly, truly love the items they are gifted. I have several of these people in my life and once they show me how much they love what I made, they will continue to get gifts from me (my youngest nephew loves the knit hats I make for him so much that when he makes a passing comment about how much he would love an eggplant hat for himself, I will figure out how to modify that baby hat pattern to a larger size).
When I give it to someone, I want them to love it and wear it.
Let me pause for a sidebar here. Years ago, I was looking through my parents’ collection of albums. It was there that I saw that my dad had two copies of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (one of my favorites!). One was unopened and I asked my dad what he would do if the open album ever got ruined (this was a pre-digital world). “I’d open the second one,” he told me. I was, of course, shocked. By opening it, you clearly destroy the value. It was then my dad told me something that has stuck with me since: What’s the value in something if you can’t enjoy it?
That’s how I approach my knitting. I create (hopefully) beautiful objects out of beautiful yarn. While I don’t want the recipient to use a lacy silk shawl to wipe up kitchen messes, I hope they will wear what I make and not just keep it folded in a cedar-lined drawer. And that means they might have to care for it.
So a long time ago I created care labels. As a graphic designer, these labels have changed and evolved over the years, but I have finally settled on one that I really like. I print these out on heavier paper, tie them to the knitted object and present them during gift giving opportunities.
As I finish up yet another gift project, I updated these labels today, adding “see back for special instructions” as I now give away more complicated gifts in fancier yarn. I thought it would be nice to share these labels with you guys if you were interested. Click here to get the Fidgety Knitter Care Labels PDF. These are set eight to a sheet of paper and should print on any printer. For the uninitiated to printing marks, the dotted lines are for trimming. You are welcome to use these as much as you like but I do ask that you only use then for personal use and don’t redistribute them.
Let me know if you find these useful.