One comment on my last post made me want to clarify what I'd written. I think I inadvertantly may have given other bloggers the idea that I'd be "critiqueing" the scarf made for me. Heavens no!
What I meant to infer is that when I received my scarf, I'll be APPRECIATING every stitch, knowing how much effort and time it takes to create something handmade.
I made a lace shawl for a family member, and spent so much time on it. The recipient was not a knitter, never did any handcrafts, so she really had no idea of how much time it took, or how much energy and thought went into selecting the yarn, finding the right pattern, and creating the work of art. She said "thank you" of course, when she received it, but it was never mentioned again. She had no clue that I'd spent weeks and weeks working on it.
I don't ever want this to happen with something I receive as a gift! I want to let the person making me a scarf know just how appreciative I am of all the thought, effort and time put into the creation of the gift.
This is why I'm excited about participating in the exchange. I know that when I make something, the recipient will know what I put into it thoughtwise, timewise, and it will be appreciated more because the recipient is also a knitter.
I wouldn't dream of receiving something someone had made especially for me without appreciating what the person put into that creation.
That means, as I finger each stitch, I think about what that person was doing when they created it. I think about all the other things that person could have been doing when they chose, instead, to take the time to make that stitch just for me.
So each stitch is a gift of a moment in that person's life, a gift of time and energy, a very precious commodity in today's world!
Critique a gift? Never! Appreciate it? Absolutely! I don't look for flaws, I just appreciate the creation of each stitch, and how it became part of a whole. I appreciate effort, and mistakes are part of effort. I don't want something "perfect," but something that came from human effort, and contains both perfection and mistakes.
I know, no matter how hard I try, I will never create something totally "perfect." There will be flaws, but hopefully those that detract from the visual and textural beauty of the creation will be minor, compared to those that enhance the beauty of the piece.
In rugmaking of the quality that takes 10 years to create a single rug, the artisans will purposely put a "mistake" in each rug, so that it's not perfect. I don't think I'll ever have to worry about purposely adding a mistake---it's going to happen whether I plan it or not. And if I don't discover the mistake until I've nearly completed the piece, then it's not going to get frogged! It's just one imperfection that shows a human being, not a machine, made the scarf!