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Tag Archives: stitching

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!!!


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!


Christmas Countdown Continues-Happy Thursday ! Two patterns

I was in such a great Christmas mood that today I chose two patterns, the Putney cowl using Green Mountains Spinnery’s mountain mohair and Tangerine Crush using Brown Sheep’s cotton fleece.
Here are the links remember no coupon code is necessary:

Merry Stitching!

Suzy’s Christmas Countdown day 2

Day two of our Christmas Countdown is here and what a special treat we have for you!!! One of our most popular patterns using Cascade’s Casablanca, the Autumn Sunset Shawl is just a dollar on ravelry. No coupon code necessary the price adjusts automatically at check out. Merry Christmas and Happy stitching to you!

Vogue Crochet Tips from the Stars

Vogue continues to impress and show their dedication to crochet! Today on their Twitter feed they posted 23 tips and tricks from today’s crochet stars!

All of them were excellent but my favorites were…
1) Drew Emborsky “The Crochet Dude”: – use yarn you love!
I think this is super important! You are taking the time to make something with your time, skill, effort and love. Do it with a material you love. My fave yarns are anything from Green Mountain Spinnery, Kraemer Yarns, Berrocco Yarns, Madeline Tosh hand dyed yarn, and Claudia’s hand painted yarns.
2)Jennifer Hansen:
Warns you to loosen up your stitches remember we are creating fabric, it’s all about the drape!
3) Vicki Howell:
Offers some advice on crochet gauge! Crochet gauge is a whole different beast then knitted gauge and therefore you must swatch to get optimal outcomes. I once made a garment and had to change my hook size to three sizes smaller because I tend to be a loose crocheter!
4) Candi Jensen –
Her advice is to use the whole part of your crochet hook if you work on shaft only you will get a tight garment !
( I might add that Candi Jensen has really done so much for crochet! Her work inspired me in so many different ways! Her designs are super modern and uses many different techniques!! I heart Candi Jensen!)
5) Kathy Merrick:
Suggests that because crochet fabric is thicker and denser than knitted material use one yarn weight lighter when crocheting !

Thanks so much to Vogue and their dedication to Crochet! What are some of your tips and tricks blog friends! Comment and be entered to win a set of 5 crochet patterns from my Etsy shop!
Vogue Crochet tips from the stars!





Hooking at Citi Field- Let’s Go Mets

I don’t know about you but I bring my crocheting with me pretty much everywhere! Today, my husband and I ventured to Citi Field (Home of the NY Mets) for the first time today. Between the trip in and the game, there was plenty of time to stitch!

Once we got there, I was amazed at how beautiful and clean the stadium was. We got to our seats in the 417 section and voila…. Comfy seats perfect for stitching! Even better they installed yarn holders for our yarn cakes ! Really, I’m serious! Ok they were beverage dispensers but the best part was my yarn cake of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit fit perfectly in the holder allowing for my to hook and watch the game without my yarn going for a ride and bothering serious game watchers!

So Citi Field was made for stitchers and baseball fans alike! It was a win win day. A great baseball game and a great stitching game! Let’s go Mets!

Where do you like to stitch in public? Chain2 would love to hear your stories!





Top yarns to crochet with over the Summer

So it’s summer what should I stitch with? Here are my top choices!
1) Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit:
It is a great yarn that is composed of Tencel and wool. For those of you who do not know what Tencel is , it’s actually made of tree pulp. How cool is that? It is a breathable yarn that feels great on your hands and keeps you nice and cool when you wear it. It was featured in the spring issue of Interweave Knits and will be a yarn used in our first issue of a digital crochet magazine Chain Two. Keep in eye on for more details.
2) Cotton-
Ok this one is a tie. Green Mountain Spinnerys cotton comfort or Brown Sheeps Cotton Fleece. Cotton comfort is 80% wool and 20% cotton. It’s got a great feel while crocheting and again it’s super Eco friendly. Browns sheep cotton fleece is 80% cotton and 20% wool. It comes in a great array of colors. Both will be featured in Chain Two’s first issue as well.