Quarantine crafts – and beyond!

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A person crocheting yarn, which is a tad too bright a colour for a cardigan but might make a nice statement scarf. Imani via Unsplash

Needing to pass seemingly unending time is a great reason to pick up a new skill

Getting through quarantine was as slow as watching two snails race. Sometimes, you had something creative in mind to make the time pass by faster. Other times, you had to get creative. Many found comfort in artistic means of expression and others in self-development or a new hobby.

I used a chunk of time to take up a skill that was inspired by my aunt Pearl. Last summer, I took on crocheting for the first time. It was tough to start because there are so few tutorials for left-handed people. After some time and some practice, my granny squares began to look squarer. I got really inspired to start crocheting after seeing some of my great aunt’s amazing crocheted cardigans. My next project is going to be sunflower squares.

Many others took an artistic approach to their activities. Jenna Dimond, a Nursing major, got into many artistic hobbies: “I did lots [over quarantine]! Read, picked up guitar, violin, painting, sewing, and crocheting. These were all skills I’d never thought I’d have time to learn. I’m really happy I got the chance to do something for myself.”

Vanessa Provost, a Film major, also got crafty with materials in her home. “I made a lot of collages. I just find it weird and fun, now I have a collage wall in my house.”

Hannah Polk, a Journalism student, remained ambitious through her endeavors by getting inspired by the great outdoors and Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit. “I took up ice skating and going to the gym. I was so grateful [to] the university gym for staying open during the entire pandemic. I took up chess. After watching The Queens Gambit, I was fascinated by chess and interested to learn the intricacies of it. It was difficult but highly addictive and I did feel it kept my mind sharp while I was laying in bed all day.”

While chess seems to be fitting for Polk, Madeline Ellard, a Fine Arts major, took her skills off the canvas and put them to the test in the kitchen and on the computer screen. “I played [t]he [S]ims 4 for the large majority of the pandemic. I felt like when I was playing the Sims, I could ignore what was going on in the real world and almost live through my sims. I also learned how to make bread and did a lot of baking in general. For the bread I really enjoyed learning a new skill that I could share with my family. I would also deliver loaves of bread in a socially distanced manner to connect with my friends.”

Alternate realities also brought comfort to Business student Ben Lewis, who kept it short and sweet. “I played a lot more video games than was normal.”

Quarantine was a period where people could continue with activities that escaped them. Carina Pilon, a Finance major, explains how the pandemic reunited her with old hobbies. “I really got into reading. No really, reading was something I quit when I didn’t have the time. But with the pandemic, I was able to enjoy something I previously loved to do.”

For a Veterinarian Technician student, it was time to start new hobbies that they have never had time to try.  “[I began] tarot card reading and working out… I’ve always been super interested in tarot and working out I officially decided to get healthy [again] because I had so much free time.”

Finding time for one’s personal development in quarantine was difficult, but many still found time to learn about themselves as Ricky, a Geology student, did. “A skill I learned in relative isolation is identifying and accepting problems within myself. It’s certainly helped me grow as a person and start to recognize these behaviours/tells in other people as well, increasing my understanding of their thoughts and feelings.”

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