I hope you are all well and safely at home in what has been a very strange time for all of us around the world with the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. My family has been in self-isolation for about three weeks now, with the exception of my hubby who still has to work. This means he is our designated ‘outside world’ person as well for things like groceries and other essentials. As much as it pains me to do so, I am doing the responsible thing and only working on projects that can be made from my existing (and substantial) yarn stash, rather than shopping for new yarn which…..sigh….isn’t actually essential. Seriously though, it’s a small price to pay for the greater good and if we all do our part, it has the potential to save the lives of the most vulnerable among until those miracle working health care professionals can get the treatments and vaccines we need to beat this.
I have had my share of good days and bad days so far. I don’t do well with being stuck at home and not being able to socialize, so I am adjusting to this new normal as best I can and have been trying out a few things to help fight the boredom and alleviate some of that feeling of being ‘stuck’ in the house. Here are a few of the things I find have helped me so far:
Changing up your work space: After spending over a week in the same spot on the couch whenever I sat down to crochet, I decided to start working in different areas of the house to give myself a sense of ‘going somewhere’ while being stuck at home. I do have a craft room, but I don’t actually spend much time working in there because it’s a basement room with no windows. I actually started working at the kitchen table, which has an excellent view of the back yard where the kids play, and at my oldest son’s desk in his room, since he has the only window that faces the street. I find that working in a different space, with lots of natural light has done wonders for alleviating some of that ‘cooped up’ feeling I was getting. As silly as it sounds, even sitting in a different chair makes a huge difference for me. I am the kind of person that takes my crochet everywhere with me, and I don’t like to stay in one spot for too long. One of the many reasons I crochet is because I’m quite fidgety and have trouble sitting still without something to keep me busy. I love to crochet outside, so I am very much looking forward to the warmer days where I can go out and do some crafty stuff in the sunshine!
Cleaning up/organizing your creative space: My craft room is a constant work in progress, mainly because I don’t actually spend a ton of time down there.I am currently set up in a corner of the basement in a space without a window, but I do my best to make it look as nice as possible. I have a workbench set up with a TV, so when I need a separate place to hang out where I’m unlikely to be bothered, I have a place to go. Most of my organizational efforts go into my yarn stash, for obvious reasons (as you can see, my space still needs some work, haha). Whether your yarn stash is big or small, organizing your materials and tools is a great way to get an idea of what you have to work with, and get some ideas for a new project! If you’re feeling uninspired, try moving things around a bit, and tidying up those messy, half-used yarns by neatly re-rolling into balls, or make them into self striping scrap cakes for a fun stash buster!
Trying to master something you aren’t terribly good at but want to improve, or try something completely new: You have to be in the right frame of mind for this, because on a bad day, this can be extremely frustrating. But if you are struggling to find a project that catches your interest, why not try something totally out of your comfort zone, or something that will allow you to perfect that technique you always wanted to improve at? Have you been avoiding a project because it uses a new stitch or lots of fancy colour work? Now is the perfect time to try it!! There are plenty of YouTube videos out there to help you figure out even the most tricky of techniques, and with so many of us at home, all you need to do is look to your favourite Facebook or Ravelry group for a few pointers if you are really stuck, and there will often be someone right there to help you out! Which brings me to my next point…
Networking with other crafters: Whether you are a beginner, expert, designer, free-style crocheter, whatever, there are others out there like you and we are all in the same situation. Check through the crochet groups (on Facebook, Ravelry, or follow your favourite people on Instagram), and be inspired by all the beautiful things other people are creating. Compliment someone on their work, offer help to someone who asks for it, get help from the experts, and encourage those beginners!! We can all use a little pick me up these days and even the smallest interaction can have a big impact on someone’s day if they are really struggling. I haven’t been super active in my groups with the kiddos occupying a good chunk of my time, but I do try and say something nice about someone’s work as often as I can, and I look for beginner posts specifically to offer encouragement, support, and help (if it’s asked for). I have seen a lot of posts of people taking up crochet/knitting as a new hobby to keep themselves occupied during isolation and it’s a wonderful thing!
Take breaks to keep active: Take breaks to keep yourself moving, whether it’s a workout, a walk around the block, or even a few stretches, whatever is comfortably within your abilities.Some days I don’t feel like doing anything at all, but I make myself get up once an hour to at least stretch, or stand outside for a few minutes for some fresh air. Spending some time In the garden with my kids has been a refreshing break, and I can’t wait for the warmer weather so we can do more!
Talk on the phone: Yes, really, I am adding this on here. Many of us are home alone, or single parents, or caring for children and parents, whatever your situation is at home, even those of us who are fortunate enough to have a spouse or other helper at home are getting a bit stir crazy and craving some real conversations that just can’t be done with a text. Bonus, if you have an earpiece or use speakerphone (for the old fashioned ones like me) you can crochet to your heart’s content while you catch up with friends and family, rather than losing your spot every time you have to reply to a text.
What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied these last few weeks/months? (depending on where you are) Share your favourite patterns, projects, and boredom fighting tips with us!!
Keep calm and crochet on!