Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Kimball Mask

Carol Kimball is a seamster with an agenda.

Carol: "I hope the creative problem-solving keeps going."

In this age of COVID19 which has inspired fraught and fearful feelings in all of us, she wanted to help people find a way to work together and to give them purpose - to make them feel useful instead of powerless.

There were many people who felt there was very little they can do to help fight the pandemic, other than stay home and wait it out - and I was one of them, until I remembered I had a sewing machine, and years worth of cotton fabric leftover scraps.  While I was dusting off my rusty sewing skills, Carol had begun designing a mask pattern that would be comfortable, fit properly, and be easily customizable.

She had some pretty big mask-goals. The mask must:
  • Be a well-fitting and ergonomic pattern that would fit most people immediately.
  • Provide sufficient hand-holding for new seamsters.
  • Be easily altered/customized for face length and width, chin shape, and nose size.
  • Have an adjustable tying-system that accommodates different head shapes and hair styles.
  • Empower folks - give them a way to help others fight the pandemic.  
  • Be efficient to produce in quantity.

Mask can be tied at the back of the neck ...

... or above a bun or ponytail. It is also comfortable on the ears.

Additionally she used the pattern as an excuse to work up industrial efficiency techniques that folks could adapt for use in other projects: Kimball Industrial Tutorial PDF

Carol had a core advisory group and testers that helped bring the pattern to completion: Elisala, Helen, Joyce, Laurie, Lisa, LittleHipkitty, Marianna, Marianne, Meredith, UnplannedCauli, Virginia and myself.  I think I can speak for the group, when I saw we are all delighted and grateful that we were able to be part of this effort, and as Laurie says, "Her work has made people safer and buoyed spirits."

There were other supporters:

  • Lisa D ordered 500 masks to send to healthcare workers in hotspots around the country to use until they got enough N95s, and also to use when not at work, a few neighbors, and underwrote the project with supplies/freight.
  • The UnRavelers group on Ravelry which contributed funds and fabric to the project. They have underwritten other projects Carol has been involved with, including for the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which needed masks to fight the epidemic.  

Child size.

Copyright: Carol gives permission to use/copy/forward/publish this pattern for free as long as her name remains on it. Please do not copy/paste all or portions of the pattern into other patterns. If you have any questions regarding her patterns, contact her at:  herfirstname dot herlastname at [name of our planet]link dot net.

The pattern PDFs provide 10 sizes and variations from child up to XL adult, plus other variations.

Version to (help) contain a beard

For more reading on the Kimball mask see my other blog posts:

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