For many of us, there is a very real possibility of another Winter of lockdowns due to the tenacity of new COVID mutations and the increased level of social interaction at all levels of society during the Summer easing of restrictions. One thing that can make a lockdown pass by like a flash is a good project. Stop looking at your phone or wasting time watching cynically produced Netflix shows and start spending your free time on something interesting. Here are some creative hobbies that lend themselves to great lockdown projects.
Circuit bending is a fascinating, eye-opening, and wholly anarchistic form of electronic music-making. What is more, it is simple and doesn’t cost much. All you need is some cheap electronic toys or keyboards and some easy to acquire electronic components from a place like Octopart.
Circuit bending is all about exploration. The process is hardly regulated or determined by any concrete rules. Open up an old sound-producing electronic device and alter the circuitry until you find new and interesting sounds. Hey presto – you have made a completely unique electronic instrument. Don’t expect to make good-sounding instruments, but do expect to be amazed as you find hidden life in seemingly boring electronic devices. Search your basement for old toys and musical instruments that are partially broken. These are your new playthings. A small but dedicated online community posts circuit diagrams and builds reports. Never circuit bend anything that needs to be plugged into the mains.
Knitting is a noble and historic creative skill. Thought to originate in the Middle East during the 5th Century, knitting is now a well-practiced hobby with a huge community of makers. Knitting involves the interlocking of strands of yarn, which creates a very strong textile. One of the best things about taking up knitting has to be the immensely high skill threshold. Knitters can take on everything from simple day-long beanies to wildly complex artistically creative projects. Knitting also happens to be an absolutely perfect winter activity – you can create the clothes that will keep you nice and snug during the chillier months.
Keeping a diary might not sound like a particularly interesting hobby or creative project – but it really can be. Perhaps one of the most famous diaries ever penned was written in part during a pandemic. Samuel Pepys included a highly detailed and narratively clever account of his life during the 1665 London plague, which is widely considered to be one of the most fascinating parts of his decade-long diary. Pepys was a keen diarist that never shied from using humor and literary trickery to record his attitudes towards ongoing events. Keeping a diary during a tumultuous time in human history can help you look back with some perspective once everything has blown over and may contribute to how your grandchildren and children understand what your life was like once you have passed and what you had to endure during the time.
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