This is a secondhand story, told to me by someone we'll call Sara (because that's her name).
Sara commutes to and from work on a ferry. Every morning the ferry fills up with familiar faces on their way into the city. Later in the day, the same weary commuters pile back on to migrate home. True to human nature, folks tend to sit in the same spots, and as a result, Sara has grown to know and love the folks around her. She says they're like family to her. They share news from their family, their workday, their personal lives.
Sara is a knitter. She uses her ferry time to knit socks mostly, while chatting with her ferry family, or not chatting (because comfortable quiet is important too). Her knitting helps her to unwind from her workday (if you're a knitter you understand).
One day on the trip home, Sara was not knitting for some reason ... I forget the why, paperwork that needed finishing I think. One of the members of her ferry family had endured an unusually difficult day. He stirred in his seat. He was unsettled, searching. Exhausted from his bad day, he finally queried, "Why are you not knitting today? I really need for you to be knitting today".
It seems knitting is soothing to others. Secondhand Knitting.