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Updated by Valley Libraries Radio Reference on Jan 11, 2021
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January 6 - 8, 2021: Hobbies as Self-Care

Happy new year, WQSV listeners! It’s finally 2021, and we’re starting off the new year with some suggestions for self-care -- specifically, the hobbies that help us stay sane when things get stressful.

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Sarah's selection #1

Sarah's selection #1

I’m an on-and-off again knitter who has really been cranking out small projects lately, in part because I find the deliberate stitch-by-stitch action relaxing and peaceful amid the stress of the pandemic. Recent studies have even shown that knitting is a boost for your mental health! If you are an aspiring knitter, try The Knitting Book by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore, which was published by DK, a company known for their visually rich titles. The Knitting Book has all the basics you need to get going: step-by-step instructions, stitch guides, and great photography.

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Sarah's selection #2

Sarah's selection #2

If you need more formal instruction, try our online knitting tutorials from Universal Class. This self-paced class consists of 11 lessons, video tutorials, and simple assignments to help you get the hang of knitting and purling. Universal Class access is free with your library card and can be found on your local library’s website:

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Ali's selections

Ali's selections

Like a lot of folks with limited social interaction this year, I looked to the outdoors to find entertainment. We also got a quarantine puppy! Talk about a new hobby. We love to take our new pup out to new hikes and adventures, and I’ve gotten great recommendations from books in the library. If you’re willing to go all over the Valley, AMC’s regular publication of Best Day Hikes in the Shenandoah Valley will take you from Jefferson National Forest to Harper’s Ferry, with hiker of all abilities and ages.

Backpacking Virginia includes over 650 miles of trails for beginner to expert backpackers, and helpfully includes updated site visits and camping regulations.

Also, the libraries have guides you can check out for specific activities like fishing or bird watching, and for the kids we have nature backpacks full of fun stuff and passes for four to any state park. Get out there, Staunton!

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Jamie's selections

Jamie's selections

I'm not the craftiest of people, but I have big dreams, and what I love about origami is that it really lends itself to all skill levels. There are beginner-friendly and even preschooler-friendly designs, but there are also designs that are mind-blowingly complex and will give even expert paper-folders a challenge.

My First Origami Book by Belinda Webster is a great source for the simplest designs, aimed at children with little fingers and low thresholds for frustration.

If you want a little bit more of a challenge, I like The Origami Gardenby Ioana Stoian, which is aimed at adults and focuses on flowers, insects, and animals.

And if you just want to marvel at what masters of the art form are capable of, check out New Expressions in Origami Art by Meher McArthur -- it won't walk you through the designs, but it'll definitely give you something to aspire to.

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Find these books on ValleyLibraries.org

Find these books on ValleyLibraries.org

There’s so much you can find to do at your local libraries. Even though we’re all still closed to the public, you can still find your next project or adventure through our catalog or by calling or emailing your favorite library. We’re still here to answer questions and get you your library books, movies, and more via curbside pick up.