I was reading TECHknitting today, and if you haven't done so yourself you should right now, and she posted the most eloquent post on the value of a knitted object and the process of knitting said object.
"When non-knitters look at hand-knit goods, most tend to focus on the result, on the product. "Why spend 42 hours making a pair of socks? Wal-Mart sells 'em for a buck a pair" is their attitude, their tolerably obvious attitude. Confirmed sock knitters, however, find that mass-made socks cannot be compared to hand-made--the custom fit, the warmth, the exact colors of a hand made sock cannot be duplicated. This excellence is sometimes the very heart of a successful knitting project--the seamless toe, the beautiful work, the perfect fit, the non-binding sock on the achy foot. Knitting as product (and, as a very superior product which you simply couldn't buy anywhere!)
Often, however, hand-knitted objects add another dimension, a process dimension. See your kid standing near the door in hand-made socks, ready to pull on shoes and head out? Those socks are loving that child--the kid is wearing a hug on each foot, and the knitter and the kid both know it. This is process and product combined: knitted object as connection between people."
Read the rest of the post here.
Very well said. I don't knit socks by hand very often but the sentiment behind her example can be applied to all crafts. I have always had a hard time explaining to my husband why I would rather spend my time crafting things that I could easily purchase cheaply. She hit the nail on the head. Bravo.