Monday, January 10, 2022

Masking

Because of everything (and if I try to explain it more than that, I'm going to get off track way too quickly), we are no longer allowed to wear cloth masks to work. (Well, we can so long as we wear a surgical mask under it.) 

From what I've been hearing on the news and such, we really should just have schools go virtual at this point. But no. Let's allow everyone to catch this virus by keeping everything open and pretending that we have adequate mitigation measures in place. Which we don't. 

Like I said, this'll turn into a diatribe if I start, so let me get back to what I was going to talk about...

The thing that was great about my cloth masks was that I had knitted the ear straps, so they didn't irritate my ears. Alas, the kn95s I have have elastic ear straps. And after one day wearing them all day, I realized that was not going to work. 

But, if you recall from the early days of the pandemic, a solution was found for the irritating ear issue. Button bands. 

So, I made one: 

I wore it the next day. And... it was a bit too long. 

This was eight inches long, long enough to almost reach to my ears along the back of my neck. But, it didn't pull the elastic taut enough for the mask to fit snuggly on my face. All day it felt like my mask was slipping off my face.

Well, not all day. I gave it up as too loose and put the elastic straps back on my ears.

Then that evening, I made another one: 

It was half the length at four inches: 

And that seemed to do the trick. 

It pulls the mask elastic taut enough so that it stays on the face (although it still pulls it down so that I feel like I have to adjust the mask frequently throughout the day). 

But, before with the straps on the ears, I felt like the mask was pulling up into my eyes all the time. 

It's a small price to pay. I'd rather wear a mask and avoid the 'Rona as much as I can.

It's a simple knit. (You could also use fabric cut to the right length and just attach buttons. But I knit, so it had to be knit.) I used stuff I had in my stash. Those are "vintage" buttons. The yarn was Caron Simply Soft. It's on the lighter end of worsted weight.

I cast on 15 stitches (using size 8 needles), and I worked something like 8 rows (I didn't count; I just knit until it was wide enough) in garter stitch (I knit every row). The buttons were sewn on about two stitches in from the side. 

That's more for me. I find when I do something simple like this, I don't write down what I did, and later, when I want to replicate it, I have to start from scratch. By writing it in the blog, I can refer back to it later.

What tricks are you using to wear your mask comfortably? Please tell me you are wearing a mask when you're out in public. 

35 comments:

  1. Good idea. We are still not back on mask at this point. I wear mine when I go out in the stores and around a lot of folks....however yesterday I did not around friends. No one sick, that they knew of, so I hope all is well. Talking to others that have had this last round of crap they are convinced I had a touch of it when I was sick over Christmas. Being I did not get tested, I have no clue. I just heard yesterday that when wearing mask the cloth ones were not working....WHAT THE CRAP, that is all I have been wearing since this mess started and it got me this far without getting sick. Course I remember that in the beginning they said that mask were not needed!!!Who knows, I am planning a trip in July out that way so I am hoping your folks are on the down low with COVID. Not seen my son in three yrs this month.

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    1. The cloth masks are best when nothing else is available. Apparently the tighter weave on the surgical masks is better. I'm not sure. I just kept reading that it was time to upgrade, so I did.

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  2. I wear an N25 mask when I go out. I don't like it, because I have a chronic lung condition that makes it difficult to breathe in the first place, but better masked than dead.

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    1. Yeah, definitely. I still wear a plastic frame under it, which helps me feel like I'm not struggling. But I don't have a lung condition, so I have no idea if that would help you out at all or not.

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  3. I've read that you need to wear a KN95 mask to protect yourself from this super contagious virus. Glad you found a way to make it work. It's so contagious right now I'm mostly staying in and am grateful I can.

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  4. That works!
    My wife's N95 doesn't go around her ears so she's good. I'm in a big office with one other person so just sticking to cloth since no one is near me.

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    1. The best is not being near others. That's great.

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  5. We’re back on a mask mandate here, too. I work from home, so I don’t wear my mask all day, but I understand why you’d find them uncomfortable

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    1. That's what's so nice about working from home. You don't have to worry about being near other people.

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  6. Fill like I'm jumping a fence, and it keeps getting taller.

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  7. I work from home, but I'm back to wearing my N-95 to the grocery store. it's zapping everybody and I know so many vaccinated people who have/had it. I know it's tough teaching in person, but even the CDC says remote learning is destroying the kids.

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  8. Of course I'm wearing a mask at work, a FFP2 (KN95 in English!) which suit much better my face than the chirurgical one. My ears are already like elephants' ones, so it's ok ;D

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  9. Ah, yes, the masks that they recommend everyone where, that aren't available anywhere except at exorbitant prices. What a great place to live.

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  10. What a great "fix" for your masks! Oregon has a mask mandate (and stores post it at the doors), but my county is stubborn (read "stupid") and as a result isn't as virus free as the rest of the state. Masks have kept me from even so much as a common cold for nearly two years now!

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    1. I think we had about two weeks of no mask mandate (in June), and then my county reinstituted it. It's habit now. Although, I do see the stubborn anti-maskers out and about.

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  11. As I work from home I don't have to wear a mask very often. Even for short periods I find them quite restrictive so I feel sorry for all you people who have to wear them practically all day. Yours seems an excellent solution to the problem.

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    1. You do get used to it the more you wear it. But not having to go out and amongst people is definitely the best.

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  12. I am always ready to go into a raging rant about stuff like this as well. It's ridiculous. There is going to be a vote on our school mask mandate tomorrow and the fact that they are even considering such a move is beyond me. We have a great governor and I am saving hope for him. Will publish this now before I go on a whole separate rant.

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  13. My son and my autistic brother in law both had scares in the last 10 days (although both tested negative) - but one of my co workers and her husband both have it, fortunately mild cases. Yes, it's everywhere although I'm hoping it's peaked in NY State. I loved my cloth masks; the ones I bought had adjustable earbands. I started to wear surgical masks underneath those a few weeks ago, now we've graduated to N95's. Our schools here are struggling to stay in person (shortage of bus drivers, who are calling out sick). I feel for the teachers and the other staff that have to show up and mask all day. I'm fortunate; I work from home.

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    1. It's tearing through our schools now. And my classroom. Yup, I have a student out with Covid now. Just got the notification.

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    2. Fingers crossed you're okay. Our schools go back the first week of Feb...

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  14. I am going to blog about this soon, but in Oz we've had our 1st year of lockdown, 2nd year of vaccination and 3rd year (this year) of moving from pandemic to endemic. With something like 92% of 16yrs and older vax'd, restrictions have been eased to let Omicron make it's way through the community. The majority of people are feeling crook for about 3 days (like a bad cold). We only have to quarantine for 7 days because recovery is so quick.

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  15. I wear Korean-made KF94 masks and they are very comfy and fit snugly without the need of additional straps. And they come in very cute prints!

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  16. Hi Liz - it's good you're making sure your masks feel comfortable, particularly as you're wearing yours all the time in the school. I wear mine when I have to ... in public, etc etc - all the best Hilary

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  17. Kudos to you. ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHNG to make those masks more comfortable to wear. And I like that it pulls down just a bit because I have worn so many of those surgical masks that end up with the top edge right in my eyeball! Good grief. When will this pandemic end? Ya' know tho, it's pretty cool that we can all get thru it together like this even thousands of miles apart. Thanks for the info. on the straps too.

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    1. Yeah, right in the eye... At the beginning the health care workers were wearing headbands with buttons on them. And then the strappy thingies came about. It's helpful if you have to wear them for any length of time.

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  18. This variant is everywhere! My best friend's one child and his live-in girlfriend both got covid and were quite sick. My other friend-her hubby and one child also got sick but not nearly as bad. My friend felt nothing but she stayed on her own as did her other daughter because they could be carriers. My other friend, out in BC is quite sick so he is home. Hubby and I are only going to appointments when needed and grocery shopping. I wear my mask and I make sure the "crimpy thingy" is snug on my nose. I use the sanitizer every time I get back to the car.

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    1. Yup. I'd be staying home all the time if I could. Alas, our school district is in person, so I must work (or I don't get paid).

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  19. I'd forgotten about this fix. My mask is always brushing my eyes and making them tear up and itch. I have tiny ears that flip forward with most elastic mask bands too. Will make a couple of these today! Thanks!

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    1. It took me a while before I remembered. It's funny all the things we knew at the beginning that we forgot because we weren't necessarily using them.

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  20. You're the first person I've known of to call them button bands. I've mostly heard them called mask adapters.

    I do wear a mask anytime I'm out, but I've never used the adapters/button bands. My major mask complaint is that my glasses fog and I don't think the adapters/bands would help with that.

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    1. I did not know what their name was. I just picked a descriptor that made sense to me. I have no idea what the fix for the fogging glasses is. Sorry. Someone must have come up with something.

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  21. I have had to report to work since the pandemic began. I wear a mask at work. I wear one when I go to the grocery store. At this time we can still wear cloth. Mine are all double lined. I follow all the recommendations that we have always have during flu season. Distancing & hand washing. But I note most folks don't.

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    1. I was hearing from online sources (so, take that for what it's worth) to upgrade masks from cloth to at least surgical. That's why I was already moving that direction. But if cloth is still working for you, great.

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