Crochet, knitting and needlepoint are trending in a global pandemic.
Baking bread became such an obsession with people during the pandemic that yeast was sold out in most supermarkets for weeks. Hands-on textile hobbies like crochet, quilting, sewing, knitting and needlepoint have also become enormously popular during the pandemic. The appeal for many of these crafts and hobbies is that they keep you busy for unlimited amounts of time, and for many during the lockdown, lots of time at home is what we had. The appeal of these crafts is that while creative, they are not emotionally or intellectually demanding, and the best part is that they are non-digital.
One of many positive impacts of this increased interest in crafts and hobbies is an enormous demand for supplies – a windfall for small craft shops. While many other small businesses were closing, these stores were able to pivot to mail-order or delivery curbside and go virtual for instruction.
Becoming absorbed in a craft has positive psychological benefits. A study in 2013 found that knitting increases cognitive function, calm and happiness. Crafts give a sense of productivity and require focus, so the mind is free from distractions and unpleasant thoughts. The repetition of textile crafts is soothing, often a counterbalance to our stressful, demanding lifestyles.
Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Zs have taken up needlepoint in a big way, trading their cell phones for needlepoint canvases. Taylor Swift is one of many celebrities (Julia Roberts and Amy Adams are others) who has learned to needlepoint. She made her friend and singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran a pictorial which he framed and hung on his wall.
Experts advise setting aside time each day to engage in your craft of choice. Build it into your routine. Making something concrete will give you a sense of accomplishment. It can be a great way to get started on your Christmas present list!
Another important reason for taking up a craft is the social aspect. The pandemic prohibited getting together to stitch, but if you already had a group, like I did, virtual was almost as enjoyable.
For fun, check out this website, with 15 Netflix shows to watch while knitting. One is on Norway’s Slow TV and is called National Knitting Night. Here is the description:
“Norway’s Slow TV’s National Knitting Night and National Knitting Evening are great when you want to spend a whole day knitting. Over 12 hours of live knitting is like having a knitting circle in your living room. It’s inspiring to watch the fabric be created as they try to set a world record for the fastest knitted sweater.” Netflix
Craft supply stores and online classes:
You Tube has ‘how to’ videos for everything
Post pandemic, in-person Needlepoint Classes:
Most craft stores offer classes so search the internet with your location and craft. Here are some I know about:
Annie & Co. – New York City
The Point of It All – Washington, D.C.
Needlepoint, Inc – San Francisco
Stitch by Stitch – Larchmont, NY
Stitches by the Sea – Delray Beach, FL.