Knitting for Others

Do you mostly knit for yourself, or do most of your handknits end up being for someone else? I find that I mostly knit for myself these days. I’m not sure why. I decided pretty early on that if I was going to do gift knitting, it was going to go to someone who’d really appreciate the time and effort that went into it. (Like another knitter, or someone else who works with their hands.) The exception is knitting for babies. I haven’t had any babies to knit for, but when I do, it will be just for the fun of making those tiny cute outfits/socks/hats/whatever and it’s totally fine that the baby won’t know the difference between that and the storebought ones! Babies are the exception. (Now I just need to wait for some babies to appear in my life. Well, not in MY life, per se, but you know what I mean.)

Miss Violet emailed me yesterday to let me know about a special new concept in dyeing that she has come up with, and it started me thinking about knitting for others. She calls this line of hers “Intention Yarn” and here is what she had to say about it:

“As prayer-shawl knitters will tell you, there is a certain power in knitting something with meditative intention. There’s a whole school of thought that says that the love you’re feeling when you’re knitting something for someone can be felt when the recipient uses the item.

Lime & Violet’s Intention Yarns takes this concept one step further, attempting to start the process from the very dyeing of the yarn to be used in the project of your choice.

Intention Yarns are dyed using the same process as most hand-dyed or hand-painted yarns, with colors that are selected for a relevance and conveyance of the yarn’s purpose. During the last step, however, just before the skeins are steamed and the dye set, we write the word or phrase on the skein, like you see in the “love” photo.

The final knitted object doesn’t show much sign of the original word, but while knitting with these yarns, every so often, you come across a very small “spot” of the word, which serves as a mental reminder to refocus your attentions back on your wishes and prayers for the project. It’s very subtle, but effective as a reminder to keep your attention and intention on the recipient or focus of the project.”

We are so happy to be getting Miss Violet’s first batch of Intention Yarns here at The Loopy Ewe. (And in the future, you will only find them here and on her website.) This first batch will include 15 different colorways. They are: Peace, Balance, Love, Clarity, Strength, Connection, Healing, Patience, Joy, Faith, Hope (shown at the top of the page), Fertility, Perserverence, Courage, and Creative Inspiration (shown here).

She also says, “The colors will remain constant (but handpainted, expect a few variances between skeins and dye lots), with one exception: Creative Inspiration is different every time, an explosion of colors on a white base, to simulate the creative process.”

Watch for this yarn to arrive and go up on the website in about 2 weeks. We think it’s a very special idea and we know you’ll like it for knitting beautiful things for those you love.

Now we have some prizes to give away! Y’all outdid yourselves in the comments section from last Friday – woohoo! We have loved every comment that you left and we’re going to go back to them whenever we have a bad day! (Not that we have many bad days. But I’m a little concerned that several of you mentioned we ought to avoid “The Terrible Twos” stage. We hope to do just that.) For this contest, we had over 1600 comments, so we’re giving away prizes to 16 different people! Each prize package includes one skein of Wollmeise, one skein of yarn from another one of our awesome indie dyers, one Loopy Red Canvas Sock Bag, one sock pattern, and one Loopy Ewe pin for your knitting bag. We hope you love it! The packages are going out to these 16 randomly drawn people: Julie-Ann in Jamaica, Theo in OR, Teri in VA, Kirstie in Canada, Debbie in WA, Cathy in VA, Erin in MN, Nancy in IA, Liz in IL, Adina in OR, Heather in OH, Janet in CA, Karin in NC, Michelle in IL, Tammy in CA, and Sheryl in VA. All of the winners have been sent an email, so if you’re wondering if it’s YOU, check your in-box!

So – do you knit more for yourself or more for others? We’re curious!

Sheri thisnewyarnmightjustinspiremetoknitforothersmoreoften


  1. You know I used to think I would be knitting for me me me and maybe a bit for my daughter but when I sat down and actually thought about it, since I took up the needles again (ages ago now) I have actually knit more for others than myself. My last 7 pairs of finished knitted socks resulted in only one pair for me. I’m ok with that but I do think I am going to try to get to keep a slightly higher proportion of the next 7 LOL.

  2. My kids get the most items, then me, then my hubby, mom, sister, brother, dad and grandma would be the next group who get a few items for holidays. However, I love to knit for appreciative recipients, so an aunt who has commented several times on the pair of mittens I made for Grandma last Christmas will be getting a pair herself this year. 🙂

  3. I mostly knit for myself. When I am not knitting for myself, I’m knitting for a select few people who accept gifts well or otherwise indicate that they appreciate the effort. I have also done a fair amount of knitting for charity in the past, but have mostly moved onto increasing my work wardrobe through knitting.

  4. Had to share: Someone gifted me with some of the creatively dyed sea wool roving…. OH MY WORD it is AMAZING!!!!!

    It’s like a spinning spa experience— SOFT! PRETTY.. I loves it;)

    PS- took my victoria to starbucks yesterday to meet local groupies… I just have to say.. this wheel ,really is a perfect travel wheel!

  5. So far all but a blanket and a pair of socks have remained with me after completion. I gave everyone thick hand knit blankets last year for Christmas, or scarves, and this year my intention is give socks to the majority of folks. With all the hours in the day, I don’t think there’s enough to make for myself and everyone I want to knit for, too. I figure karma will catch up with me, and I’ll be on the receiving end, too!
    It all works out, and it’s the pleasure of the process that matters the most!

  6. I do both. Just finished a baby sweater & hat for a friend to give as a shower gift to her niece. Halfway through the afghan that goes with the set. I’ve knitted lots of afghans for family as well as for home. And socks – for myself, for my daughter, for friends as gifts as well as commissioned, scarves, and a vest for my mother who used to knit and who taught me to knit. Just love to do it.

  7. I’m in a prayer shawl group and the Intention yarn by Ms. Lime is so exciting. I can’t wait to order some. I’ve been out of touch with your blog for the last week, but I loved it that YOU were in the limelight. The community you’ve created has been phenomenal, and your long range plans will probably branch out a bit, but you know you have a loyal base. I really look forward to your blog and appreciate all the family’s hard work, along with the elves, too.
    Just wish you were closer so I could help out in the shop!

  8. Generally speaking, I knit for myself with occasional projects for others.

    But this post? this yarn? At this specific time? I’m feeling utterly helpless this weekend because a very dear friend watched her father being murdered and mother being critically injured in Beijing on Saturday. (see blog post “Bachman Bars” for info) I don’t knit lace. I don’t like things with “holes.” I don’t generally knit for others. But this intention yarn just might put me over the edge to make something special for my dear friend.

  9. hi sheri. most of my knitting is for others. it just brings me more joy when i’m sharing, than keeping it all for myself. i love the idea of ‘intention’ yarn. it seems to fit with how i think about my knitting. i’m trying to catch up with my favorite knitting blogs after having company the past week. need to read the rest of the past weeks entries. hope you have had a great weekend.

  10. I knit mainly for myself and my husband. I used to knit just for me. Then about 3 years ago I knit hubbo a pair of socks from the hand dyed sock yarns I had started buying. I didn’t think he would wear them to be honest. He was a ‘black sock man’. LOL. But he loved them so much he wanted another pair. So I would knit a pair for him and then knit a pair for me so that he didn’t feel left out. THEN I just had to go and knit a pair for my Mom. Now I only get every third pair that I knit! Now my Dad has requested a pair for Christmas! I may never get another pair of socks for me again! But they are all knit with lots of love.

  11. I always start projects thinking I’ll keep them, then a friend falls in love with the project or it didn’t turn out the way I wanted but it suits someone else so well that I end up giving away at least 60% of my knitting.

    And that’s ok.

  12. I’ve just started expanding my knitting for others. I do knit for my grandmother. I am knitting 3 pairs of socks for birthday presents, 3 pairs for Christmas presents, a shawl and 2 hats for Chrismas.

    Astonishingly enough, I don’t need to buy yarn to do it! <—sarcasm
    This won’t even put a dent in my stash. It won’t even make one basket look empty!

  13. Knitting right now is mostly for others; although I am doing some things just for me!

    I love Ms Violet’s intention yarns. This would be great for a lot of the knitting I do for others. However, some of the names really spoke to me for things I would like to do for me — FAITH is one of those. I cannot wait to see the colors.

    I’m so glad you and the Elves are around. You all do a fantastic job!

  14. I’m 50/50 on my knitting. Of my 45 projects, 23 were gifts for others, even Bailey’s Kitty Pi bed was for him. The other 22 projects were were me and mostly socks. I like knitting for others. Right now, I have a pair of socks, a pair of felted clogs, 3 more pairs of fingerless mitts, and a shawl on my list of gifts. Even though most were requested, I still consider them gifts because they were knit with my love and my joy.

  15. Unfortunately I knit more for myself but with good reason (even though I’m hoping to change that). I don’t like giving people things I’ve made that have errors in them, and I knit with a lot of errors all appearing way way down in the project in a complicated spot (I love cables) that I can’t fix. Usually these errors are invisible to the muggle (non-knitter) but they scream at me. So I’ve decided to knit slower when I’m doing stuff for others (even though they are seriously impatient).

    My new year’s resolution for next month is to knit more for others.

  16. I knit much more for others than my self, for my two sisters and brother, for my closest friend, who is also a knitter, and my second two closest friends, who are not. I always feel more satisfied in giving something than keeping it, but that feeling also says to me,now it’s time to make something for YOU. So I do.

  17. I ONLY knit for others IF they request something. And often, if it can be done, I make them choose the yarn (or sometimes I take it as an opportunity to try out some yarn I wouldn’t normaly use)

  18. What a brilliant idea Miss V. had! Stash that under the “Dangit, I wish I’d come up with that!” files – how clever and sweet!

    Congrats to the winners!

  19. I’ve been knitting a LOT for others lately. Mostly I have been knitting toys and chemo caps for the cancer patients at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, VA (my cousin is one of those patients). She also has asked me to knit up some titbits, for her, so I’ll be working on that this week.

    Over the summer, besides the above knitting, I have knit chemo caps for my husband’s aunt, a blanket square for a little boy who is very sick, toys for my children, a tank top for my daughter and one sock (yes, only one) for my sister. I have cast on a pair of socks for myself, but I have only gotten a few rows done.

    Oh, I did cast on for the KAL, but I’ve only gotten 6 or so repeats of Gust done so far.

    This fall will continue to see me knit for others, and do some dyeing too. I have decided that my knitter friends will get some of my hand dyed as Christmas presents, and the non-knitters will get knitted things!

    And I really do need to finish Gust!

  20. Almost totally for others, and most of that charity knitting. I do baby gifts for friends and coworkers, and mama gifts for the attendant mamas, as we don’t want them to be sad that only the baby gets a gift! Also, the occasional prayer shawl (although I want to provide to a ministry once in a while), and other gifts. But most of my knitting goes to charity, as the guild I belong to is based on that charter. Not a requirement, but it seems to go that way. I love it that I’m helping folks who’ll never even know who I am, but are really grateful that someone helped them out.

  21. I used to knit mostly for me, but that was because my knitting wasn’t good and I didn’t want to torture anyone with it. Now that’s mostly just my very-uneven handspun. 😉 By-and-large my knitting is for others these days but that’s because the stash has grown and matured and i’m getting tired of seeing it and i just want it out to a new home where it’ll be loved. I do try, however, to balance it. A few projects for others. One for me. I’m finding it’s making my projects more special and meaningful.

  22. I mostly knit for myself. I find it difficult to knit for others because everyone I have asked recently about their feet measurments and shoe size just laughs at me. So, I will just continue to knit for myself. I am almost finished with felted booties for my husband. I don’t knit him socks because he wouldn’t wear them. He likes the felted booties, so that’s what he gets. I am also knitting chemo caps for the local hospital.

  23. Since I knit mostly medium size women’s socks, until I decide to wear them myself they are part of my “gift stash.” The same is true for the fingerless mitts and the shawls. It is only when I start a man-sized pair of socks that I know ahead of time the intended recipient. So I would have to say 50% for me and 50% for others.

  24. I tend to knit things just because they’re beautiful and I want to experience making them, and then I end up giving away a good deal of them as gifts. One can only have so many afghans and shawls and socks, after all! Sometimes I’ll have a particular person in mind, but probably 2/3rd of what I do is just “art for art’s sake.” I love the concept of the Intention yarns. There are times I make something for someone because I want to convey a certain aspect of the love that the Intentions express, so I’m definitely looking forward to this line!

  25. I generally knit for myself, but I will knit for others when I feel they will appreciate it. When I first started knitting I made scarves for everyone I know. Now I knit gifts if people make specific requests with the right intention & don’t expect it tomorrow. Can you tell I’ve been burned in the gift arena?

  26. I hate to admit it, but I knit mainly for myself. Many folks I give to just don’t appreciate the work and love that goes into a hand knit gift.

  27. I knit mostly for others. I find that it brings alot of joy to them, it really excites people when they ask what you are knitting and you tell them … for you.

  28. I know whom I knit the the most for, but the total of others should be included. We have had 8 grandchildren and all but one will be in school this fall. I knit mittens and socks for the toddlers, the older kids don’t like home made anything. I knit a shawl for myself once in awhile, but the dearest person to me gets the vast majority of hand knit socks. My husband tried them once many years ago and since then wears nothing else year ’round. He does so very much for me and it gives me truly the greatest joy to knit for him. I am severely handicapped and he does so very much for me. Better stop before I cry or turn people off.

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