July 6th, 2011

Public Service Announcement

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I’d like to take a moment to address a very real problem in our knitting community. One I’m pretty sure we’ve all been victim to at one time or another and as we near the holiday season we should take special care. Tell me you haven’t guessed!

Selfless Knitting Syndrome, or SKS (not to be confused with SSK). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It is after all what defines us in so many cases. I’m not even suggesting you change your ways. Being a giver of handmade things– in moderation– is a great thing! But the cycle has to end!

I had not even realized the severity of this epidemic until I recently discovered that a coworker (and long time knitter) had never once knit a thing for herself! I was flabbergasted! I was forced in this moment to turn the mirror on myself. I know that I have difficulties making time to knit for myself. All of my so-called selfish projects are lying half done in various baskets. Because, frankly, I am the only one I’m willing to put on hold.

The question remains: Why do we do this to ourselves time and again?

Is it that it’s easier to plan gifts for others than for oneself? Is it that occasions are made more special by a handmade item, and there is no shortage of special occasions? Or, simply, that we feel that constant pang to use our gifts for the common good?

I’m often blown away by the feats of fellow knitters: like the customer working on fifty sweaters in a year to give away, those organizing baby gifts and get well gifts and yearly family blessings… I am floored by our collective generosity! But isn’t it time we knit something special for ourselves? Why do I see knitters with ratty hats, holes in their gloves, and store bought sweaters, while their loved ones are covered with hand made love?

Ladies and gentlemen, we must learn to love ourselves in a hand knit way! Just say no to the endless SKS!

I think this is an occasion to buy that special skein you’ve been eyeing. It could be a knitter’s holiday of sorts, an independence day for independent knitters everywhere. You know you’re worth it! (Pictured below is an assortment of Jade Sapphire and Artyarns cashmere yarns).

And while you’re at it take a look at 101 Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders, a classic and clever source to get the most from that one special skein indulgence!

The SKS Challenge: Liz I challenge that you are the ultimate selfless knitter. Please set down the baby sweater on your needles, (yes we know you love your niece). Add yourself to your deadlines. Knit that Lima sweater you’ve wanted to! Just do it!

Happy selfish knitting!


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14 Responses to “Public Service Announcement”

  1. Billi Cummings Says:

    OMG!  Words couldn’t ring truer!

  2. Kepanie Says:

    OMGosh!  So true!  I’ve been knitting since 2008.  I’ve only knitted myself 3 beanies and that was this year!  There’s a Come-Blog-a-Long group on Ravelry and it issued a year long challenge of projects where you can knit through a book or a bunch of patterns.  I chose a group of patterns and made sure I targeted myself and my Princesses.

  3. Anita Smith Says:

    I agree – and as soon as i’m done knitting all these scarves for next christmas, i’m knitting myself something!    

  4. Amanda Says:

    Haha, Once I’m finished knitting all the Christmas presents for this year, I’ll consider making something for myself 🙂 :P.

  5. Beth Dunton Says:

    So true!  EVERY member of my family had handmade socks long before I did!

  6. Vanilla Says:

    This is sooooo true! And I thought I was the only one! Really!
    I don’t even remember when was the last time I knit something for me.
    OK. I’m correcting this right now.
    This evening I’m going to start on a cardigan for me!

  7. Daisycat68 Says:

    HAHAHA!!!  The hard thing is flipping through books or mags and being hit by “That would be GREAT for so-and-so!”.  So there goes another project, added to the list.  I love giving hand made gifts, but I must admit that I start to feel like I’m in a sweat shop!  Maybe it is time to make something for me!!!  🙂

  8. Msbeames Says:

    I thought it was only me!  Seiously..why do we deprive ourselves of such lovely gifts? 

  9. Lisa in Los Angeles Says:

    I love you guys!!!!

  10. bikerchick56 Says:

    I FINALLY bought yarn instead of all the other ‘junk’ I could have bought on vacation and am knitting myself the vest I always wanted to knit – and am so glad.

  11. yahoo-TM723WOOMP3BMO6GFQBMROWG5I Says:

    you “caught me” ~ being an avid (Obsesive) charity knitter I have FINALLY knitted a few things for myself ~ although my own things do’t get finished as quickly as the “charity” knitting ~ I’ll try to do better as I presently have the Tahki Sagaponack Tee on my needles using Coast yarn ~

  12. Onthehook Says:

    This is related to a more pervasive syndrome known in my family as AFO — ‘always for others.’ It is typically hereditary and no one is seeking a cure! I too recommend splurging on luxury yarn to provide temporary relief!

  13. Virginia Given Says:

    Yes!!!  I do charity work, making baby hats and blankets.  I also started knitting a pair of mittens between every project for charity this year.  Finally, I started a sweater.  FOR ME.  At first I felt guilty….why????  Now I’ve put more stuff in my ravelry queue just for me.  thanks for the reminder.  🙂

  14. Craft Book Review: What Would Madame Defarge Knit? | Penguin Girl Says:

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