I remember my mum teaching me to crochet when I was about 5 years old, and since then I have loved all types of textile crafts; knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, weaving – anything with colour and lovely textures. When I was a teenager I made a lot of clothes for myself. And one summer, when I was about 18, I decided to learn how to dye wool with natural dyes, and I loved that too.
Unfortunately by the time I left university and started working, I no longer found the time for crafts. I worked in IT for about 10 years, first in a training and support role, then as a software consultant and finally as a IT business analyst in an investment bank. All of my roles involved either a lot of travel, long hours or both. I just didn’t have the mental space for any arts or crafts. And sadly, over time I almost forgot that there used to be a creative side to me, once.
Then, when I was in my mid 30s, my health collapsed and I became disabled with M.E (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Although the last few years have been very tough, from a creativity point of view getting ill was in fact a positive thing. When most of my normal activities suddenly just came to a stop, I found my creativity started waking up again. At first I was too unwell to do anything with my new ideas, but gradually I was able to start doing simple things like knitting and crochet again.
During my illness, I have found that spending time on various creative pursuits (such as photography, writing, crafts) has been really therapeutic. At the moment, I am very slowly improving and so I am gradually able to increase the amount I can do. After several years of being able to do very little, every new project I can complete is a real joy to me. I am really grateful to have the opportunity to re-discover the creative me again.