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November 07, 2005

Dear readers: Need advice.

...and a side of existential angst. , Holidays are supposed to be fun, right? , I want to know! , Knitting , Of course I can knit that before Christmas. , Sanity is overrated. , Things I'm Doing , Work , You know you knit too much when...

So. Humor me for a minute and imagine a hypothetical scenario, okay?

You are a manager at one of a big chain of stores. Someone who works at the sister store up the street stops by to see your new paint job, and you end up talking for a while. (You've met her once before, briefly, at the other store.) Somehow the conversation turns to Christmas shopping and she mentions that she's planning to knit most of the gifts she gives this year. (Shut UP. I said this was hypothetical.) You jokingly describe a scarf you'd been wanting.

If said scarf were to actually appear sometime around Christmas, would this be a fun surprise or just creepy? (Erica? Would interstore mail be a possibility, a la the socks? We could start a trend...)

Yes, I know I'm skewing the sample a bit by asking a group primarily composed of knitters. But I asked a group of non-knitters (yes, I do know a few) and, while they concluded that no, it was not creepy, they also all said things like "So are you trying to hit on this guy?" and "Is he cute?" And no, that hadn't even occurred to me. But yes, I guess he is cute, although I wasn't really paying attention to that at the time. He did seem nice and smart and fun to talk to.

So, basically, the non-knitters said to go for it, but be aware that it could come across as flirtatious. I suppose my question for you, dear readers, is threefold.
1. Good idea or bad idea in general?
2. Are random acts of knitting inherently flirtatious?1
3. If it looks like a go... any suggestions on a reasonably priced yarn that comes close to the L.L. Bean color claret red?2

(Yes, I realize Erica, who also works at my store, will now undoubtedly proceed to tell me that she knows this guy and he's married or obnoxious or a psychopath or something. But psychopaths need scarves too, right?)

1 And after reading Juno's post today, I sort of also have to wonder whether that would necessarily have to be a bad thing.
2 It will probably show you a blue coat, but you can click the little "claret red" box to see the color bigger.

Posted by Kat at November 7, 2005 01:33 PM

I think they are flirtatious, and I've been guilty of it many times. So I guess it depends on the person and the sort of message one would hypothetically want to send.

Posted by: Lauren at November 7, 2005 05:16 PM

go for it. always go for it so you dont wonder what might have happened if you did. maybe creepy but in a cool kinda way ? LOL

Posted by: aisling at November 7, 2005 05:17 PM

Could you handle it if he thought it flirtatious? I say go for it.

Posted by: Kat at November 7, 2005 05:26 PM

Hmm. I guess it really depends.

Worst case, I think, you could be perceived as overly generous towards people you hardly know. Which isn't really a bad thing. I doubt they'll perceive you as a stalker of any sort - they'll probably just wonder what they did to deserve this incredible handmade gift.

There are people who would be uncomfortable being placed in that position. Possibly because they don't feel they deserve such a gift given the casual level of your acquaintance - possibly because they will feel obligated in kind.

Perhaps you can try to present it in as casual and off-hand a manner as possible. "When you mentioned what you like in a scarf, I happened to have the right yarn around, and I'm such a rabid knitter it was no big deal to make one for you."

Posted by: Folkcat at November 7, 2005 08:16 PM

oh yeah i just realized you said 'hypothetical' huh. still. ms hypothetical knitter, should knit. knit till her hands fall off.

Posted by: aisling at November 8, 2005 09:36 PM

Heh, well, since I cheered you on as you picked out the yarn yesterday, I don't think I was much help, Kat. While, I'm at it, let me post that he's not a psycho. That way, if it turns out that he is, bloggers everywhere will know to blame me for encouraging you.

Posted by: erica at November 9, 2005 11:47 AM

The thing is, if you are making something that someone will wear on their body, it is an intimate act. It doesn't have to be a suggestive act, but between unmarried persons with compatiple sexual prefences, it has an undertone....

Do you have any thought that he might be nice to date? If so - ask him for coffee rather than knitting with hidden subtext.

If you really think there's nothing there, you just thought he might like a scarf - go ahead and make a nice gesture to a stranger.

Posted by: juno at November 16, 2005 09:17 AM

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