Wellbeing Check-in

We’ve been living under varying levels of lockdown for over three months now and (although everyone’s situations are different) I think it’s fair to say that all our lives have changed.

So I thought it might be a good time for us to do a wellbeing check-in!

Of the things that I’m grateful for during lockdown – my top three (in no particular order) would be: my garden, being able to work from home and living with a wellbeing advisor! Mostly because he’s lovely… but the wellbeing advice is always a bonus!

One of the things that Beardie often refers to as a good way to check-in with how we’re feeling is the “five ways to wellbeing”.

Research has shown that we need to fulfil certain needs in order to maintain good wellbeing: Connecting to others, being active, taking notice, learning and giving. You can find more details over on the Mind website here.

Connecting to others has definitely been difficult for all of us during lockdown… video chats just aren’t the same but they’re better than nothing.

So maybe do a check-in with how you’re feeling now and think about how that compares to the before-times. Maybe there’s one of these five needs that you’ve been fulfilling more during lockdown and you want to carry that through to the after-times?

I’ve personally been a lot more active and have really been enjoying running (still can’t believe that…) so I want to make time for that on the other side.

I’ve also realised how much I value seeing my friends face-to-face and being able to hug them! I’m definitely going to be a hugger when we have a vaccine!

Hope you’re all staying safe and mentally and physically well x

Facemasks

Last week in the UK we were advised to wear a face covering when in enclosed places like shops. I’d already been thinking about making one – but this announcement spurred me on to make a big batch of masks for myself, family, friends and neighbours.

I’m really happy with the finished masks – so I thought I’d share the resources I used. Please feel free to share what’s worked for you in the comments!

I started by making one of the simple pleated masks from The Big Community Sew, but it turned out really bulky at the sides and wasn’t a good fit. I think that style would work better with a dress weight fabric and I was using quilting cotton.

Also – as I couldn’t see everyone in person to fit their masks, I wanted the ties/elastic to be in a channel rather than fixed to give the wearer more flexibility. Fixed elastic/ties would probably have helped to avoid some of the bulk on that particular style.

My final masks were made from Juliet Uzor’s tutorial and everyone seems happy with the fit!

The fabric Juliet used looks the same on both sides so if you find that confusing have a look at the video below. It’s pretty much made in the same way but the right/wrong side of fabric is a bit clearer.

I only had a small amount of elastic so I used that on mine and then used gros-grain ribbon on the others in the same was Juliet did. The ribbon ties are pretty good if you’re making masks for people you don’t live with as they make the fit more flexible.

I made mine slightly differently because I was using the machine. I cut out my circles using pinking sheers to avoid fraying and allowed a little extra for seam allowance. I also top stitched along the top and bottom edges which makes them a bit stronger and helps with keeping the shape/structure after washing.

I wore mine to do the shopping on Monday and was worried it might make breathing difficult- but it was fine!

An elderly gentleman dropped some shopping – I was within two metres of him to pick things up and was really glad that we were both wearing masks. Of course the masks don’t completely protect us – but I felt like it reduced the risk for both of us in that situation and perhaps he felt more comfortable asking me for help because I was wearing mine.

Does anyone have thoughts on gloves? Have you been wearing gloves to do the shopping? If so – what kind? I’m thinking about making some cotton gloves that I can wash with my mask, but I don’t know how effective they would be… and I might start to look like a walking patchwork quilt (which would be totally fine)!

Stay safe and well x

Finishitus

For anyone who missed my social media update this week – my online shop is temporarily closed. For more details please read this post. Thank you for understanding x
All I want to do at the moment is tackle WIPs! I can’t seem to focus on anything big or new. So this week I finished a couple of cushions that I’ve been planning/working on for a while.

Many moons ago I knitted Anastasiya from Rowan Magazine 48. When I saw it in the mag I loved everything about it. Unfortunately¬† the finished tunic was super unflattering and I just didn’t wear it. But I still loved it and wanted to get it out of the wardrobe… so I decided to make it into a cushion!

I planned to do this a few years back, but I think I procrastinated because I was nervous that I would regret cutting it up. But after a few more years without wearing it was definitely for the chop Рand I love it as a cushion! 

I’ve also finished my mustard Alpaca Classic cushion. I cast this on just before the shoot for Cosy Alpaca Knits so that I had something simple to work on after all the pattern writing and knitting for the book! It also came it handy as a shoot prop.

I knitted it from corner to corner in the same way as the squares for the Moody Blanket and adorned it with poms made from oddments.

I’m planning to redecorate our living room this year so I’m going to save these cushions until it’s all new and lovely! I’ve also got a crochet cushion and a hexi patchwork cushion on the go… it’s gonna be so cosy!

So how’s your lockdown-making going? Have you got finishitus too?!

Yarn provided by Rowan