Knitting is divine
Tuesday January 30th 2007, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Knit

My older brother is going to go “Wha.a..a…t?!” when he reads this. But I have a confession to make: there is a beautiful piece of music that is sometimes sung as a solo at church, I believe by Schubert, called “Oh Divine Redeemer.” And I do not overly love it.

Oh, the music is gorgeous. But I’ve heard it sung in a style of chest-beating, loud, wailing, “I’m so humble, LOOK AT ME being HUMBLE!! Man, I’m so much better than anyone else because I know I’m so baaaaadddd so I’m humble (lookitmelookitme).”

Can you tell that style kind of rubs me the wrong way? I know it’s absolutely silly, and usually after the first note or two I can settle myself in, thinking, just enjoy the singing, you know not everybody can pull off that tune, c’mon, grow up, kid.

The first time I ever posted to the knitlist about a project I’d made to surprise someone with, I wondered and held my fingers off for awhile before typing about it. I did not want to be beating my chest about how wonderful I was for making this. I dearly wanted, however, to share how good it feels to reach out to others like that, to tell them they are worth that effort of our time and our talents, to write a post that would encourage other people to go do likewise for the people around them.

I still struggle with that, still keep an eagle eye on the sources of my motivation. But, if I say that out loud, am I wailing on about how humble I am?

Okay, I’ll shut up now. You guys just go make someone else feel important today, that’s all I’m asking.

(Edited to add: One guess as to what I just caught myself singing as I walked away from the computer.)

14 Comments so far
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It is hard, isn’t it? I want people to crow over the things that i make them, but when they do, I fight the urge to shuck my shoes and say “T’weren’t nothin.” It’s a contradiction that’s difficult to understand in myself. I know it’s right to be more humble, but it’s hard to be humble in a way that isn’t so self-effacing it comes out the other side.


Comment by Kristine 01.30.07 @ 4:38 pm

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. That’s why I give up knitting for myself during Lent. “Knitting for myself” includes “people I know”–the idea is that I’ll only make things anonymously. It works pretty well, except that I get behind on things I’ve promised people. So I think this Lent is going to be “keeping promises”–no new WIPs, nothing for me, just UFOs for friends.

Comment by TexAnne 01.30.07 @ 4:52 pm

You know, if you say “Tweren’t nothin'” with that impish grin I can just see on your face, Kristine, you’ll do fine. (BEADED SOCKS, everybody. Kristine made me BEADED SOCKS!) Heck, I’ll beat my chest for you, ‘kay? Because I love them–and you!

And Texanne, you know? We have a homeless woman who camps out nearby, and last week, after we’d been having such an intensely frigid cold front in California, I saw her wearing a beautiful, wide, warm, long, lovely basketweave handknit scarf that was just her color. I have no idea where she got it from. But it was the closest to happy I have ever seen her.

Comment by AlisonH 01.30.07 @ 5:00 pm

Well, if it helps at all, I have been touched by many of your posts but have never felt an attitude of “I’m so humble” coming from you! And we all know how the written word CAN be misinterpreted, so I think you are doing fine with your mission of sharing the joy that you feel from reaching out.

And Christine – I HATE myself when I say “oh, it was nothing, just took me a short time” or whatever! I try for comments like “oh, time passes quickly when you think about who you’re giving it to” or some such thing.

Comment by Beverly 01.30.07 @ 6:53 pm

sorry, Kristine – misspelled you….

Comment by Beverly 01.30.07 @ 6:54 pm

ROTFLMHO I’ve heard that song, in several variations!! Too funny! But it doesn’t apply to you, Alison. Somebody would tell you if it did!

Comment by Anne in Wy 01.30.07 @ 8:21 pm

Actually, a couple of people here and there have over the years, and what can you do but offer to knit them something so they’ll feel better, eh?

Comment by AlisonH 01.30.07 @ 11:35 pm

Alison, I’ve always thought that you have a very special set of gifts. Sharing with words the things you’re led to do is part of that gift, and it has never occurred to me to think you were improperly motivated! Your actions and stories are a source of inspiration here, and I appreciate hearing about all of it.

Comment by Joni 01.31.07 @ 5:10 am

I have to agree with what Joni said up there. Perhaps it’s the way you phrase what you say, or the fact that I can picture you beaming as you remember the joy, but it’s never occurred to me that you were motivated by anything improper at all. If anything it seems like a little girl sharing a treasured secret and we’re lucky enough to get to know.

Comment by Amy 01.31.07 @ 6:44 am

Lol! Alright, you guys, thanks, and hey, I wasn’t looking for back-patting. Much though I appreciate it after the fact. You all are wonderful.

Comment by AlisonH 01.31.07 @ 9:51 am

I think, though, that one needs to have a certain amount of pride in his/her work, otherwise, we’d hate it.

I mean, if you didn’t derive SOME kind of benefit from it – someone else’s compliments, our own pride in workmanship, or in accomplishment, calmness and peace from the repetitive motion, something to keep your hands busy while your mind works through a tough conundrum, pleasure at working with lovely yarn, something, we would abandon this avocation and find one that brings us some measure of joy.

Comment by Miss Knotty 01.31.07 @ 10:53 am

I’m glad you write about it. I enjoy reading about what you do. 🙂

Comment by Romi 01.31.07 @ 1:43 pm

Reading about the good things you do does make me want to go out and do good things too.

Keep telling us, we insist!

Comment by LisaK 01.31.07 @ 3:46 pm

There’s no chance I’ll stop talking any time soon, nobody has to worry about that. I do think it’s healthy to keep an eye on why one does what one does. And Anne, thank you–I loved the laughing and that someone else out there knows what I mean about that song!

Comment by AlisonH 01.31.07 @ 6:21 pm

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