And the Winner Is....
My last post started out as a commentary on the generosity of fiber folk and ended up as a contest asking people to post answers to the chicken-and-egg-type question of whether generous people are somehow drawn to the fiber arts or working with fiber somehow makes people more generous. An amazing 21 responses came in, and I was incredibly impressed with everyone's thoughts. I was touched by wavybrains' story of how she learned to crochet in order to make Christmas presents; I smiled at robin's image of fiber gremlins and fairies flittering around her stash; I loved the strong feminist ethos underlying terri d's comments about the "culture of domesticity" and "true womanhood" vs a non-gender-specific desire to nurture. In fact, everyone's comment contained something wonderful and inspiring, and picking just one writer to send a surpise to was really tough.
But, I kept coming back to one comment, I think because I was moved by the fact that the writer started out knitting because she wanted something for herself, and through the process of knitting discovered that she wanted to give to others. Here's the comment as written by its author, in full:
"I started knitting because I saw a pair of fingerless gloves I wanted to make in a book. I never thought I would want to start knitting things for other people. To some extent, I think that having the ability to knit has caused me to look beyond just knitting for myself and, instead, see places where I can bring a smile to someone else's face. Giving a handknit is much different to me than giving money because part of me is in my knitting... the love I have both for knitting and the person I am knitting for, the time I spend choosing a pattern and yarn and knitting it up makes a handknit so much more valuable a gift. I would hope the recipients agree. Maybe that is why generous knitters are drawn together; they understand the work put into creating and can appreciate that at a level many other people cannot. To answer your question more directly, I think that truly having something to give makes many people who work with fiber more giving."
So, congratulations, REN -- you're a winner, in more ways than one! A little surprise will be winging its way to you in the near future.... :)