Hortencia for mom

28 comments

It's been a little while since I have shared a knitting project with you, but what can I say, I'm not the quickest at knitting and sweaters take a long time for me. Actually, since I made this sweater for my mom it was a quicker knit that usual since she is so tiny.

The pattern is Hortencia by Andi Satterlund. My mom looked at my Ravelry library and asked me to make her this cardigan as her Christmas gift. She wanted the yarn to be similar in color to the one Andi knit, so she chose Cascade 220 Heathers in Purple Jewel Heather. Personally, I was impressed with the yarn, it seemed soft, but my mom thinks it is a little scratchy :(


I didn't have many issues when knitting the sweater, but the sleeve instructions confused me, funny enough. Now, when I look back at the directions I "get" it and am wondering what was so confusing, but at the time I couldn't wrap my head around it! Speaking of sleeves, I tried a new technique for short rows, German short rows. I watched this video on YouTube and used what I learned on the sleeves and collar of Hortencia. Thank you to everyone who recommended I try this technique, I am a convert! I used to struggle remembering which stitch was the wrapped stitch, but with German short rows the stitch that needs to be picked up is pretty obvious.


In a past blog post I showed a photo of a problem I was having with little gaps along one side of each sleeve cap. I assumed that it was something to do with how I was doing short rows, but even with German short rows there are still little gaps :( I'm wondering if the issue is how I am picking up the stitches, maybe I'm not picking them up correctly. Has anyone had this issue?


On February 15th (my grandmas 96th birthday!) I saw my mom and gave her the sweater. She was really happy with it and so excited. I love making things for my mom because she is always enthusiastic and grateful about what I give her, she knows that a lot of time goes into making it, and she wears or uses whatever I sew/knit her. A month or so ago I was about to swear off making gifts for anyone else. I know I've complained about it on here before, but I really really can't handle ungrateful gift recipients when I have spent time and money making them something unique. I'm not expecting a parade or a float as a response from them, just an acknowledgement of the gift and a thank you.

Recently, I made a gift for someone and the response was rude and it made me so angry that I decided to stop making things for others. Then literally the next day I got the sweetest thank you card from a friend and it made me change my mind. I am at work 40+ hours a week and when I knit or sew something for others I am cutting into my free time. It's time that I could be spending with family or friends, making something for myself, walking my dog, etc. and I'm guessing that people don't think, or maybe don't care, about that. From here on out I am just going to have to be extremely picky about who I spend my time on. It sounds mean, but my feelings have been hurt too many times.

Sorry to end this post on such a downer, but I had to get that off my chest!

28 comments :

  1. The sweater looks great! Such a nice shade of purple. That's too bad about the gift-getters, though. The more time I spent with people the more I have come to learn that some people (a lot of people) really don't think at all about how their actions and words will make others feel. It doesn't sound mean to be picky from here on out at all! No point putting all that time and effort in only to end up with a bad feeling after giving the gift, right? Ain't nobody got time for that!

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  2. I totally agree about ungrateful gift recipients! I've never had anyone be openly rude (so sorry you had this experience!), but I've definitely had people seem less interested in my gifts when they realized they were handmade rather from some brand-name. I've learned that if people are all about flashing brands, they're never going to appreciate something I made, no matter how much work or love I put into it. It made me sad, but I guess now I have more sewing/knitting time to myself! It's so nice that your mom appreciates your work, and her new sweater looks great!

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  3. The sweater is adorable and so it's your mom!

    On another note, I completely agree with you! It takes a lot more time making a gift and it blows that people don't realize that. I think you should be picky who you make gifts for. Like you said, your time is limited!

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  4. This sweater looks great - and the colour is really nice on your Mom too! My Mom is by far my favourite person to make things for - she is always appreciative and she wears the heck out of anything I make her. I am very selective about who I make gifts for, for the same reasons. I have to really love someone to take the time to make them something - especially if it's knitting!

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  5. I agree that sewing time is precious and I don't want to waste my time making a gift for someone who won't appreciate it. Now I tend to ask if they would like for me to make them something, making it clear that I won't be offended if they say no! A lot of people don't appreciate that it's easier and cheaper to buy a gift than to make one. If I've made a gift and the person never refers to it or uses it in my presence after, I mentally strike them off my list to make gifts for!

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  6. First of all, this sweater is glorious! The color is lovely, and it looks like it fits your mom beautifully! What an incredibly lovely gift!!
    Second - someone was RUDE when you gave them a handmade gift??? Where are they!! I might have to drop-kick them! Just kidding, but seriously - you have every right to pick and choose who you make things for, and if your past experiences have left you feeling less than great, or taken advantage of then I think you are completely within your right to have a 'no making for others' policy! Life is short, crafting time is precious, and you don't have to sacrifice your own happiness for others. Just... no.

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  7. How lovely of you to knit that for your mom! I almost never sew or knit for anyone else. It's a really rare thing. I sewed for my mom for Christmas and I think she was the first person I'd done that for... and she's my mom, and sews and knits for me, and is obviously a worthy recipient. I used to say I was a "selfish" knitter but I don't any longer. It's not selfish to want to make things for yourself with your own free time. :)

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  8. I *totally* feel you on making gifts for others. My best friend requested a couple of skirts, and the first one was made *exactly* to her specifications (because she wouldn't listen to me about the best method for the fabric), and the look of disgust on her face when she tried it on half-finished was heartbreaking. It was just so incredibly rude that I don't think I can be bothered to finish it, or to make the other skirt for her.
    My mom's the exact same as yours, though. I love love love making stuff for her (though I've never made clothes), because she knows exactly how much time went into it. I've made her knit stuffed animals, scrapbooks (which take AGES, because mine are always huge), and a pillow with the lyrics of a song she used to sing to me when I was little - I've gotten tears when I've given a couple of them. There's no better feeling than that!

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  9. I understand people not realizing how much time handmade gifts take, but to *devalue* them in favor of brand name, mass-manufactured crap? Ugh, that is the worst!

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  10. Your cardigan looks lovely on your Mum. It's a great feeling when you see someone love, appreciate and use a gift you've made. So sorry to hear you had a rude recipient. That's so gutting and hurtful. I guess you just have to gauge whether you think a person would appreciate the effort/time put into a handmade gift, because sadly not everybody does :(

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  11. How awesome that you knit a sweater for your mom! I really should do that for my mom :) She knit me a sweater years ago and I didn't really appreciate it all that much (totally guilty of being that semi-ungrateful gift recipient...so much shame!) Now that I know how much effort goes into knitting I want to make something for my mom. Maybe I should browse ravelry with her (good idea!).

    I totally understand what you mean with being selective when you make gifts. Some people really don't understand how much time goes into every project you make yourself. I've only made a handful of gifts for that very reason.

    And Happy Birthday to your Grandma! 96!? That's amazing!

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  12. The sweater looks great. Thanks for the info on short rows. I am going to use this next time. It is really great. Don't let people bring you down on the gift thing. I agree with you as I have had the same experience before. Be very picky! The people you do choose will be really thrilled with a hand mad gift!

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  13. This is such a pretty sweater! I really like shawl collars, and this one is especially nice. It's not so large that it's overwhelming, but it really makes the sweater special! Every time I see your mom on your blog I can't get over how cute she is. You've got great genes (doubly so, since your gran is 96!!!)!



    I know we were talking about this on Twitter, but I'm now trying to make sure that my handmade gifts go to other makers or people who appreciate them. I know, for example, that my brothers won't care about or particularly like anything I could make them, so I don't even bother. But my mom, sisters, and m-i-l really seem to appreciate the effort, so I'm happy to make things for them (and should really make them more stuff!). Also, since my family is all far away, I tend to make them things that don't take much time (knit pencil skirts and tops, easy pullover tops) just in case the fit is off or something. Luckily my female relatives are all slightly different sizes, so almost every time someone's been able to fit into the garment! :)

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  14. Also, I wanted to add that while I've been feeling pretty uninspired to make things right now because of the neverending winter, it's actually been energizing to make gifts lately. I made a Linden for a friend who LOVED it, made a flock of baby dresses, and now am knitting a hat for a friend who lost hers, and it's been nice to be creative and productive at a time when I'm not very interested in making anything for myself. It seems to be a good solution for end-of-season ennui!

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  15. www.tresbienensemble.comMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I don't think it's mean to not make things for other people. I read an article the other day in support of creative people saying, "NO". It's a personal philosophy of mine, so it really resonated with me.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-creative-people-say-no-2015-1

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  16. Your mom looks gorgeous in that sweater! Good job!

    I think the little gaps you're getting are from picking up stitches at a tension slightly more loose than your knitting tension. Does that make sense? I've noticed them when I'm being a little slack in my picking up tension. I've also noticed that I'll get gaps on one side of a sleeve but not the other and I have no clue what that's all about.

    Re, handmade gifts. This last year I seriously cut back on my handmade gift-giving and I felt so much better for it! Instead of feeling angry or disheartened by people not appreciating the time and effort that went into handmade things I decided to make more gifts for my knitting and crafting friends who I KNEW would appreciate them. Buying stuff is easy for those unappreciative of handmade and I can focus more on knitting and making things for people who I know will appreciate them. We've all been there! Don't let them bring you down on making handmade gifts (just don't make anymore for them)!

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  17. Gorgeous sweater! Knitting anything takes me a very long time so I feel your pain! As far as giving handmade gifts....I feel EXACTLY the same way! I used to give many handmade gifts but felt that many people didn't know the value in them and I was hurt. So with much encouragement from my husband, I stopped. I make things for our home and myself, mostly.

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  18. lifeinamadshouseMarch 4, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    Your mom's sweater is beautiful, and it looks fabulous on her! I am so sorry that you ended up with such an ungrateful recipient for something else you made. =( I don't think it's mean--not at all!!--to be really picky about who gets handmade gifts. Your spare time and talent are precious resources, and they shouldn't be wasted on people who can't appreciate the effort and heart that go into such gifts. (See? I'll be mean so you don't have to, LOL!)

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  19. You did an awesome job on the sweater! Super jealous of your skills. I only make things for my Mom. Everything else is purely selfish (yes, I said it). I refuse to do alterations for friends also (of course in a nice way). Most people just don't appreciate the labor that goes into making something.

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  20. A gorgeous sweater and your mom looks gorgeous in it! Seriously, how adorable is she?! I TOTALLY understand the not wanting to make things for others. I used to do craft fairs when I lived in Vermont and it's so hard to have people come up to your table and scoff at prices when they just don't understand the cost of handmade. I can't even imaging someone giving me the same response when I made them something FOR FREE!! At least your mom appreciates such a thoughtful gift :)

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  21. p.s. remind me about German short rows if I ever work up the nerve to knit a sweater lol

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  22. I'm also a "selfish" maker. I only make things when I feel like it for people I feel like making them for. I don't want a handmade gift to become something people expect from me. I also want to maximize my time for crafting for myself.

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  23. Cute cardigan! It looks so great on your mum.
    Whenever I make a gift for someone. I make it for me more than for them. It might be a project that I want to try or have a technique I've never done before. That way I'm not upset if the don't show the level of gratitude I expect (which should be a parade, naming rights to their firstborn & a key to the city :P)
    I suppose these days people rarely make things themselves so they don't understand what goes into knitting/sewing something - skill, time, materials, money.

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  24. I feel the same way. I have friends who just don't appreciate handmade things, so I never give them anything I make anymore. I also have friends who really appreciate it (and their daughters do, too), so I am happy to make them things.

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  25. Lovely cardigan! The purple yarn looks very pretty with that pattern.

    I'm the same way with making gifts for people. I love making things for other people as I get to experiment with things I wouldn't normally make for myself, but I am always really careful who I make for. Those who do not appreciate or understand the time/effort that goes into handmade gifts do not get handmade gifts. Nothing is more crushing then spending 30 or 40 hours knitting something that is completely unappreciated. Making something by hand is a loving, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive way to make a gift and only those who truly appreciate what a gift like that means should be worthy of your precious crafting time.

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  26. I agree with everyone - I'd only consider making something for another maker, someone who can appreciate the time, effort, and love that went into it. Since I don't really have anyone like that in my life, I just make things for myself and don't feel guilty about it! I'm glad your Mom appreciates your gifts and loved the sweater. You just have to know your audience, I guess. :)


    Also, I've never heard of German short rows, so thanks for the heads up! Short rows always frustrate me, so it's great to learn about another method.

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  27. Lovely sweater - you did such a nice job!! :) I can't imagine someone being rude about a handmade gift - unless they're teenagers LOL. I don't make things for other people that often because it IS super time consuming and there is only so much time! (and let's face it - I'm selfish haha) ^__^

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  28. Feeling cool. I'm sure it not easy to creating a pretty sweater and gorgeous pattern. I appreciate your product. Thanks for sharing.

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