What are you making NOW?

These words, uttered by my 5 year old daughter in a tone of incredulity  recently, upon the sight of me knitting (again!), made everyone one else in the room laugh heartily, but made me fly into a panic. “Nothing” I said as I hastily shoved my knitting away in a bag out of sight. But she eyed me suspiciously and I suspect the game is up.

 

The game, which, until now, I have played regularly with both my children, is informally called “did you buy it in a shop?”. You see, despite being lovingly clothed from an early age in fabulous handmade knitwear and fed nutritious (ahem!) home made biscuits and gingerbread men, my children are astonishingly keen to eschew all home made items. No, I don’t understand it either. If I hadn’t been there and actively participating on the night of their birth, I would seriously question whether they were actually my children.  

Their favourite snack is any biscuit out of a packet. Any biscuit. Just so long as it has been previously packaged. The packet, it turns out, is of the upmost importance, signifying shop bought rather than made by their mother’s fair hand. If I answer “yes” to the question “are they from a packet?” I am greeted with yippees of delight. If I answer “no”, I get a sullen “oh” and they take the biscuit as if it were something I might have otherwise offered to the dog. It’s worth me pointing out at this point that I am no slouch in the home made biscuit department so it’s not because they are of lesser quality than the shop bought biscuit (anything but!). They simply lack a packet. 

The same is also true of their clothes. If a cardboard box with the word Boden on the side, is delivered to our house, the children open it with squeals of delight, hastily trying on everything and wearing it (often all of it, no matter how many tops are in there) for the rest of the day. But try getting them to wear a home made garment? Not a chance;  if you can persuade them to try it on (just for a photo, so mummy can put it on her blog, please??), within 30 seconds they are complaining it is too hot, too tickly or too itchy, despite no part of their bare skin actually touching the item. So the item is removed, parked in a drawer and barely looked at again, except with suspicion.

However, if they don’t see it being made, and I have a handy bag available I can produce it with a fanfare and a big tah-dah! and they’ll love it and wear it forever. Yes, I know it’s a lot of effort to go to but, well, it’s either that, or not knit, and that’s just ridiculous.  

So, you see, it is quite important in order to maintain the ruse, that they don’t see me actually making the garment. Consequently, after my daughter’s question, I’ve been struggling with what to do. The item in question is a sweet cardigan called Entrechat by Lisa Chemery made from a gorgeous aran weight yarn hand dyed by Daisy from Devon Sun Yarns. I don’t want to pretend I bought it in a shop. Especially if there is any chance my daughter will recognise it and realise I’ve been hood winking them all this time. But I don’t want her to refuse to wear it either. So I’ve been dithering over what to do.   

As is often said (although perhaps not by many people parenting young twins), honesty is the best policy; not least because, one day quite soon, they will be able to read this. So, honesty it is. Here is the finished cardi. It maybe the last time it sees the light of day for a long time. But, I’ll let you know how we get on.

18 thoughts on “What are you making NOW?

  1. Those are such pretty colours and a lovely pattern too – I think all children must go through this phase because I know mine did and I’m pretty certain I did too at one point! Then they grow up and see sense πŸ˜‰ xx

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  2. Oh how I remember this. I always made items for my three children for Christmas to fill out their presents. As teenagers one Christmas they remarked more of Mum’s home made stuff. I felt a little hurt so the next year I did not make anything. To my surprise they felt cheated. Where is our special gift? Your twins will grow to love and appreciate what you do.

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  3. My daughter’s now 31, and still thinks homemade is third class. It’s so sad because I like to knit little things for my almost 3 year old granddaughter, but they disappear into the little one’s wardrobe and are never seen again 😦

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      1. So sad! I’m always horrified when people prefer some factory made garment churned out in a sweatshop to a handmade gift made with love. 😦

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    1. its frustrating isnt it, all that love poured into making something and they cant see it as a lovely thing. the irony is that they will pay out for a designer knitted garment that has been handmade by a stranger

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    2. I had a similar problem with my niece but since she was about 4 I have got her to choose the yarn and the pattern and I have given the finished item directly to her to try on immediately. She normally loves them so much there is no question of her mum removing it!

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  4. Your work is beautiful! One day they really will appreciate it. I haven’t got children yet so I’m luckily not at this stage yet! I only make stuff for fellow adults who have to at least pretend they like things out of politeness! What about if you get them to pick out some colours and patterns that they like? And try to teach them knitting so they realise how time consuming it is. Let them help with the biscuit making. Of course, if they are anything like me as a kid, it probably won’t work as my mum could tell you πŸ˜‰ but maybe it’s worth a try?

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  5. Great blog post! I had the opposite when my children were younger – anything they ate had to be homemade & constant questions about whether it was their turn next for a handmade item – talk about being under pressure to keep producing new & different items!!

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  6. I feel your pain πŸ™‚ My daughter is now 22 and grudgingly agreed to me making her a winter cardigan (had to be plain and black) and she only wears it round the house as a slouchy cardigan but that is progress and last week, believe it or not, she requested a beanie! Live in hope that the time will come when your twins not only wear what you’ve made but put in requests too!!

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  7. I can remember as a child asking why I couldn’t have something bought from a shop as I always had hand me downs or home made. It was years before I could contemplate a charity shop but my two boys loved hand me downs from older friends. I did knit a few things for the boys and they’ve grown up with me knitting or sewing so just take no notice of it. I now usually only knit for babies although I do a fine line in men’s shooting socks! As for anything out of a packet, yes been there too but my youngest (19) has come home from work today saying they are going to have a bake off competition at work. Bearing in mind they are tree surgeons it didn’t take me long to deduce they are scheming to get a home made cake everyday at work!

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  8. Maybe if you included them in the choice of yarn and style? My daughters were older by the time I learned to knit, so never really got the chance to start them young. My youngest did wear my hand made items up until middle school.

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    1. The last thing I openly made for my daughter was made with yarn she chose in a style she said she wanted. She cooed the whole time I was making it but as soon as it was time to wear it she said she didn’t want it anymore. She is 5. Being contrary is just what you do when you are 5. As maddening as that it!

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