Situations like the past five months call for new avenues to maintain sanity. At least for me, they do because abundant, seemingly never-ending change can be mentally and emotionally challenging.
By the first of April, I was already struggling with significant changes to my daily routine. Our entire family working from home every day was not what I was used to! My courses moved online, so I no longer had the opportunity to interact with my students or colleagues in a face-to-face environment. Many things seemed out of my control, and I looked at a screen for entirely too many hours every day! I needed a screen-free activity that could serve as a respite from all of the change.
I didn’t know what it was either, although I had seen others on social media who were crocheting cute stuffed animals. I’ve always been a sucker for cute stuffed animals, and I knew the basics of crochet, so I began searching online to see how these creations were made. Turns out there’s a name for the craft – amigurumi. It is a Japanese word meaning “crocheted or knitted stuffed toy.” I found a few free patterns online, dug out some yarn and the only crochet hook I owned, and got to work.
My first creation was a bird. (I love birds.) It was fairly easy to do, particularly after watching a few YouTube videos to be reminded about creating various crochet stitches. I went on to complete a giraffe, three bears, a fox, a snail, and two rabbits.
I was hooked (pun intended)! So, I purchased a book of patterns, including the ones pictured above. These turned out to be my favorites so far.
Crocheting in the evening, or free moments during the day, lets me forget about all the change going on around me. I focus on following the pattern instructions and watch the project come to life. A frustrating, yet cathartic, thing about crochet is that if something isn’t right, you can pull the stitches out and do it again. I don’t know how many times I wanted to undo something about life that wasn’t right over the past few months!
It is very satisfying for me to have a measure of control over the creation of these projects. I can decide what colors to make them and my actions result in their existence. As insignificant as these projects are in the grand scheme of life, they have contributed to my sanity during this COVID season. And for that, I am grateful for the art of amigurumi!
“What will you do with all of these creations?” my friends and family ask.
I don’t know. Maybe I’ll sell them or give them away. Maybe I’ll keep them as a reminder of this time. I just know that for now they allow me a screen-free outlet. I can control the outcome and the outcome is pretty cute!
What about you?
Have you found a way to relieve some of the stress during the past few months? How will you stay mentally and emotionally healthy in the coming weeks?
Please share your thoughts or ideas in the comments below.