COVID19 crafting: The making of a virus

I don’t know about you, but I find that humour and a bit of silliness help me to cope with the stress of life. And I find that keeping myself busy helps me to cope with the anxiety and fear that comes with loneliness. And when faced with a massive COVID19 pandemic and the UK Government’s lockdown measures, I found that keeping busy with silliness is a great way to cope. (One month down, with no end in sight!)

I have decided to use this time to catch up on projects that I have yet to start or yet to complete, as well as time spent on my swirl drawings. But I have also realised that this is a good opportunity to get creative with new crafts and projects, especially those that use up some of my hoarded supplies that have no specific purpose. (That’s how the plague mask came to be: using up odds and ends that I had no plans for.)

Earlier this week, I had the “brilliant” idea to make a coronavirus. I thought about making a pinata that I could smash to bits or maybe a bit of yard art. But when searching for inspiration online, I came across several crocheted viruses, which seemed like the best option by far.

The problem was that I am a self-taught left-handed crocheter and have never had the patience to figure out how to do anything more than basic rows stitched together to make scarves and blankets. But I decided that this was as good of a time as ever to try to learn new skills within the craft.

I began by scouring the internet for patterns that looked “easy enough” for my skill level. I then started looking on YouTube to find tips on how best to manage different stitches. It took a bit of back-and-forth-ing before I found the pattern that would work best with my new-found skillsets and, in the end, I took the visual lessons I learned from YouTube and returned to the simplest written instructions I found.

Of course, it wasn’t quite as easy as that and there were still lessons to be learned. So, after making my first ball, I returned to YouTube to see if there were better ways. That’s when I learned about an “invisible decrease” which helped to fix the biggest “flaw” in my work. I then worked on improving my stitches for the spike proteins and the overall look of the virus.

My hope is that this is as close as I get to this horrible little virus. And if when my parents and siblings make it through this horrible pandemic safely, I might present them each with a small (inactive) virus as their 2020 Christmas ornaments as a reminder of one of the craziest years world has seen in recorded history.

As long as the social distancing and self-isolation practices continue, I will need to keep myself busy and distracted. That means that I plan to do more crafting as the lockdown continues, although not everything will be related to COVID19. Stay tuned to find out what other silly things I get up to during the lockdown!

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