Yulia Hrystoieva

Greetings. My name is Yuliia Khrystoeva, I was born on 18.07.1984. I am originally from Zaporizhzhia and have two children: a son (15 years old) and a two-year-old daughter. I have a higher education as a historian and archivist. Before the war, I worked in my specialty, as the head of the archive at the enterprise.

I had a very well-established life; one can even say “stable”. I devoted my free time to my children and willingly devoted a minute to my own hobbies. And I have a lot of them. I love embroidery and knitting; I love beading and grow houseplants. My house is like a fairytale garden – there is a magical atmosphere of wellbeing.

Before the war, we all lived a normal life. We were worried, happy, and made plans both for the distant future and for the next weekend. With a smile, I remember drinking coffee on an evening walk, choosing goodies for dinner at the supermarket, walking with children in the park, arguing about whether to get a dog…. We didn’t realize then that it was happiness! That all that the heart desires are that peace with small breaks for small (and now I understand that it is small) everyday problems…

Everything changed suddenly. 24.02.22 the real horror began. It was a terrible morning, like in war movies. It was hard to even realize that now THIS is our reality. Then my husband called from work, where he was on duty, and said that the war had begun. He said he wasn’t coming home that day. Since then, we’ve only seen each other once… And only for half an hour.

This is my first experience of war, so I hesitated for quite a long time whether to leave or not. I didn’t want to leave my hometown, but my husband insisted. The sense of danger also helped. I was afraid for the children. After all, almost immediately we forgot about comfort and peace, because from the moment of the invasion to departure, we spent 2 weeks sleeping in a shelter in the basement.

We left by car together with the family of my husband’s brother. Four children and three adults in one car … The trip lasted 4 days. To get some rest and sleep at night, we stayed in shelters. I can say that we were very lucky, because all the time on our way there were only kind and sympathetic people. I am eternally grateful to them and very happy with how kind our people are.

Now I’m finally safe and getting on with my life. I don’t work in my new place yet because I can’t leave my little daughter with someone. Therefore, participation in the project was a real salvation for me. I feel myself useful, I have something to do, I don’t feel helpless.

I’ve been knitting for a very long time. I was taught by my grandmother in deep childhood. I don’t even remember how old I was then. I just remember that I immediately liked this science. Today, knitting is an integral part of my life. I can’t imagine how I would spend my free time if I didn’t have this activity. Creating each new item, I get great pleasure from both the process itself and the result. I can easily do anything. But most of all, I like to knit toys, socks and accessories. They are so cute and full of exceptionally pleasant emotions.

I love knitting for the peace of mind it gives. When you make each new loop, your thoughts are well structured. While knitting, I think about different things: about my plans, about household chores, about the eternal)). Now I think, first of all, about the victory of Ukraine. I dream of the long-awaited peace, happiness and wellbeing of my children. I also really want to go home.