Old and New Crafting Skills Used During a Year Of Lockdown

By Rosie Donnan

During the first March of lockdown, the new rules of wearing a mask encouraged me to get out my sewing machine and use up any cotton material and elastic I had lying around and make face masks. The internet was full of patterns and after several methods were tried, I came up with one that suited me. I wanted to make provision for an added layer to my 2 layers if needed. I also found quickly that my ears do not allow the elastic to stay behind them very easily so I had to adapt the elastic to go round the head, not the ears. I initially made about 25 masks for my family and several friends.

In September our first grandchild was born in Turkey, a girl Ivy. As I love doing cross stitch cards I made a card to celebrate the birth.

One month later we were blessed by our second grandchild , a boy called Leo. Another card was made which kept me very busy crafting.

A framed cross-sticth celebrating the birth of a child

With these two new grandchildren I wanted to knit a blanket and hats but I suffer from M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) which has left my left hand and leg weak. I cannot hold 2 knitting needles at the same time which makes knitting impossible.

I read that knitting looms are easy to use and cheap to buy. The previous year I had bought a small one and taken it to Kenya where I teach different crafts to children in a primary school we have helped build near Mombasa. This loom proved popular and I have a request to take more out when we are next allowed to go. I found that I could hold the loom with my weak left hand next to my chest and lift stitches with my stronger right hand. Amazon had many different types of looms and many different sizes, so I invested in some round looms and some long looms and a book of instructions. This proved to be a new craft I taught myself. The internet had many U Tube videos on how to cast on,  knit different stitches,  and cast off. I have spent many enjoyable hours experimenting with stitches and making hats and scarves. Both my new grand children received hats of different sizes.

Four knitted baby bonnets

I have greatly improved since these first attempts.

A blue knitted baby bonnet

I have now bought some looms which make a tighter knit and do purl and knit stitches. My recent acquisition is a loom on which to make socks. Let’s wait and see how it turns out.

A circular knitting loom
Side view of a circular knitting loom
A rectangular knitting loom

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