Pay it forward

One of my favorite things about being a crafter is belonging to such a giving community. Many of us make things for others and that is half the joy of the whole crafting process – seeing the look on the recipients face when they open their gift or look at the donation and realize that someone just gave them a piece of themselves. As a recipient of many hand made gifts over the years, I know it feels like a warm hug, a shot of confidence when you need it or a great big smile on a rainy day.

So I was flying to Richmond last week and decided to work on this georgette chiffon ribbon scarf.  I know its crazy with the the restrictions on scissors but they let you take knitting needles on a plane — I’m not gonna complain, but seriously? there is no question at all when the TSA sees these pointed impalers in my carry on but they’ve got to run the bag thru twice and do a hand check for the woman in front of me with  scissors — and they weren’t even Kai scissors!  There’s no way she could have cut fabric with those things!  But again, I digress 🙂

Sharing the beauty of crafted materials

Sharing the beauty of crafted materials

I was at SewExpo the week before and picked up this ribbon with holes in it that you knit to create this ruffled scarf.  I am not a skilled knitter – Jean still shakes her head at me when we repeat the same lesson we did the last time I visited (and the two times before that LOL) 🙂 But I can make these scarfs.  The yarn or now ribbon is what makes the scarf – all I have to do is weave on 7 and then knit until the ribbon/yarn is gone – very easy very cool!  So here I am on the plane making this scarf with my potential weapons and the guy next to me can’t stop saying “they really let you thru security with those?!?!”  He’s a guy – no comment on the scarf but it obviously caught the eye of our lovely stewardess 🙂

But hey! Alyssa had never seen anything like this before – none of her relatives sewed or quilted or knitted so she had never been exposed to seeing “something created from nothing” growing up like I an most of us have.  So I let her do a row of stitches – a whole 7 LOL – assured her they were perfect and she was just tickled that it was so simple to do.

As she came by to collect the last bit of garbage she asked if I was almost done – I need about 15 minutes – and she said that was about what we had left and she couldn’t wait to see the finished scarf.  We had been talking about her niece getting married in a couple weeks, the colors of the bridal party were this magenta purple and seeing how “do-able” this was she might go and find a yarn shop in Dallas.  I finished the scarf and I just had this feeling that it “belonged” to someone else.  I so enjoyed the process, the conversations, that I knew that the finished item was part of the “journey” for me.

So we land and the people in front of me were struggling with their overhead stuff, and there was a line behind me in the plane…..I had my stuff all together and get to the front of the plane where Alyssa is waiting to see the finished scarf….I don’t want to hold up the line 🙂  I hand it to her, tell her to enjoy wearing it to the wedding – be sure to trim off the tail since I did not bring scissors LOL – and pay it forward.  I was talking over her “let me pay you for this” as I just kept walking off the plane completely enjoying the utter glow and smile and shock on her face – felt just like Santa! I said “seriously, your smile has made my gift priceless – enjoy and remember you helped make this so YOU CAN knit – no payment necessary, just pay it forward”

For me, that was so great to see her surprise and smile — I’m sure it added a nice twist to her day 🙂  The gentleman behind me loved that I did that and he was grinning saying that he hadn’t seen pure joy like that in awhile – thanks for making his day and reminding him of his Mom who loved to make and give things away.  So he was happy as well — cool.

The story doesn’t end here 😀 Are you getting goose bumps like me?  I had given her my email address….not only did she stop by a yarn shop in Dallas, and not only did she make herself a cocoa colored frilly yarn one after a quick lesson on how to get started from the store owner…..but she also went back, before she finished hers and got 4 more skeins to make gifts for her nieces’ wedding party.  As she said, she was “paying it forward” 🙂  What an awesome email for me to get.

So here I am back at the airport and thought it would be a good time to update my blog with this story.  So many smiles will be generated by that one little scarf.  Isn’t that why we craft?  I like to think that no matter the passion – knitting, sewing, embroidery, scrapbooking, whatever – yes we end up making something physical, but we also end up “creating smiles” for ourselves and everyone that comes in contact with our creation.

Hope you have a creative week!

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One Comment on “Pay it forward”

  1. Rosemary O'Koren says:

    It’s so nice when people truly appreciate your work. I only make things for people who will appreciate them.


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