I am a selfish knitter.
It has taken me ten years of knitting to be willing to admit that and not feel guilty about it.
I am what is known as a product knitter. I somewhat enjoy the process of knitting, but mainly I do it because I spend the whole time I am knitting something fantasizing about wearing or using the finished product. This has caused me to learn all kinds of techniques to be a very fast knitter because I want to race through, finish it, and move on to the next awesome project in my queue (and I work on five or six things at once).
I knit for the creative control, the ability to pick my own colors and modify patterns to suit my taste and my figure.
There are exceptions, though. I do occasionally make gifts for people. I rarely do it when they ask for it, because then it's just feels like a heavy obligation on me and I don't enjoy the knitting. Usually when I make gifts for people it is because I am inspired and I think of something that person would really like.
The one exception to that is when my brother asked me for a sweater. I was so pleased, since he doesn't usually take any notice of my knitting and tends to look down on all my hobbies and interests as boring. I proudly knitted him a sweater in fingering weight, partial cashmere yarn. I am so proud of the result:
Of course, when I gave it to him, he asked if I could make another one in another color! No way, I said.
Sweaters really are my favorite thing to knit. Here are the two other gift sweaters that I've made:
Both of those I designed using Ann Budd's sweater book.
Besides the occasional hat, the only other gift I have knit is my best friend's wedding veil. I am tremendously proud of this one, it is my greatest knitting accomplishment. When she got engaged, I asked her if I could make her veil. It was very important to me that I not let her down in her decision to trust me with that task and to create something that didn't look like the thick, chunky knitted veils out there. I think I accomplished that:
Ten years of knitting and those are the only gifts I've made!
Now the time has come for me to knit another gift. I realized that I have never knit my Dad anything except a scarf back when I first learned to knit that is atrocious. And that's weird because my Dad actually wears lots of knits. He gets a new Lands End sweater every birthday and he wears sweater vests too.
I decided that I should knit him a sweater vest and I have been failing at doing so ever since. A year ago for his birthday I had one ready and then it turned out to be way too small for him (he doesn't live nearby, so I can't test it out as I go). I started another one and it just was looking all off. I got discouraged and stopped.
Then the new Knitty came out and it has a wonderful sweater vest pattern:
I ordered the yarn for it yesterday. I am going to make my Dad this vest!