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Sunday, November 16, 2014

More Stuff about the Health Benefits of Crafts

I happened to come across the following news article from CNN and thought I would share it.
It's about anxiety and PTS and how crafting can help. I figure a lot of us chronic pain sufferers might also have these types of diagnoses as well.

I've been on a doily kick for the past couple days.
I haven't done much work with thread lately other than flower buttons, but I really started missing it. While crocheting with thread and small needles is harder on my hands, it's also more engaging and distracting. I really have to concentrate on what I'm doing and not so much on pain. While I sometimes can't do that, when I can, I like to make doilies and lace that take a little more work. There is usually more variation in stitches and some of the patterns are pretty difficult to follow.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Coping with Hand pain

So today's blog post is about coping with pain, particularly hand pain. I've been dealing with this quite a bit lately. It doesn't help that the holidays are almost upon us and I'm rushing to get gifts done. When I should be taking a break every so often, I find myself pushing to get done and trying to ignore the burn in my thumb.

So....I started researching ways to cope and, pf course, the first thing I keep finding is to take frequent breaks to let your hands rest.

Here are a couple articles on coping techniques for your hands:
From Lion Brand Yarns, a nice article giving several suggestions to help, along with a link to buy some gloves that help with support for arthritis.

This article from gives some great suggestions also.

A couple pics of things I'm working on right now:

Yes... I have way too many WIP's going on. I decided that I really love working with thread after doing a pile of button flowers and so started the doily yesterday. The afghan is my "to big to take anywhere" project. I also have one sock of a pair done and need to finish those up as well. The socks are for John because he was claiming cold feet again. LOL The flowers are being made for my friend, Latoya, for her to make bows with, the blanket is for my couch (yes, occasionally I make things for me.LOL) and the dish cloth is a gift that is still in the process of being a set.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Buttons and Flowers

I'm super busy right now, getting ready for the Holidays and trying to get my gift knitting and crocheting done. While I enjoy planning and preparing gifts, it can get stressful and painful for me. I'm working on these little flowers that use buttons, but after making a few, started having sharp pains at the base of my right thumb. I'm sure that using small thread and hooks has a lot to do with it, but I absolutely love doing things with thread instead of yarn. The detail and lace appeal to me. I'm trying to get relief by switching up to yarn projects when I can.
I've been considering trying marijuana as a form of pain relief. I've read some things that make me think that its safer than using gabepentin for the fibro and neourpathy pain problems I'm having. I definitely need to find something to help so I won't have to stop my needlecrafts. I need the needlecrafts in order to keep sane.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another article about the benefits from knitting and crocheting

I keep finding more and more about the therapeutic benefits of doing knitting and crocheting. As I search for ways to help with anxiety and relief from the stress of dealing with a chronic pain illness, I find that I already have it in my knitting. 

I recently moved back into a shared household with my daughter and son and I'm finding the stress over finances to be overwhelming at times. Add to that the stress of trying to use the VA as my primary medical provider and you have a recipe for anxiety. Enough so that I attempted to get into the VA for a mental health appointment (a whole story behind that attempt with a VA that is overcrowded and likes to double book appointments and my daughter's truck that likes to have issues with overheating at inconvenient times). As a result, I've been doing more reading on self help and on ways to meditate and keep down stress.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I'm Back at It!

We moved from California to Washington! John and I made the move the first week of August and it's been wonderful to be out of the heat. The first summer we lived in Randy's old house in Barstow, we were able to stay cool enough by using the old swamp cooler that was there, but the second summer was horrible. We moved into the larger home in front of the small one and the cooler in the big place was on the roof and was just as old as the one on the converted garage. After fighting with the landlord to get it updated and a new switch on it, the best we got was a servicing and it wasn't enough. By July it was in the 90's in the house and I was in misery from my fibro. I complained on facebook to my daughter and my brother posted "come home". After thinking it over, I realized that I really had no good reason not to. I worked it out with Michelle so that she could rent a truck and come and get us and we made it happen.
We have a small, two bedroom, apartment in Lakewood WA. now. I have a little work area put together for all my needlecrafts and even added an old 1930's era Singer treadle sewing machine to my work space. 
I took a while to get us settled in, then got to work on some socks. My plan is to get some things made up and then sell some and donate some to the VA. I'll probably make up a blog just for sales once I get things caught up and a few things made.

Some of the things I'm working on are Halloween themed items, designing and donating some socks made with diabetics in mind, and some dog sweaters. These socks are the diabetic socks I'm making. I finished one pair in soft yarn and gave them to my daughter and made a pair with worsted weight baby yarn that I'm wearing. I wanted to make them for myself first so I could see how practical they would be.
They turned out just right. I used a larger needle for the cast on and started with the stockinette stitch right off the bat so that there wouldn't be a ribbing to cause discomfort and cut off circulation. Then I used a short row heal so there wouldn't be a lot of bulk around the heal and finished up with the kitchner stitch for the toe so that there would be no seam to cause irritation. After I made mine, I started a pair for the VA hospital (still working on the second one).
The Halloween socks have been just a ton of fun to work on. I made the first pair with pumpkins.
They turned out so cute, I made a pair with a spider on one of the socks.
Now I can't wait to get to the store and get yarn to make some with candy corn decorating them.

In between my sock adventures I got a couple other projects done as well: A scarf using some cotton yarn and that I experimented with beads for the first time ever!

And some baby booties for my neighbor who just brought a brand new baby girl into the world.
So, as you can see, I'm right back into my needles and yarn. Things have been good financially since combining my income with my daughters and, even though we haven't felt the benefits yet (moving taxed our purses pretty good), we are feeling hopeful. 

I got back into the VA system here and was pleased to see that the VA clinic was very close to where I live. I go to the American Lake complex and it is gorgeous! The building was built in the 1920's and is right next to a beautiful little lake, surrounded by evergreens. Not only has the staff there been wonderful (they have a nice woman's clinic where the building on the inside has been fixed up really pretty and the ladies that work there are wonderful), but the setting is very relaxing!  The PA I'm seeing as my primary care doctor is very into being proactive with my healthcare and goes with a more holistic approach for my fibromyalgia that is closer to what I like. She did blood tests last week and found that I have hypothyroidism and is keeping an eye on that for me.
Well, that's about all my babbling for now!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Poor Boring Life...

I know I haven't posted in a while. Been busy attempting to get things knitted and crocheted to sell and haven't had a lot of luck on the selling part. I've been donating things and giving them to neighbors more than selling.
I  made some little girl socks and ended up running them on ebay 3 times before giving them to our neighbors as a thank you for helping me with my garden.

I made these socks and gave them to the local thrift shop that gives its proceeds to a battered women's shelter
Then I made this kitchen set, but didn't even attempt to sell it. It went to our other neighbor that brought over bar-b-que for Easter, as a thank you.
Oh well. At least they went to good use and I really enjoyed the knitting and crocheting.

My latest issues with fibro have been all about headaches. I cut out all caffine in the last couple months and I'm really having issues with the headaches and the fibro fog. I'm going to have to start job hunting to make ends meet and I'm concerned how it will play out. My disability check isn't stretching the entire month and I've had to ask for help for groceries so I need to do something to bring in more income. I finally asked for help at church and am talking to a lady in charge of employment. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can get a good part time job I can do with my disabilities and take care of the financial issue on my own.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Knitting and crocheting away this month

Figure I should do an update since I haven't written on my blog for a while. John and I are doing fine after Randy passed in January. I've been plugging away at the to do list and have everything in my name and have managed all the red tape issues that go with having your husband pass away. His memorial is next week.

As far as my fibro goes, I had a couple flares in the last three months, but I'm doing better now. Funny how I can stress a part of my body and not feel anything until later that day or the next, and then it takes weeks to recover. My survival, right now, depends on me being able to walk everywhere and be alert when I'm reading and filling out forms, so having an ankle go out or my knees just isn't acceptable. I stressed my arm on the day that Randy went to the convalescent hospital by trying to straighten him on the gurney when the medical transport guys wouldn't do it, and I wasn't able to reach over my head with my arm for days afterwords. Made getting food out of the cupboard really interesting. It doesn't help that my medical care right now is pretty etchy. I was changed from SSI to Survivor benefits (disabled widow) and that changed me from medicaid to medicare. Now I have a deductible and have to buy my own prescriptions.  Not easy when you make as little as I do.

My knitting and crocheting are coming along. I have been trying to sell it on ebay and ebid, but haven't been real successful. Right now I have several things I'm trying to sell
 I attempted to sell my doily, but if I'd have continued, it would have sold for less than what I spent on the thread so I canceled the sale
 These didn't sell either and I ended up donating them to a thrift shop in town that uses what they made from selling things to help out victims of domestic violence.
 I gave this bag to the thrift shop as well.
 As well as this doily
 This bag is still on e-bay, but it doesn't look promising. I've ran it three times and nothing so far.
This is the only item that I made that has a bid on it. Hopefully it will get more before the auction is done.

I'm having a lot of hand pain (my knuckle in my left thumb keeps stiffening up), but I keep pressing on. Right now I'm working on a throw rug made from plarn and the thrift shop gave me a ton of fabric to use to make throw rugs to donate so I need to get to work on them.

I got this book in the mail from It has some great ideas on how to knit using items you find around your home instead of yarn. "Rags to Riches-Ideas to Inspire the Thrifty Knitter" by Mary-Jane Holmes. Looks like some great ideas in it.