Crafts like cross stitch and weaving help ease anxiety during pandemic


My office closet, usually filled with brightly colored wires, overflowed. Skeins of blue, pink and white thread cover my sofa, my coffee table, my ottoman. Scraps are strewn on the carpet and down is sticking to my clothes. I used to keep my thread neatly contained, breaking it off at night when the repetitive motion of knotting it into different patterns calmed my mind, but now it’s overflowing, reflecting my mental state very well since the start of the COVID pandemic. -19.

Since March, I have been hooking, weaving and crocheting furiously. I’ve been doing these hobbies for years, ever since my Nana Great taught me how to crochet as a child. But being confined to my home due to the pandemic, I found solace in yarn crafting in ways that I didn’t have before. It’s a way to keep my mind and hands occupied, hiding all stray thoughts of the plight and sadness of the outside world under a thick layer of wool.

I’m not the only one who uses crafts as a real shield against the mental anguish of a global pandemic. According to Etsy, they saw a 64% increase in searches for the crafting supplies and tools category in the past three months, compared to the same time last year. During the same period, there was a 221% increase in searches on Etsy for DIY kits. In other words, many more people are using Etsy not to find the finished product, but the tools to make it themselves.

“With such a difficult year behind us, many have turned to crafts as a creative outlet and a calming distraction from this time of uncertainty,” said Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trends expert. Vogue teens. “During times of stress, crafts can provide basic and mindfulness activity for children and adults. And, because buyers have spent more time at home than ever this year, many have learned new skills to occupy their time. On Etsy, we’ve seen an increased interest in DIY kits since the start of the pandemic, telling us that shoppers have turned to creative hobbies – from cross stitch to painting and everything in between. “

Writer and musician Melanie Reiff started cross stitching during the pandemic, a hobby she chose on a whim. The day before the lockdown, Melanie said she and her mother went to Barnes & Noble looking for ways to stay busy while being quarantined together. When Mélanie saw a Daddy’s Girls cross stitch kit, it was immediately sold.

“Once I get in there, aside from the joke [of it being Golden Girls themed], I really started to like it. I don’t like tinkering in general because although I’m a writer and musician I’m not visually creative and I’m a perfectionist, so just like freehand painting or drawing got me really frustrated, ”says- she. Vogue teens. “I tried knitting, but found it frustrating because I was always wrong and didn’t know where I messed up. What I love about cross stitch is that it’s very easy to follow a pattern and count, so when I’m inevitably wrong I can go back and fix it.

That sense of control and that sense of accomplishment when she finishes a piece is gratifying. And, Melanie says it’s a distraction during the blurry days of COVID.

“It’s great because the cross stitch gives me something to do with my hands while watching TV other than the abysmal social media, and I’ve incorporated some holiday gifts,” she says.

Harriet bailey, the Nest program coordinator at Jane club, started making macrame during the pandemic because she wanted to decorate her apartment. Once she started to tie, she said it took her back to the carefree days of her childhood.


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