To open this blog post with an understatement:
There has been a lot going on recently…
There has been a lot of unforeseen changes and as a result of our current global pandemic, most of us have had to adapt out everyday life in ways we have not experienced or could not predict in our lifetimes.
Thanks to everyone everywhere. Everyone has dealt and keeps dealing with the crisis in the best way that is available to us all at any one time. We have all done our best, we have all adjusted how we could have, and that is okay. Whether you agree with me or not, I just wanted to highlight this hopeful outlook on life and people, and perhaps i also wanted to give myself some acceptance and compassion for how much difficulty seemingly minor changes to my life have brought, in terms of questioning my purpose and validity for the world.
This post, which I have decided to write out of schedule, in the middle of the month (roughly), is going to try to tackle how thecreativehook.com part of me has fared through the change and uncertain circumstance of the covid-19 worldwide situation.
I have reacted the only way I know how: Creativity.
Initially, I have made some masks because we needed them in our household. Then, about a week later, I spent a full day making as many basic square face masks as I could muster; to be taken to work and given to anyone who may have needed them. I had felt a very very very prominent underlying anxiety at the time of making those, and keeping busy with making something useful felt one of the ways i could contribute positively. Traveling to work became anxiety inducing in itself, and my home, even more than usual, became the safest place i could exist in. I know a lot of people have found staying indoors difficult. I am not one of them.
I LOVE being inside! There is always a project to crochet, a show to watch or a book to read. My time indoors is my FAVOURITE time, so that part was the easy part for me.
After the first day of sewing face masks, I have donated most of these, and we were only left with a few each. When I had more time, I made another batch. That time i made those which we both preferred, which are the more shaped ones. I decided to choose the fabrics for these for ME! I have had a lot of cotton fabric sat in my craft room stashes leftover from when I first created my website and made a sloth of fabric bears – see HERE.
I got to it, and made enough face masks for us, considering everyday use and laundering these daily.. I have made sure that the ones I made for me are my favourite patterns, fabrics and colours. I had made spares, to give to friends who either asked for them, or when asked, confirmed they would wear them. I was glad to help. I have made more since, when people asked for more, usually making spares just in case.
And then i made more, and then more again..
Along the way, perhaps because of remaking these face masks in small quantities regularly, I have perfected the process somewhat, and refined it into a neat, professionally looking product. It reignited my love of sewing I have always had but in recent years sort of forgotten temporarily. I have realised that I prefer to make the more shaped ones because there is more sewing and less ironing in the making of those.
I have always hated ironing (I don’t!) which was my downfall in past sewing projects. Ironing is a much needed part of the sewing process. When you are using fabric, you are often trying to manipulate it into shapes against its natural predispositions. A little guidance in the form of ironing your seams makes it a lot easier and the finished product a lot neater. So, if i was giving the masks away, they needed to fit correctly, and it made sense to give way to my personal dislike of ironing in favour of quality end result.
I did reaffirm why i dislike this endeavour so much. The hot steam and my overly sensitive fingers are not a good match. And i do not think i would have made the connection without reading a book about introverts – stay with me!
Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, available HERE, Cain mentions research that was done about Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) which had made me identify with this personality trait, and had put a lot of doubts and feelings into perspective for me. It was also synchronistically mentioned in one of Miranda Hart‘s CHATTY RAMBLES on social media, so look it up if you think it may be of some use.
Suddenly my avoidance of ironing made sense!
Crochet face masks do not iron or work as well. I have discovered, world wide, crocheters seem to be re-focusing their craft skills into making fabric face masks. There is quite a few on Instagram, you can search through the people i follow to find the ones i have added recently. There is at least 5 including myself who I have come across, in fact, it was one of us, people I did already follow because of their crochet work, who highlighted the others and showed me their amazing adaptation of their creativity to adjust with the times.
Another advantage of having time to concentrate on my creativity without limits was announced HERE:
I have thrown myself into working on my website, and into more than my usual type of creativity, as I often do when I am trying to avoid thinking/ feeling. Keeping busy, with a problem I can solve, as oppose to the unsolvable and uncertain way of the pandemic.
I thought today’s post was going to be heavy and difficult, emotionally draining not only for me but surely for everyone who reads it, because that was how i have been feeling these past weeks: overwhelmed and unsettled.
Something else had happened instead. By writing down and acknowledging to myself how creative i was able to continue being in this time, running away or not, it seemed to have made me realise how valuable, yet again, crochet and creativity is in my life.. And the links and lessons i have found along the way have been invaluable.
In a way, by telling the story of the face masks i have talked myself out of my misery :).
So, Thank You for reading, and I look forward to the next post already, which will be published as planned, on 9th June 2020.
It will introduce the Galaxy Nebula inspired Gaseous Giant blanket and its story of origin, previously mentioned briefly HERE.
Note: ‘flyer’ means, according to Dictionary.com: ‘a rotating device that adds twist to the slubbing or roving and winds the stock onto a spindle or bobbin in a uniform manner’. When i was checking the spelling of flier/ flyer to make sure i use the correct one, i decided to keep the spelling of this long forgotten textile machinery part in the title of this blog post. It was not what i originally intended to say, flier would have fitted that better, as the person who flies frequently, because the face masks have been frequently under the hook (sewing needle). Still, flyer, as a valid spelling and a nice nostalgic connection with textile manufacture and cotton fabric making, was the word/ spelling of choice for this blog post. 🙂