A rising interest in crafts

Knitting in progress

It seems that the period of lockdown (due to the Covid-19 virus) has seen a rapid rise in interest in all kinds of handicrafts: sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery among them, but also including lettering, marbling, macramé and other activities. The Guardian newspaper (online) published a very interesting article by Zoe Lewis about this – the link can be seen below at the bottom of this post. The article included this glorious photograph of a crocheted rainbow.

A crocheted knitted rainbow of hope, on a park bench in Joppa, Edinburgh during Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

The article also mentions the many people (laughingly calling themselves scrubbers!) who have been making scrubs for NHS and careworkers. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be one of their number. I couldn’t make scrubs as my overlocker is in my studio, inside a locked building that I cannot use just now. My part has therefore been to make laundry bags (for the scrubs to go in for washing) and headbands to which masks can be attached to avoid irritation for workers who would otherwise wear elastic straps round their ears. Here is the second batch of headbands I made.

The sewing hub I have been contributing to has been organised by my sewing friend Aimee Veitch (whose profession is couture dressmaker). She set up a fundraiser to raise £300 for materials and finished by raising £2,300!). Hundreds and hundreds of items have been distributed already.

The first batch of sewing I did was a mixture of bags and headbands. Of course we are following social distancing rules, so the bags of completed items were thrown across the car-park!

Photos courtesy of Aimee Veitch of Corsetry and Couture

So, after two full weeks of sewing to help I’m back working at my job: creating resources for you – and others – to enjoy crafts like sewing, dressmaking, quilt-making and embroidery. There are new patterns in the Etsy shop (here) and more arriving this week.

During lockdown, these two fabric designs have been selling well:

‘New Hairdo’ available here.

I wonder why? Is it because none of us can access our hairdresser at the moment?!

The other is this one:

‘Saxophones’ available here

…because we are all listening to jazz? wishing we could learn to play an instrument?

Five years ago, I made my hobby (patchwork and quilting) into my work, so it’s been important to me to still do some craft for pleasure (although I do love my work!). So, with a new baby in the family, I pulled out my knitting needles again and made a small stripy cardigan.

It’s all finished now (stripes matching across the raglan sleeves and all). The small garment arrived safely at its destination via the Royal Mail and is being worn by baby Erin, who is eight weeks old today!

I’ve also done a crochet course, taught on Bluprint by Kim Werker, who is a really clear and helpful teacher. At last I understand the difference between UK and US crochet terms! So a spot of crochet is next, I think.

It’s also been fun to get out pencil and watercolours for an online Art challenge on Facebook (Quarantined Creatives with Matt Tommey). I even went back to collage, which I love.

Paper collages by Amanda Jane Ogden

Are you making things during lockdown? Or if you are a key worker, are you making something to de-stress when your shift is ended?

If so are you all going back to familiar crafts?

– or starting new ones?

I do hope that the itch to make things ourselves doesn’t disappear when we go back to ‘normal’.

Guardian article link: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/may/04/a-good-yarn-uk-coronavirus-lockdown-spawns-arts-and-craft-renaissance

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here.

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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