Making Winter began in the Autumn of 2011 on my previous blog, as a creative antidote to the seemingly incessant grey days between November and March. I invited other bloggers to share what they had been making, baking and photographing to cheer them through the darker months of the year. I was thrilled by the response and reprised the project during the winter of 2015/2016.
Creative activities, especially those that have a repetitive element such as yarn craft, have been shown to cause the release of serotonin in the nervous system, leading to a sense of wellbeing. Serotonin levels are generally lower in the winter due to fewer hours and lower intensity of sunlight. Craft and creativity between November and March is an effective way to fend off the effects of lowered serotonin in winter, which in extreme cases can lead to a transient, seasonal depression called SAD.
Making Winter has now become a book, full of seasonal craft and recipes designed to boost mood during the winter months. Many of the projects are nature-inspired and some need a brief winter walk to collect materials from woods or hedgerows. My hope is that the mood-boosting effect of immersal in making, combined with the benefits of contact with nature may help those who struggle in winter to enjoy the weeks between November and March.
Making Winter was published on 5 October 2017 by Michael O’Mara and you can order it here.