May 20, 2020
Issue 06

Helpful hobbies for lockdown

While some folks have struggled to spend their time wisely in the restrictions of Covid-19, others have jumped at the chance to dedicate more time to their hobbies.

Naomi Bristow, 40, has a vibrant selection of newly-knitted headbands, turbans, and beanies to cover her newly-shaved head. She’s a culprit of the lockdown haircut, but revels in the opportunity to wear her beloved creations.

Having learned to knit before she can precisely remember, she’s usually seen sporting her latest creation, which - regardless of the level of complexity - usually doesn’t take more than a few days to complete.

She refuses to take on the title of ‘pro knitter’ though: “There’s still times where I have to call my mum and be like, ‘I don’t understand this!’”

Aside from the array of unique garments, Bristow has been clicking her needles to help her neighbours in need.

The family living above Bristow had their baby three weeks early, and found themselves in the middle of lockdown with no clothes small enough to fit him.

With limited supply of yarn, and limited opportunity to buy more during lockdown, Naomi sent a callout for help to local knitting groups. She was instantly inundated with offers of yarn, and soon after, had nearly a whole wardrobe to give to the family.

As well as acquiring singlets, trousers, and a few hats, “the baby boy upstairs got a blanket, he got a bunch of spill cloths, and he got a jacket for when he’s bigger.”

Bristow’s role as an early childhood relief teacher has been inessential for the duration of lockdown, so the chance to knit more has helped her fill the otherwise empty days.

“I feel really thankful that I have a skill like knitting, because if I didn’t, lockdown probably would’ve been way more grim,” she said.

With a self-confessed “busy mind,” Bristow finds the process of knitting useful in keeping her calm, and present to each moment. “It does help stop my mind going places that aren't necessarily healthy.”

Knitting is an almost mindless activity for Bristow. “I take knitting with me most places,” she said.

Bristow often knits while conversing with friends, or listening to podcasts. Being dyslexic, and a kinesthetic learner, doing something with her hands while she listens helps her retain information two-fold.

Recently, she was assigned to an early childhood centre to relieve teachers, and is excited to get back to work. But her knitting will come with her.