By Diana Solymossy

Stress ballsWhat would I do without my Coronavirus-quarantine-knitting? It’s keeping me sane! I love feeling productive, and the rhythmic click-click-click of knitting is soothing.

Some of the first things that I knit were these Coronavirus stress balls. I think they were just a way for me to express some fear and uncertainty during this strange time. People keep using the word “unprecedented,” and rightfully so. Research shows that knitting reduces stress, so not only were these stress-reducing to knit … they also are great to throw at the TV when hearing horrendous news.

Zoom knitting sessionI’m fortunate to be part of the Project Knitwell family. During Covid-19, because we aren’t able to teach in our normal, in-person way, we are working on ways to teach remotely via Zoom. I’ve had several successful teaching sessions in this way — the student and I can clearly see each other’s hands, and it works pretty well. Using the technology, we can continue to fulfill our mission of teaching knitting to people in stressful situations in a different way — especially important since everyone is undergoing some stress now.

In normal times, knitting is a very social activity (unlike reading). Not only can I still talk while knitting, but people often engage me in conversation. Very social! Knitting practically invites conversation.

Knit heartsKnit heart on treeThough we’re isolated from others now, I find that knitting remains social. Not only have I connected with other knitters via Zoom, but I have also mailed small knitted items to friends. Every hand-knitted item is a warm hug. Inspired by Project Knitwell founder Carol Caparosa, I’ve knit a bunch of little puffy hearts — some have gone to friends and I tied one onto a tree in our community. The puffy hearts are like potato chips — betcha can’t knit just one! All of these are knit from scrap yarn — I love using up little bits and bobs.

If you knit (and even if you don’t!), I highly recommend reaching out to friends and sending a small handmade item, or a hand-written note. This personal warmth and connection will come back to you many times over. Stay safe and wash your hands!

Diana Solymossy is a Project Knitwell volunteer. She lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband and stashes of yarn. Find her on Ravelry: diprincessski