can we talk?

I learned how to knit as a girl.  Both of my grandmothers were knitters.  One knit beautiful sweaters for us.  The other knit little sweaters for our dolls.  It was my Scottish  grandmother who helped me knit a Christmas stocking and put knitting into my memory bank.  When the girls were little, I knit a few sweaters.  Then I found quilting and I gave away my small stash of yarn and needles because I didn’t see myself as a knitter.  

About 8 years ago, I was at a prayer retreat.  There was a woman knitting a prayer shawl.  She told me about the group at her church and the shawls they knit.  I was at the retreat with a friend who was a knitter.  On the drive home, we came up with a plan to start a prayer shawl ministry at our church.  I was not deterred by the fact that I had given up knitting.  And it did not take long to accumulate more needles and yarns.  My first shawl was for a woman who was walking through breast cancer with her mom.  I made a simple, basket weave shawl.  That first year we knit about 10 shawls and a bunch of hats and scarves for a women’s day shelter.  

I have loved knitting hats and shawls to give away.  I almost always have a donation hat on the needles.  But the last few years, I keep seeing reference to “selfish knitting.”  I really do not understand this.  I love knitting donation items.  I try to use good yarn and do my best knitting, no matter the recipient.  But I also knit just for me.  And I don’t think that is selfish.  I enjoy knitting.  I can’t tell you how many times I have knit something and then unknit that thing because it didn’t make my heart sing.  I just unknit a shawl last night that would not block out properly.  I immediately cast on a hat because I love this yarn.  I plan to wear this hat.  Is that selfish?  Can you help me understand this idea of “selfish knitting”?