Gifting is Beautiful

The quote from Momentum this morning is “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” by  David Viscott. I wanted to know more about David Viscott as this quote is meaningful to my personal journey. From this article at the Quote Investigator I found some interesting information some of which I used to write this post.

David Viscott was a psychiatrist who hosted a pioneering radio talk show in the 1980s and 1990s during which he provided tough love counseling to callers. Unfortunately he died in 1996 of a probable heart attack.

Viscott’s statement was composed of three parts instead of two:

The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.

I like this three part version because I like the idea that effort and work are required as many gifts are wasted when we don’t work on them. On a personal level, I’m still trying to work out what my gift is and, hence, what my life’s work and meaning are. I know I want to use my food science technical knowledge to make the food system more equitable and I want to appreciate beauty in world more. By beauty I mean both enjoying and appreciating the natural world and to add beauty to the world through my own creativity and actions. I’m trying to link these two purposes together.

On the subject of gifts, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that a gift should require effort. Thus, creating a gift is a more meaningful gift than giving one that was purchased.

Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a stone; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.

I’m definitely happier when I give gifts I have made. However, not everyone is appreciative of such gifts and therefore worthy of a handmade gift. Knitters call this knitworthy.  I wonder if Emerson was truly knitworthy.


Lucia’s Scarf

Last October my LYS, Stitches with Style, had a basic Lace Knitting Workshop with Franklin Habit.

Franklin at Stitches with Style

At that time he gave copies of his pattern Parterrre Brouderie which I started knitting and decided it would make a good christmas present for my niece, Lucia.  It was the only knitted present that I gave this year, so I hope she likes it.  If not I hope my sister-in-law takes it and uses it instead.  It came out very nicely, even if I say so myself.

Lucia's Scarf

Pattern Info

Pattern:  Parterre Broderie with added nupps

Size: ~5 ft long

Needles: US 3 / 3.25 mm

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace Solid in Pink

Started: 10 October 2009 at Franklin’s workshop at Stitches with Style

Finished:  19 December 2009


I added the nupps because we were practicing them in class, so I decided they could stay.  They do not show up very well in this yarn but are between the straight lines of pattern in the center.

I found this pattern very easy to remember.  So it was not too challenging that I could not knit it when I was tired like complicated lace patterns and not too easy that it got boring.

FO – Jessica and Robert’s Wedding Present

cushion cover detail

Cushion Cover Detail

Jessica and Robert got married in Sept 2007 and I offered to knit them a wedding present of their choice.  They chose cushion covers and sent me an idea of what colors.  Since I decided to knit them in Knit Pinks Wool of the Andes, they purchased a color card and matched it to a woven blanket that had also been a wedding gift.


Yarn for cushion covers

Originally, I have planned to knit Trivial Pursuit by Woolly Thoughts but this just didn’t work out.

Trivial Pursuit Started

Trivial Pursuit Started

Since knitting with preordained colors proved to be much harder than anticipated, I tried swatching with the different yarns and trying out different patterns.

Swatch for Cushion Covers

Swatch for Cushion Covers

I probably should have stuck with the Trivial Pursuit pattern and it would have worked out but in the meantime, I dreamed a design.  So I bought more yarn, as recommended by Kaffe Fasset when colors are not working, and knitted up that cushion.

Dream Cushion Cover

Dream Cushion Cover

I started a second one based on the same design elements but it was just taking too long, so I had a brain wave for another design.  Robert is a graphic artist and so I used the idea of graphics and pictures from Let their be Wyverns to design the second front.  The center detail was the opening photograph to this blog post.

Graphic Design Cushion Cover

Graphic Design Cushion Cover

In the meantime I did the backs, one of which I have no recollection of at all and the other one I finished just in time for their second wedding anniversary.

Fourth and final cushion cover

Fourth and final cushion cover

So they now have four 20″ x 20″ squares waiting to be converted into cushion covers.  I guess I sent them as cushion covers-to-be, some assembly required!

JnR are in the process of moving house so everything, including marvellous hand knitted cushion covers-to-be are packed away.  If they aren’t converted into cushions by the time I visit next visit, I will make finishing them up as my project.

Now I need a house warming project for them.  I hope they don’t mind waiting a couple of years!

All pictures are Copyright © 2009 cdavies.  Please ask permission to reproduce.