2020 has brought about a drastic change in lifestyle for us all and so like many others before me, earlier this year I started to look for some creative activities. As well as providing pleasure and enjoyment creativity can also enhance mental wellbeing. Anxiety, stress, depression and many other mental health conditions can be eased by creativity. Research studies have shown that creativity can help with the expression of negative emotions and the processing of trauma and grief. With that in mind, I set out to explore creative activities that I had previously enjoyed but which the busyness and distractions of life had drawn me away from. I picked up my sketching pencils first but it quickly became evident that it just wasn’t doing it for me. I tried watercolour, origami, photography and baking. All these activities I have enjoyed before but none of them seemed to satisfy. Then I realised why. I needed to find something new.
And so I set about creating an octopus. A bit random to say the least. Crocheting is not a skill I am familiar with but the pattern promised me it was easy and YouTube became a regular companion. His name is Orla (or is it a She? I can’t tell). His eyes are in the wrong place, his stiches are wonky and I’m not sure he has the cute factor I was aiming for. Next came Emma the rabbit. Her facial features are all wrong and if I sit her up on her own she lolls to one side resulting in a look that says 'rabbit with a stroke' as apposed to 'cute bunny'. Simon the sheep was next. A better attempt although still not quite right.
Despite producing less than perfect specimens I'm still at it (my snake is slowly growing). You may wonder why I persevere when I'm not entirely happy with the results. The simple answer is I'm enjoying it. It gives me pleasure to know my skills are developing and my menagerie is growing. I love the feel and look of the soft, brightly coloured wool. When I am counting my stitches and repeating different patterns I am truly engrossed in another world. A pandemic free world! Any worries or stresses just melt away. Even the cat gets pleasure from my new hobby as she runs off with the ball of wool at every opportunity.
I do not attempt perfection I just want to learn and I laugh at my own mistakes.
I laughed out aloud when I realised that each animal in some way represents me. They are loose and baggy in some areas and too tightly woven in others. Their faces are funny and they look a bit wonky. They are all imperfect but they are all loveable. They are perfectly imperfect.
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