In this time of uncertainty where isolation is so important, we must stay together, united on a common front to fight disease.

You are not alone.

I invite you to leave here your opinions, your thoughts, your fears, hopes, everything you want to say.

You can also tell us about your projects. How do you spend your day? Are you crocheting? Do you prefer to do other things?

Leave your comment and you will see how together we can overcome it.

If you want to add photographs to your comment, send it to me by email and I will publish them in the post.

Wishing you strength. A hug.

Sandy (19 April 2020)

I have done crafts since I was a child: hand sewing doll dresses, knitting sweaters, later sewing my own clothes. I was in my late twenties when I learned to crochet from a friend who showed me how to read crochet charts. From then on it was all I wanted to do.

Crochet is so versatile. One hook, one strand of yarn, always, only. For knitting you need at least two, maybe three or four needles, and you have to be precise about where you begin and end and how many stitches are on each needle and how big anything is when you’re working on it. With crochet you can stop when you want, add anything anywhere, turn corners, go in different directions, create wild shapes and put them together into whatever you can dream up. Or in my case, someone else can dream up. I’ve tried to design, and I come up again and again against my own limitations of how to know when to increase and when to decrease, and by how much, how many rows of how many stiches, when to change colors – it’s a huge mystery. But luckily, there are talented designers who know these things and who make patterns I can follow that greatly expand what I can imagine just on my own.

For many years now I have made stuffed animals to give away. I love the act of creating them, seeing them come alive out of lines of numbers and strange abbreviations. I give them to child-oriented charities: Ronald McDonald House, a safe house for victims of domestic violence, a local pediatric clinic that serves low-income families. I make only original designs so that the children who receive them can use their full imagination to give them a story, a home. They don’t have to rely on movies, with their prefabricated characters. Each one I make is unique, as unique as each child.

Over the years I have acquired a sizeable collection of yarn. Since I retired several years ago, I have spent my time making creatures to give away. I cherish the community of amigurumi designers on all of the online platforms, and I am amazed at the variety and diversity of patterns available and happy to support this community by purchasing them. Now that the dark times have come and I am advised to stay at home, being in the endangered species age group, I am forever grateful to have the opportunity to spend this time making as many creatures as I can, knowing that I can never make enough. The rhythmic pattern of the work, the constant counting, making the pieces and putting them together, all this takes my mind for a time off the terrible torment we are going through.

Gretel personifies the simple elegance of crochet. Each one of her designs is filled with life and love and laughter. I purchase some of them simply for the beauty they embody, the richness they reveal about the art and the possibilities of crochet, even knowing I may never make them. Her trademark is to make each character solely from yarn, no hard edges. Sueños Blanditos. Soft Dreams. Here are some of her creations I have made and passed on to children who will love them. May we all be safe.

With love, Sandy G., USA

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