Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Hidden Compliment

My first long term foray into the crafty world was in beading and other jewelry making. For a while I had a job where I could bead at work. (They soon took care of that for me.) And I talked about beading, and dragged friends along when I spotted a bead shop. But in general, people commented very little about my wearable art. (Unless I gave them some, in which case I was usually thanked appropriately.)
I finally realized that it was not that my pieces were unremarkable or awful looking, it was that it didn't occur to people that I had made what I was wearing. And the same is true with knitting. Certainly I have plenty of machine knit purchased at the mall things. (The manager at the LYS says that if you are wearing a knit item you did not make and someone asks if you made it, the response is, "No, I did not make this. But I could have.") So when I wear something I have made, a lack of response is in fact a compliment. Because it means my piece does not scream: I made this and that's why it's crooked, thank you. My piece is able to pass as something I might have purchased finished. And while I - as a crafter - think that the handmade irregularities design features are what make it special, I also see that being able to pass as store bought is a huge compliment.