Saturday, May 27, 2006

In which Lene changes my attitude

In the comments, Lene writes

Those socks remind me of my childhood. Then my mom used to knit socks out of left our yarns from other projects. And the socks would have stripes like yours. I don't think she ever shopped for sock yarn...

And suddenly my perspective shifted.

While I was knitting the last pair of CIC socks, I was laden with guilt. Here I am, a relatively wealthy American, who could perfectly well afford to go out and buy new yarn for socks for these little kids, but I was using scraps. What kind of respect did that show for these kids, who have every right to a nice pair of socks?

So guilt, guilt riding me every row, every guilty color change, until I was angry at the socks and myself, disappointed in my lack of generosity.

Then Lene commented. And I had a good long think.

But would it really respect children who have nothing best to waste the ends of yarn left over from other projects? Is it really the right attitude that buying something new and throwing out the old, still soft, still knittable, still lovely yarn is the appropriate way to gift the world? Is it giving if I am guilt-laden with every stitch?

I finished these socks with love, with careful Kitchener stitches, a warm wash. As I spread them out to block, I was able to think: These socks will warm a small child and they will be so very soft. My fingers have clothed them. My love goes from these fingers to that child's toes, and that's how I want it to be.

I'm not saying I'm entirely free of guilt. But my perspective has definitely angled upward.

And thank you, Lene.


Earin Marybird said...

Reframing. A shift in perspective. Isn't it fascinating how things look so different from another point of view? You liked/loved the yarn to start with, you're showing respect by continuing to use it for making something special, something that didn't exist till you took the time, effort and love to create it. That's amazing and wonderful. We take so much for granted - often not noticing the wonderous things we have and do for each other each and every day we are alive.

Anonymous said...

you are a kind and generous soul and the very fact you are hand-knitting socks for them speaks volumes. it would be easier to buy socks, but you are making them. just think of the delight on their faces when they open your gift and see the beautiful colors and then how they oooh and awe over how soft they are. In the end you will bring them JOY and what yarn you used will not factor in at all. that isn't what it's about for them.