Export license
Sunday December 07th 2008, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

my tam from Afton

It’s kind of dangerous to post pictures of things friends have made for me because I can’t possibly fit everything in here–but it is all appreciated.

From my friend RobinM, quoted with permission:Kate and Deb\'s socks

“This morning I heard an interview with singer Tom Jones.  Members of the radio audience had submitted questions.  A woman said she had been to lots of Tom Jones concerts; no matter what mood someone was in when she went to the concert, she emerged with a smile.   What made him smile?

The yarn Laura dyed; Julia shawl patternHe said that he had been bedridden for a couple of years with TB.  He used to look out his window to see kids playing by a lamppost.  He told himself if he could ever get to that lamppost, he wouldn’t complain about a thing.  He’s never forgotten it.  What makes him smile is to sing and see the smiles on the faces of the audience.”

I loved this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/04/AR2008120403537.html It states that someone had studied the effects of being happy on others: a shared guffaw, a smile, a thoughtful act.  I’d have been curious to follow them around to see exactly what their methodology was, to see for myself whether the presence of the researcher had contributed to the positive expectations: whether people felt they had to show the stranger that the kindnesses of their friends was important.  Curious.  But either way, they found that the ripple-on-the-pond effect goes out to three degrees of separation to people who didn’t even know nor see the originators, and that it can extend up to a year.

I would guess that it actually goes far longer than that, although I’m sure it depends on how you define it.  After all, just think of someone who went out of their way to do something uncommonly nice for you, and doesn’t it lift your spirits years and years after the fact? That teacher who believed in you.  The friend who gave up her time to listen when you needed it.  The stranger who smiled hi in passing on the day you most needed it.  That provides motivation, years after the fact, to go and do the same for someone else.Jasmin\'s socks

We knitters have an edge in all that.  What we make and give is a tangible reminder of how we feel about someone, a way to bless them over and over and over, bringing a smile to their face as they put the shawl to their back or socks to their feet, feeling warmed and thought about.

That’s powerful.

And hey, Jasmin, with the Crohn’s and lupus flares going on, I put on that second pair from the right today. I didn’t get to take you up on your hot cocoa offer yesterday, so I carried you around with me all day here instead.

Thank you all of you and to every person who comes to read my blog.  Much appreciated.

18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like your sock assortment. It’s been cold (seriously for CA) here all week and I’ve been be-moaning my lack of knit socks. Seems I almost always give them away!

Comment by Ruth 12.08.08 @ 12:05 am

Hope the flares pass quickly, Alison. Sending healing thoughts and much love your way.

I get a kick out of Tom Jones, especially when I run across him by chance. he is always a nice surprise. I love the way he appears suddenly to save the day in that bizzaro movie, Mars Attacks. And Slim Whitman’s yodeling makes the aliens’ heads explode. It’s a strange movie, but made me laugh my fool head off. In the last scene, Tom Jones is off in the woods somewhere sing It’s Not Unusual and grooving with a bunch of forest critters. Cute!

Comment by Paula 12.08.08 @ 4:44 am

Best wishes for short flares with minimal/no damage.

I prescribe viewing Clue, the movie. Every time I do, I get caught up in viewing the details of that marvelous house (ooh, I hadn’t seen that part!). DH and I quote bits to each other “Why has the car stopped?” “It’s frightened!”

Must see Clue myself!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 12.08.08 @ 6:29 am

Feel better soon!

Very pretty socks. Nothing like knit socks to make one smile on a cold day!

Comment by Alison 12.08.08 @ 6:36 am

What beautiful gifts! It is only right that the woman who warms so many hearts and bodies with her own knitted gifts receives a few in return!

Comment by Channon 12.08.08 @ 6:53 am

oh kiddo hope those flares end soon

i could have saved them lots of money on that study – and pointed out that the opposite is also true – there are chronically miserable people who can suck the joy right out of you — my bil is one of those folks. i swear te man is happiest when he has pulled everyone else down to his level of miserable. i call him an emotion vampire

Comment by rho1640 12.08.08 @ 7:37 am

Oh, I pray your flares quickly fade. I will put you on the prayer list. This was such a gooooood post! I am thinking of my first and second grade teacher (I was fortunate to have her both years and as a close friend for many years) and my knitting mentor. And I am counting you as one of my “feel good people”. I will finish “Michelle’s shawl” today, for my granddaughter. HUGS

Comment by sherry in idaho 12.08.08 @ 7:47 am

*hug* 🙂

Comment by Amy 12.08.08 @ 8:09 am

I’m always slightly skeptical about that sort of social science research methodology and like rho1640 could have saved them money. Are they trying to prove the obvious? Can these things really be accurately and quantifiably measured? I do know that when I read your thoughtful blog whether the subject is joyous or about suffering and loss, I feel warmed by your spirit, even in cyberspace. You approach the subjects so tenderly–oh, and did I mention I love all the knitting? Thank you, Alison.

Comment by LynnM 12.08.08 @ 8:41 am

Alison, I missed the first part of the Tom Jones interview, so thanks for the recap! I’ve been wearing my wool socks all week — I finally have a week’s worth, and had them drying under fan to make sure they were ready for today!

Comment by Renee 12.08.08 @ 9:18 am

Aw! There’s nothing like handknit wool socks to make you feel better. They’re my pleasure.

We quoted you in the podcast yesterday, when we were talking about the effects of giving people knitted items. 🙂

Comment by Jasmin 12.08.08 @ 10:36 am

Alison, reading your blog always puts a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing the many experiences of your life.

Comment by Joansie 12.08.08 @ 12:39 pm

I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly, love — good hugs and thoughts coming your way, and know that they’re coming from Robb as well, as soon as I let him know they’re needed!

Oh, and here’s an image you’ll love — Lucy caught me eating a brownie the other day…so guess who got to smear her whole face with half-molten brownie? I didn’t get a picture, I was so busy laughing.

Comment by Kristine 12.08.08 @ 2:21 pm

And I so appreciate the thoughtful meditations like this one! Thank you so much. And I hope that the flare-ups flare right back down again and give you some peace.

Comment by Jocelyn 12.08.08 @ 3:35 pm

Have you ever seen something and wondered “WOW that looks nice, I wonder who made that? Oh, dear heavens, I did! Where in the world did I get that pattern? And do I still have it?”

Comment by Afton 12.09.08 @ 1:44 pm

Thank you, Allison for such a thoughtful blog to read. I love the row of socks!

Comment by rebecca jc 12.09.08 @ 5:06 pm

The other nice thing about being nice to others beside the effect it has on them is that it also lifts our spirits and gives us the same feel good feeling. 🙂 The gift of service, rather a kind act or a simple smile, is truely amazing. 🙂

Comment by LDSVenus 12.09.08 @ 7:40 pm

What lovely gifts:)I love reading your blog.I hope it was okay I tagged you on my blog:) Hugs Darcy

Comment by Darcy 12.10.08 @ 4:19 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>