RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stitching with Healthy Hands: Identifying the problem

You just sat down to stitch, the baby is sleeping, the husband is busy and your project is calling you… You pick up your needles or hook and then you realize ouch that hurt. Really?… Yes. Really? How disappointing as you were finally looking forward to some time to relax.

So what are your options? Many stitchers put down their project, others work through it and others try another hobby. I am happy to say there is another choice. You can treat your injury. Yes you read that right your injury… Your hands are athletic… (yes you read that right too) Regardless of what the USOC says about knitting and crocheting, your hands are engaging in a long distance endurance event and they can get injured as a result. (Think about how many miles you have knit/crocheted!)

Injury can happen many different ways, Lets explore how:

1) A new technique:

Scenario: You just returned home from your latest stash enhancing trip to the yarn shop, with a new pattern in hand, freshly wound yarn (can you smell that wool…  heavenly?) and you sat down for a marathon of stitching which you do regularly… but there is a difference instead of your usual choice of cables you decide to learn how to knit entrelac or crochet entrelac.You sat intently and are making progress but now when you go to pick it up there is pain.

Cause: The new technique has changed the way you grip your needles and now your body needs to accommodate

2) Weather

Scenario: The storm of the season has rolled into to town to stay for a while and the change in weather has caused your hands to ache and your arthritis to act up.

Cause: A circumstance out of your control but maybe a little pampering can get you back to stitching in no time.

3) A new yarn weight:

Season: The season just changed and it was time to put down your favorite chunky yarn and have discovered a gorgeous lace weight yarn. The change changes the way you hold your needles and yes its time for your body to accommodate.

Cause: The new technique has changed the way you grip your needles and now your body needs to accommodate

4) Changing your style:

Scenario: You just went to your favorite knit night at your fave local shop (mine is the Village Knitter on Thursday nights in Babylon) and Ms. Jane Knitter was touting the benefits of knitting her way (Continental, English, German, Portugese, Combination) and you rush home to learn this technique so you can join the cool stitchers next week and the result is … pain.

Cause: The new technique has changed the way you grip your needles and now your body needs to accommodate

4) Poor Mechanics

Scenario #1: You got together this morning with your favorite tennis player and you play a killer game. Seriously you had to be there, you get home to stitch and now your elbow hurts….

Scenario #2: It’s report time at work and you have been typing all day long and when you sit down to stitch… bam… pain…

Cause: Changes in our daily routine that are not normal to our body and we need to accommodate

Possible solutions:

1) Ice:

The perfect remedy for a new injury, 10 minutes on and an hour off, repeat a couple times a day

WARNING: Please do not ice for more than 10 minutes its not good for your skin and may cause frost bite

How it works: It helps to decrease blood flow to the area and clear the area of inflammatory producing exudates (i.e.yucky stuff that makes us feel cruddy)

2) Heat:

Perfect for the ache that won’t go away. If its been persistent or you have a history of arthritis this is the choice for you

Tip: Moist heat is better than dry heat as it penetrates deeper into the muscle tissue.

WARNING: Please follow manufactures instructions on the proper usage of the hot pack you purchase and also do not use for longer than 10 minutes to prevent burning.

I hope that helps those suffering with stitching relating injuries. I will be blogging throughout the next couple days other ways to keep your stitching hands healthy.

Would you like to know more… I am teaching at the national TKGA and CGOA conference on Sunday July 27th from 9 am-12 pm a class called Healthy Hands which an experience based class that will teach you how to keep your hands healthy!

Register until June 30th and save!!! http://www.theknitandcrochetshow.com

20140626-232315-84195855.jpg

Knitting, Skiing and Tucker Perkins

It is almost exactly a year ago when Laura Zander owner of Jimmy Beans Wool (www.jimmybeanswool.com) asked me to be a part of an awesome project called Stitch Mountain. A group of knitters were on the Today Show Plaza to promote Stitch Red, (www.stitchred.com) which is a campaign to promote awareness of Heart Disease in Women, Laura shared about her passion for skiing and how she was now putting together this book of knitwear designs just for skiing. We chatted about some potential designs and within a week or soI had a delivery of yarn and started knitting towards the deadline.

My first design for this book was a set of convertible mittens that had been requested by an awesome skiier, Tucker Perkins. I researched his career and found out he is well known for his double corks. I remember watching him in the X games last year and loved the pattern his skis left in the snow. So after searching for the perfect stitch pattern. I found this one and made it the center of attention in these mittens. We even got to send Tucker his own personal pair. After announcing his retirement from the sport in December of 2013. I hope these mittens keep him nice and warm while he routes on his fellow athletes as they head to Sochi. For more information on Tucker’s amazing career highlights you can follow him on facebook https://www.facebook.com/tucker.perkins.5 , on twitter @tuckerperkins .

The book features many awesome designers work including Kristen Asbaugh-Helmreich, Marly Bird, Toby Roxane Barna, Edie Eckman, Mary Beth Temple, Lorna Miser and many more.

Other great athletes featured include Ann Cochran, Tommy Moe, Lindsey Jacobellis, Huck Zander (join us later in January for more) and more.

For more on Stitch Mountain, visit http://www.stitchmountain.com

Book is available at http://www.jimmybeanswool.com and your local LYS.

Thank you to Red Heart, Jimmy Beans wool and Soho Publishing for all their support on this project.

 

20140108-182111.jpg

20140108-182152.jpg

Out with the Old and in with the New!

2012 was the year of Tangerine! A tropical, warm color that symbolized love, warmth, fun in the sun and joy helped many of us get through the tough times of 2012. I personally grew to love Tangerine as the year progressed. I sought out awesome yarns that had just the right shade of Tangerine.

My favorite project I designed using this color was my Tangerine Crush Cowl in our inaugural issue of Chain Two in the Summer of 2012. The pattern can be found on Ravelry.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tangerine-crush-cowl

Thank you Tangerine (2012) and welcome Emerald (2013!)

Tomorrow my tribute to Emerald!

Welcome 2013!

My dear blog readers,
It has been quite sometime since I have written on the blog. I want to thank you all for the support through the end of 2012 which was markedly a tough year for many. Hurricane Sandy came and devastated the northeast and effected me in a very personal way. As many of you know I had the opportunity to help storm victims both directly and indirectly as a knitter/crocheter and designer!

First many designers including myself donated the proceeds of patterns to Hurricane Relief. The update from us is that over $100.00 has been raised with more coming in as we will wrap up our last fundraiser pattern at Fiber Space in Alexandria, VA President’s day weekend!

Also we partnered with Lion Brand Yarn with the help of Jack Blumenthal and Patty Lyons to host a Hurricane Sandy Stitch in at the gorgeous Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Thank you so much for everything they did. Not only did they host this lovely evening, they provided all stitchers with gorgeous yarns that work up fast to complete projects that were donated to World Vision. Thank you Lion Brand for not only what you did that day but what you do everyday for Stitchers around the world. They are truly are an amazing family based, customer friendly, American based company!

Lastly, the Hurricane Sandy Relief group on Ravelry came together to donate many many many hats, scarves, mittens, slippers and blankets from around the World. Thank you so much to our stitchers in Arizona, South Carolina, England, California, Maryland and so much more.Your out pouring of love through stitching is just amazing.

As 2012 came to a close, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, changed the way a lot of us view life. As this wonderful little town is just miles from where my family in CT lives, I spent most of December 14th calling and making sure my family members were safe from such a disturbed person. My friend from college is a third grade teacher at the school and luckily was unharmed and so were her students.

As 2013, came closer I welcomed the idea of a fresh start with open arms. Out with the old and in with the new. New beginnings for a lot of my friends and families.

So wont you welcome 2013, with me! To a great year filled with stitches!

Regards
Suzy

Hurricane Sandy Update

Thank you to the many who have helped to raise money for Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief in the NY metro area. We are in the process of changing what patterns are being used to raise money for the disaster relief effort.

As for the area itself we are doing better and better everyday but the damage is evident no matter where you drive. Today I was driving through a part of Wyandanch and Wheatley Heights that didn’t seem to have power.

The weather has once again turned cold but the great news is that donations from our Ravelry group keep coming ! We are so blessed to be supported by all the stitchers around the country. Today I received a package from Illinois ! Thank you everyone.

Tomorrow we will be at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan as part of the Stitch in. I will be providing crochet support so I would love to see you there ! Lion Brand Yarn studio will be providing us with the yarn to stitch with and will be offering a 20 % discount off all yarns purchased that day for Charity Purposes. Thank you Lion Brand!

Yike’s Stripes- Striping 101- Changing Colors in Crochet Tutorial

Oh no, the pattern you were looking for is perfect just one problem it has stripes. No worries changing colors in crochet is easier than you think. Just read our following tutorial and then get your stripe on !

Color Change 101: Simple Stripes
How to Change colors:
1) Twist yarn B (color changing to) with yarn A in a clockwise manner direction
2) At the end of the row before your color change, on the last stitch set up your stitch so that 2 lps remain on the hook
3) Pull up your new color through 2 lps on hook

Looking for a great pattern to try this on… Make the Harvard Laptop Cozy or Yale Varsity Cowl to practice this technique!

You can find our patterns on Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/stores/suzy-allen-designs

Like us on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/ChainTwoZine

Follow us on twitter: @chaintwomag

Patterns also available on Etsy
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChainTwoEZine

Yale Varsity Cowl

Stitches that Sing

My favorite stitch patterns are those that have a rhythm. Last night I was putting the finishing touches on my cousins wedding gift and afghan I have been designing for quite sometime now. I was looking for just the right stitch pattern for the block. I was using the Crochet Stitch Bible as my guide and found the diagonal relief stitch which was perfect as all the beige blocks had some texture to it.

As I started to stitch, I realized the awesome two stitch switch pattern that combined fpdc and bpdc my hand sung as it stitched across the row!