wood_elf: (Default)
[personal profile] wood_elf posting in [community profile] knitting
Hi all. Knitting etiquette question.

I recently made myself a shawl (see here). It's green and spiky and I love it quite a lot.

Was wearing it today and a person (nice person, want to remain on good terms with this person) also liked it a lot and asked me to knit her one. She was serious about this and offered to buy yarn for it there and then.

I want to say 'no' because I don't want to spend another month knitting the exact same pattern in the same yarn. I don't get as much knitting time as I would like (I mainly knit while commuting), and would rather use the time I have selfishly on projects of my choosing.

This person is very generous and has given me yarngifts in the past (she knits herself, so must understand the time and work involved). I don't want to say 'no' but I really don't want to knit a shawl for her. Any ideas how to proceed while maintaining a good relationship?

There may be an obvious gracious solution I'm overlooking but can be a bit socially clueless at times.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 05:56 pm (UTC)
twistedchick: (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
"I'm very sorry, but I don't have time/energy to devote to this right now because of XXX..."

"I'm very sorry, but I have some projects of my own that have to take priority right now..."

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 06:28 pm (UTC)
uninvitedcat: Screen capture from the BubleBees game (Default)
From: [personal profile] uninvitedcat
Would it be worth softening the above suggestion by offering the pattern (or a link to the pattern source if it's paid-for) so this nice person can knit it for themself?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 06:52 pm (UTC)
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
From: [personal profile] peaceful_sands
Another suggestion would be (and this depends on the determination of the person asking on whether it will work or not) to say that you have a number of other projects that you need to finish before you could possibly consider taking on something like that (and by giving a date off-puttingly far into the future before you can embark on the project, most people are deterred and will either forget about it or see if they can borrow a pattern from you, if they're knitters themselves). I've used it accidentally myself (in the sense of I didn't mind the projects I was being asked to do, but quite genuinely had other gift things that needed to be finished first! The people asking had lost interest or never came back to me about the project they'd been interested in at the time).

Or you could try saying that you don't like doing the same project in the same yarn back to back as it takes away the enjoyment? Is it that you don't want to make a shawl at all, that particular shawl or that yarn? Would you be interested if you could use a different pattern or a different yarn? If that were the case you could say that to the person.
Edited Date: 2014-03-16 06:55 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 07:38 pm (UTC)
pinesandmaples: A blue and red cross on a brown background, all made of yarn. Based on a mitered square. (knitting: square)
From: [personal profile] pinesandmaples
My standard reply: "I'm flattered that you like it so much! It was a lot of fun to knit, but I don't take commissions. Knitting is my hobby, and I try really hard to keep it that way. Without knitting, I might go crazy!"

Then I take their preferences into account and consider making something similar for them as a gift for the next gift-giving holiday.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 08:14 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
IME this one doesn't work well when talking to another knitter (or crocheter). YMMV, of course; perhaps it's my tone of voice!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 08:17 pm (UTC)
pinesandmaples: A blue and red cross on a brown background, all made of yarn. Based on a mitered square. (knitting: square)
From: [personal profile] pinesandmaples
Oh, the line for another knitter is always, "Let me write down the pattern and designer! If you have any questions about the pattern, I'm glad to help you out. It's a great pattern, even though x part was a little tricky." Then I pull out a piece of paper and actually write down the pattern info for the other knitter.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 10:32 pm (UTC)
indeliblesasha: Bright highlighter-pink tulips with yellow tulips in the background surrounded by bright green foliage (Default)
From: [personal profile] indeliblesasha
I would try "I would love to! But I have some projects that need to be finished before I add another and it would be a long time before I could get to it. Would you like the pattern so you can do it quicker?"

Good luck :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
That would be my approach. And it's true! I always have a bunch of things on the go.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-17 04:13 am (UTC)
minxy: girl let's get out by monanotlisa (girl let's get out)
From: [personal profile] minxy
I would reply (if it's honest, my delivery is pants if it's not real), that I'm usually burnt out on a project right after I finish it, but might be game some time in the future. Then I offer the pattern if it's another knitter, or a ballpark of when they can check with me again if they're still interested. For me, this is very much related to the project, and not what else I have on the needles. FWTW.

Good luck! Mother's-of-SIGs are tricky...

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-17 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Fine suggestions in comments above.

I only want to say: It is always polite to simply say No.
It is not impolite or ungracious to say no without giving an explanation or excuse. It's not impolite or ungracious to just say no, without softening the no with a "maybe later" or an offer of something else. A way to make refusal gentle and gracious is to thank the person for the compliment of their interest, and pay them the return compliment of expecting them to be a kind-intentioned and well-mannered person who can accept a No. Adding an apology is polite, and recommended especially if you do feel regret: "I'm sorry but no," or "I'd rather not, sorry," or "I regret that I won't be able to" etc. Adding explanation is not necessarily bad-- it may help the other person understand your reasons and accept them agreeably, OR they may see it as an invitation to try to change your mind-- but regardless, explanation is not required for politeness or kindness.
Then, how the other person responds is up to them.
If they cannot accept a plain polite No without arguing, wheedling, or taking offense, it is they who are being impolite. It takes two to maintain a good relationship.

This is the case regardless what favor is being requested, how knowledgeable the other person is or isn't about the effort or difficulty involved, and regardless of of what kindnesses or gifts they've given previously.

I think this important to repeat, to counter the many repetitions of the opposite message, that saying No about anything is only OK if one does it in some special way that keeps the other person from minding.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-17 06:57 pm (UTC)
geeksdoitbetter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geeksdoitbetter
hooray for clarity, sincerity and brevity

all hail the mighty, "no"

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-17 04:13 pm (UTC)
kuri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuri
I usually offer to teach the person how to knit so they can make it themselves. I'm at a point in my career where my time is worth a bit more than money, so I couldn't take knitting requests even if I wanted to.

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