Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Question From Reader: Giving Crocheted Gifts

Dear Dee,
I read an article today about Gaudy Gift Giving and was wondering what criteria you use when you give crocheted gifts. I'm a new crocheter and an avid reader of your blog so any advice you can give me would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Linda

Dear Linda,
Thank you for writing me and inquiring. I too recently read an article on Gaudy Gift Giving (perhaps the same one?) and got a few chuckles from it.  But before I answer what my criteria is, I do want to go on record stating that Gaudy Gifts are not just crocheted! Visit your local department store and you'll find many manufactured ones!  Does anyone remember the mounted singing fish?  Yeah, that one is on the top of the list in my Gaudy Gifts book! 

Getting back to your question, I take several factors into consideration before I even start a project deemed for gift giving.  I start by answering the Who, What, Where, When, Why and Hows ... and then the Woulds:

* Who is the receiver? Are they the serious type or have a free spirit?
         Are they babies or senior citizens? (Babies tend to put everything in their mouths; will they eat that furry trim you have planned?  Some seniors need to have their linens washed frequently due to medical conditions; will the medical staff be able to launder the item easily?)
* What is their favorite color? 
   What is their style like?  Are they modern? Conservative?
   What is their lifestyle like? Is it busy? Do they have the time for "hand wash only?"
   What are the chances they'll use the item near open flames?  (some fibers catch on fire or melt quickly!) 
   What occasion will the gift be presented? Birth/Birthday? Wedding/Anniversary? New Home/Moving away? Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza?
   What are the chances I'll be reading about this gift in a "Gaudy Gift" news article?
* When will it be used?  Year round or seasonal?
* Where will it be used?  At home? In the car? At work? At play?
   Where will it be stored?  Prominently on display, in the back of closet?
* When would it be used?  Summer?  Winter?  Everyday?  Special Occasions? Only during my visits?
How will the item be used? Will it be decorative? If so, will it fit in with their decor? If it's to be used, will it match their climate? Those in warmer climates do not need heavy afghans or sweaters! 
    How close will they have the item to their skin?  Do they have allergies that need to be taken into consideration?
    How often will the item be used?  Once for a special occasion?  Every month? Week? Day?
    How much money do I have budgeted for the fiber and the pattern?
    How much time can I afford to put into the project?  (If the item is for a child, how quickly are they growing?  Will the item fit them now or when they're much older?)
    How long will the item remain *in fashion?*

And then the woulds:
would they lend it back to me to enter into competition?  (Would I be proud enough of the item to even consider entering it??  If not, chalk it up to "Gaudy")
* and most importantly WOULD THEY APPRECIATE IT?

If you can answer at least 90% of these questions in a positive fashion, then go for it.  And when you do present it, let them know that if they don't like it that you ask it be donated to their favorite charity.  That toilet tissue cover, if done right, may be able to double as a decorative top hat. ;)

Thanks for writing in Linda!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I personally crochet something I would like for myself. If I don't like it, I don't send it! I hate it when you get something crocheted from someone and you have NO idea what the heck it is!