This Nice Thing

This nice thing happened to me.  Everyday, I read lots and lots and lots of blogs.  It’s like a job (except that, unlike a job, I love it!)  And there’s this one blogger, Justina Blakeney that I love, love, love.

I’ve never met her, but she inspires me daily with her creativity, her quiet ambition and her talent.  And so, when she posted her wedding pictures, I was happy for her.  And then, she posted that she was having a baby (or, as she says, boomba!).   And so, then, I thought, here’s my chance to send her some stranger love (which is way better than stranger-danger!).  She’s got a billion followers on her blog and on Pinterest, but she struck me as the kind of person for whom having one of the random horde stand up and say, “Hey, thank you!  I think you’re great!” would bring a smile to her face.

So, I made that boomba some stuff to wear, and I sent it to her.  For no reason at all.  I told her that I wasn’t doing it to get publicity on her blog (which is why I’m not linking to her post) or any kind of recognition.  I am just committed, because of my 2012 Resolutions, to letting people who make me happy — no matter who they are, and believe me, I’ve stopped strangers on the street!–know that they’re making a difference in one person’s life in a profound way.

All I wanted was for her and that boomba and the boomba-father-husband to know that there was a random person out in the world wishing them well.  That’s a nice feeling, I imagine.  People with skin in the game, as it were, are bound to be on your side.  I think it could only help to have a stranger who thinks you’re awesome include you on their nightly prayer list, hmm?

I’d say that 20% of the reason I make so much stuff is that I find joy in the making.  But, that other 80% is because I love, love, love to see someone wearing something I stitched up, or cuddled up with a blanket I’ve knitted because that, to me, is the real deal.  Not because it looks cute or good or off the chain, but because they’re wearing something that came from my hands and that was made with love.  There are at least two rows in one of the boomba’s sweaters that were knitted while I was on the phone with my Mom or my Dad, and that conversational love gets all wrapped up in the knitting through no doing of my own.

The yarn I use will always list its makeup:  80% merino, 20% cashmere in this case.  But, I think we need a separate tag for the finished project:  50% yarn, 50% every good wish.  I think one of the reasons I have such a hard time finishing and sending off projects for my close friends and family is that they already know I love them, and so I worry that what I make won’t be a good enough expression of that.  (Even though they’re always so happy to get a quilt or a sweater or socks…)  For me, making stuff for folks I’ve never met is freeing — all I have to do is think about is the making.  The love is in doing the craft, not how good the finished product looks, and that’s enough.

Anyway, this is getting heady, and it might not be making sense, since I’ve not slept in two days because of that horrible red-eye (stay tuned for pix of the Mimi G sewing event, which was worth the red eye!).  So, let’s just finish up.  Here’s what my sweaters and booties for Justina’s boomba looked like, courtesy of Justina being a way better photographer than I am.  Hope she don’t mind I stole the picture from her blog!



2 Replies to “This Nice Thing”

  1. Oh, so, since the last post Justina made was about this stuff, I guess I did post the link, so I (accidentally) lied. I would hope you’d know what was in my heart — I wanted this to be a real gift, no reciprocation necessary!

  2. Dear Jen, this was seriously one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me–and the sweaters and the booties are absolutely delectable. the fact that they are made with “50% yarn, 50% every good wish” is obvious when looking at the tiny sweaters and I know they they will remain in my family for generations–along with your story and your message of generosity and gratefulness. I am honestly so moved. Thank you so very much–with love, Justina

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