Sunday, December 28, 2014

On Knitting And Kindness

Good evening, everyone...I hope the holidays have been as pleasant as possible, and that the yarn is flailing about with reckless and colorful abandon.

So, last week I did a blog post for LoveKnitting about the easiest fingerless mitts ever, so that people could get rid of their scrap yarn as gifts for people, and the pattern was designed to not have a thumb. They were easy as ever, after all, but I personally can't go thumbless in good faith. It prompted people to ask me how I made the thumb in the blog photos, so here is the blog post on how to make an afterthought can make any simple fingerless mitt that folds around the hand and add a thumb this way later:

I saw the movie "Wild" this afternoon after the Bears game (and yes, I have now gloated to Vinny a thousand times that my prediction for the Bears over Labor Day weekend was a 5-11 record, and that is how they ended the season), and there is a line in that movie where Laura Dern is teaching her daughter a life lesson:

"Always do the kindest thing."

I try to be kind at all times. I have failed miserably on a few occasions, but generally, the consequences of not being kind are never worth it. My niece asked me for a poncho for Christmas, and she told my mom she wanted it blue. I held it up to her on Christmas Day to make sure it fit her, and she said, "Can you put some pink on here if it isn't too much trouble?" Of course I can. You are almost nine, you are my brother's kid, and you asked me to knit you something. Miss Rachel, I will do whatever the hell you ask me to do, and I'll like it.

On Christmas, I got stood up for a breakfast date, which (from where I was sitting, anyway) meant I had some extra cash at my disposal. I bought breakfast for the woman in the booth behind me and her three adorable little boys...they walked into Denny's like they were walking into Disneyland. It was awesome. Then I rounded my server's tip up to the nearest hundred...she was lovely and deserved every penny.

But kindness certainly does not have to be about money...I just happen to make way more of it than I could ever understand how to spend. I never acquired a taste for Coach purses or whatever, so if it's not real estate, I probably consider it a luxury and don't bother buying it. I would rather give it away in ways like that to people who would appreciate it.

Kindness does not have to be about knitting, either...but knitters are usually the most charitable group out there. If you don't know Karen Plomin (or KcScrapper on Ravelry), get to know her...if she is knitting or talking about knitting, it is probably either because an item is being gifted to someone else or she is promoting a charitable organization that needs knitted goods. The girl doesn't have any idea what it means to NOT be kind.

Kindness, though, sometimes gets occluded by this huge ball of anger, and you have to look for it. I used to be close with someone that, looking back, was not kind. I should have seen it sooner, and I should have severed ties with that person sooner. All this person knew how to show was anger, and every time I heard this person say something that was meant to be kind...maybe it's just me, sounded fake, contrived. Perhaps I am wrong...maybe this person was one of the kindest beings ever. But I really do not think so. I saw this person almost throw a chair at a dog, not speak to someone for two days over the fact that his significant other showed him a picture of a baby, and told the person he supposedly loved that their outfit on date-night looked like they were going to a garage sale. Not kind at all.

I recently encountered someone who called me one of the more harsh insults I have ever been called, and crazy enough, my first reaction to it (in my head) was, "Wow...I really hope this person can find a way through all of that anger. I'm so, so sorry this person is hurting that deeply." Weird, right? And I did not respond to it because...well...why would I? This person's reality could not be changed, no matter how much explaining I felt like doing. And to an extent, I deserved the insult.

But I am still kind. I just make mistakes like the next girl. Because I am a knitter, I would normally make this person a prayer shawl but I do not think it would be well-received right now.

Then again, I once had a few dates with someone that I found out after the fact was married (I had been in his apartment, and there was absolutely no evidence to any other adult being in the place). I came to a place where the now-ex wife and I were able to be friendly enough where I sang at her wedding to the next guy. So I don't know...if a situation like that can be tied up into a neat bow instead of a bunch of angry loose ends, then maybe kindness prevails.

Maybe that was a fluke. I don't know. But I am not going to stop living by the golden rule and offering knitted goods to people who need them. Always do the kindest thing. All anger does is kills people, and it's not as worth it as the rewards of kindness.

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