Isolation projects

Knitting to pass the time

A two-week isolation isn’t exactly a vacation – but it is a crucial part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. After spending the holidays in their home province, some New Brunswick College of Craft and Design students turned to knitting to pass their time in isolation.

First-year Fashion Design student Patricia MacIsaac decided to knit lap blankets for her classmates while she was isolating.

“It keeps my hands busy because I can get fidgety.  It’s become like muscle memory so I can do it while watching stuff so I’m not bouncing around and I can keep my concentration better,” said Patricia.

Patricia planned on knitting nine to ten lap blankets. Although that may seem like a lot, Patricia is an ambidextrous knitter, so she’s able to knit a lot quicker than other folks. She’s completed six so far.

“It’s been pointed out to me that my knitting speed is faster than average for certain.”

Second year Ceramics student Sarah Hamelin describes herself as a “hobby knitter.”

“Every time I pick up a project, I have to YouTube how to do everything all over again,” she said.

Sarah picked up knitting during her isolation because she found a pattern for mittens where you can knit everything with two needles. She decided it would be the perfect time to tackle this project.

“It seems like every winter I want to knit, and it causes a problem because I can’t make a project that wintery in time to use it for Christmas, and then by the time you figure it out and you’re done cursing, it’s not cold anymore.”

Sarah said knitting allows her to continue using her hands in a dexterous way that is still tactile, much like pottery does.

“If I have to choose something tactile, I like the feel of clay, but I also love the feel of textiles and wool…knitting seems to be the answer.”

But Sarah says the best part of all is now that she’s made pottery bowls of her own in her classes at NBCCD, she’s able to put her ball of yarn inside it and witness her practices merge.

“It feels really holistic…I’ve still got my pottery with me while I’m knitting.”

Textile arts like knitting are a hobby for some but for others they are a meaningful career. Check out the Diploma in Textile Design which includes a machine knitting specialization.