Question #2: There are many people who ADORE receiving hand-knit or crochet items; but there are just as many who have no appreciation whatever of how much love, work, and time goes into a hand-made item. Share a story of a hand-made gift you gave to someone and how it worked out - good, bad, or ugly!
Honestly i have been pretty selective about who receives handmade gifts for this exact reason. I did make a pair of socks for my husband that i was so excited about. A friend had hand dyed the yarn in Seahawks colors and also dyed the yarn in a self striping fair isles pattern. So this "fabulous" pair of socks emerge! I thought, sundays armchair quarterback, good luck charm.... (ok, so i was dreaming) Do you know they sat unworn for 2 seasons? I saw him actually pull them out the other day to wear around the house, and yes there were other clean socks in the drawer! We had kind of spoke earlier in the week about knitting, gifts etc. He always proudly asks me to knit special things for our friends from time to time and supports my hobby, so i know he doesn't think i suck, but he rarely ever wears anything i knit for him. He explained he could never find any of the hats, scarves etc in the clustered mess in the closet. So i purchased small milk crates and they are organized, and he has now worn some as well. So .... conundrum solved!
Stuff? nah, going to go read. More drugs and read (the friday night knitting club, very good read!)