In my lifetime, I have experienced the Asian Flu epidemic, which was thought to be a punishment for the evils of the world. Both my sister and I were hospitalized and survived, barely. The threat of polio was ended by the polio vaccine. Then we were faced with Covid-19 and its variants, causing lock-down procedures. Movement and travel were all but non-existent until more recently and masks must still be worn. In the early days of the pandemic, you could see people in hazmat suits with face shields and rubber gloves. No gatherings, nightclubs, restaurant outings or visiting friends or family. Before you could enter a store, you were sprayed with a disinfectant alcohol and only one member of the family could go in. The world had been locked down and seemed to have gone mad.

If you are an artist, you tend to try to be creative. Let me introduce myself, I am Teresa Drake, or Teresita, as my Ecuadorian friends and family call me. I have been living in Cuenca for four years with my husband, two cats and a dog. I am a published author, quilter and fiber artist who recreates pictures and such in fabric or thread painting, which is using colored thread on fabric like one would use paints on paper. However, options for this type of creativity were limited due to fabric shops being closed. Next on the list was painting, which is all well and good, but one can only paint and draw so much before you run out of room.

To keep from going crazy, I turned to a very calming craft—for me—that is almost as old as time itself—crochet. My husband says that what I do is “PFM—Pure Magic.” He is amazed at how I turn balls of yarn or thread into Afghans, shawls, wall-hangings, animals, dolls or creatures. Magic? Maybe. My Swedish grandmother tried to teach me to crochet, but the only thing she was able to teach me was a simple chain stitch.


Being left handed and she right handed, made her task impossible. She had absolutely no patience and, in the 1950’s, there were no books for lefties. Same held true for knitting. I am self-taught and while I can read the patterns, my process is considered to be backwards.

For more detailed patterns, such as shawls and Afghans, I sometimes have to do the pattern in reverse, i.e., my row one is read from right to left instead of left to right. It can be very confusing. When I am stressed, or housebound, I tend to crochet animals, such as dogs or cats, or imaginary creatures, such as frog princes or baby yoda.

These creations have been posted on my personal Facebook page and on the Drakes Nest Studios Facebook page. The reaction has been phenomenal. Prices depend on size and complexity, and they range from as low as $2.00 to $20 for the critters. Afghans and shawls depend on size and amount of thread/yarn used…

If you are interested in having a crocheted piece made, please contact me at or you can telephone me at 0979265631 or send me a private message via messenger. I am also on WhatsApp. I would love to create something special for you, be it a shawl, an Afghan or a little critter.

Magic? That is for you to decide.