JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

Something I'm incredibly thankful for ...

I belong to a group within Ravelry called "Selfish Knitters & Crocheters". It's part venting space, part support group, part a meeting of common minds. Mainly it's based on the fact that so many non-crafters see any crafter that they are related to, friends with, or just happen to see on the street as somebody who should be cranking out free (or horrifically underpriced) handmade goods for others on demand. Heavens forbid that somebody should dare to have a hobby that happens to result in useful things and actually get to enjoy it.

Wish I were joking but I'm not. New, just-learning crafters are especially vulnerable ... they proudly show that they've finally mastered the thing enough to have produced a few error-free rows and are bombarded with orders to make things. For the most part with unrealistic expectations of time and skill and no offers (or completely ludicrously cheap ones) of recompense for materials, tools or time. And far too often these newbies still lack the most important skill of all ... the ability to say no. They end up overwhelmed by demands and deadlines imposed by others and their new relaxing hobby turns into a hated nightmare.

The lucky ones discover or are directed to the SKC group, where the motto is "We make what we want, when we want, for whomever we want." The idea isn't that you only make stuff for yourself though that is the case for some members. The idea is that it's your skills, your time, your materials, and, most importantly, your choice. The group isn't really about selfishness but about promoting the importance of self-interest for one's own health and sanity ... something frequently called "selfish" by those demanding goods and services for nothing in return (hence the group name ... it's meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek). This is the place where people get advice on and support for setting boundaries, ways to say no (or yes or maybe), standing one's ground on those boundaries and declarations, and analyzing the personality types/relationships involved to choose the best method to use for all these things.

The group has its own vocabulary developed over the years: "gimmiepig", "demandypants", "voluntold/voluntelling" and quite a few others. Members share successes and joys along with frustrations and problems ... it's a community of people who "get it" no matter what because of the overall shared mindset.

The issues aren't unique to knitters/crocheters of course. We have members who are or know musicians, artists (painters, sculptors, etc.), artisans and crafters of other types (woodworkers, metalworkers, jewelers, weavers, sewers), computer folk, skilled trades (plumbers, carpenters, mechanics) and the problem is everywhere ... often with the added aggravation of the attitude that if you do it for a living then you should do it for your family and friends for free (or for a next to nothing so low it's insulting). After all, you're being asked to do it in your free/down time not your working hours and you like doing it/are good at it so why should you expect recompense? (or rest?) You name the skill/abilities and somebody somewhere figures they're entitled to it for nothing. :-(

All of this just to lead up to ...

THANK YOU MY FRIENDS. FOR COMMENTING WITHOUT DEMANDING. FOR NEVER EVER EVER LINKING ME TO (or even mentioning) THE FAD ITEM OF THE MOMENT (mermaid tail blankets, messy bun hats, dragon scale mitts, unicorn hats, and the multitude of other things that most of us would rather cut off our hands than make ... and if you don't know what any of those are then you score extra bonus points for having good taste). FOR BEING CIVILIZED BEINGS WHO KNOW BETTER!!!

LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!!! ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

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