During the last year we all dealt with the different lockdowns in different ways. But the most surprising discovery for many people have been covid hobbies that have suck around!
I love being practical, the art of doing things gives me so much energy that the pandemic hit home quickly and when I was finished with my degree by second lockdown I was at a loss. But I took to finding my hobbies!
I thought I would mention but not include my running habit, something I started two and a half years ago but was able to nurture and really grow during lockdown. It helped my frantic mind have an outlet along with giving me another productive activity. Anyone else turn to exercise ? If not do not fear I had several months of sitting in bed eating packs of popcorn and chocolat,e so I am no saint in my habits.
I never thought I was a crafty person but when I started to run out of content and my beloved books couldn’t entice me into reading I wanted desperately to do something productive. I turned to my sewing machine. For context my lovely grandmother gave me a sewing machine by contactless drop off during lockdown 1 and with lots of phone calls and social distance chats in-between lockdowns I was able to learn the basics. We turned to mask making, ironically a really good starter pattern for a beginner sewing and super relevant for the year we had. I learnt how to sew the different scraps of fabric I had been given to start and how to insert the wires, elastic and soon I was making masks for everyone!
But I didn’t stop there. In my naturally enthusiastic style I went mad with different hobbies from that point on. I taught myself embroidery from Pinterest, crochet from YouTube and even made a pair of shorts from scratch on my sewing machine with lots of calls to my Gran. Something I am incredibly proud of and will now mention in any conversation about my sewing.
I was not alone, one of my best friends Libby can trumps me in how many crafty hobbies she collected. She also took up sewing, crochet, embroidery and even started making her own jewellery. Which I frequently abuse with requests for film accurate items (Howls Moving Castle; Howls earrings). She is far more crafty than me and is still working on her sewing at weekends and I am so proud of her work and she will kill me for being so soppy here.
But have they stuck ? I am a very practical person and as restrictions are being lifted and I start my shiny new job in the museum sector I don’t have the same about of time or drive for my sewing. BUT the skills will stick with me. Since then I have used my skills to alter my new work clothes and now love the challenge of making every item of clothing tailored to my exact proportions as a die hard pear shape.
We both came to the same conclusion that the productive element of crafting , where you physically make something that can be a gift, for fun or just reused was so rewarding during a time when all our normal outlets where taken away and it was hard to get out of bed.
Apparently it wasn’t just us! The whole nation also turned into “little old nanas” or “regency women” during the last year. Some iconic celebrities took up knitting and crochet; Michelle Obama and Tom Daley need a special shout out. According to a Refinery29 article explains that digital magazine subscriptions for crafty hobbies increase dramatically, along with Google searches for patterns and John Lewis sales for kits.
Will these stick with us? I think so. Just as we are coming to terms with the last year and reflecting on how we will remember this time in the future we will also remember these skills and turn to them when we need them. I still find it rewarding to complete a project and my homage to my craftiness is to try and handmake all my gifts. Right now that is still a pretty mask or basic tote bag but I hope to get better.
What about everyone else ? Did any of you turn to surprising crafts during lockdown ? Who was making all the bread on Instagram ? And did anyone else take up running ? Leave comments below and thanks for reading my rambles.