Name: Gracie Henderson
Business: Pittsburgh Crochet Co.
@pghcrochetco on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
What led you to start making masks?
I spent the first few weeks of the pandemic feeling like there was nothing I could do to help, until I saw some other people making masks. I had just launched my crochet business about a week before the pandemic started to get really serious, and realized I had the skills to make masks so I could help in a small way.
What considerations did you make when designing and developing masks?
I wanted to make sure the masks fit well and were comfortable. I use soft yarn and cotton to try to minimize irritation for people with sensory issues, and I made sure they were breathable for people with disabilities that made it hard to breathe in a mask.
What challenges have you encountered while mask making?
The first mask I made was absolutely terrible, and the second one wasn’t much better. I guess the third time's a charm because that’s when I figured out some of the tricky parts of the pattern and it finally looked like a functional mask!
I would like to thank my fiancé Cole, who helps me with the sewing part of the mask making process. We don’t have a sewing machine so making the liners was very time consuming, until Cole stepped in — they can make a beautiful liner lightning fast. I would not have been able to keep up with the mask orders if Cole had not stepped up to help.
It takes around two hours total — about 1.5 hours for the crocheting, and a half hour to sew in the cotton liners.
Can people purchase your masks, and if so, where?
Masks can be purchased from my Etsy shop, by sending me a message on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, and by emailing me at email@example.com. If anyone is experiencing some financial hardship, I donate one mask for every two I sell, and I have some donation slots open! Free masks can be requested by sending me a message on my socials or emailing me.