Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Crafting with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I wasn't surprised to get a definite diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome recently.  I have had hand and wrist pain for a few years but the main problem from CTS is interrupted sleep and the exhaustion that leaves behind.  Of course, this is a difficult diagnosis for a knitter and although I haven't done anything yarny for a couple of months now, I really want to do something crafty.  

Many, many years ago (more than 30!) I was given a few bits to do some patchwork.  I was just a child at the time and without anyone to guide me and no internet it was an unfulfilled dream to actually make something with these tools and fabric.  I tinkered a little more with them in early adulthood and on a couple of other occasions, making quite a bit of progress last year or the year before with making the patches.  With knitting and crochet off the menu for a while (or longer) I decided that I would see how my hands coped with sewing.  At first I did a bit of embroidery, just trying to learn some stitches really, and I'll post about that in due course, but then decided I really wanted to make some progress with the decades-old patchwork quilt, so I finished the last few patches and then started arranging and re-arranging them:

I searched for photos from about 14 months ago when I'd started trying to lay out the patches.  I started on the dining table:

but soon had to progress to the floor:

These were helpful in working out how to join the patches, but I'd made more patches since the photos so really had to start again.  It's always helpful to rule out what you don't want to do though, on the way to working out what you do want to do.
So, here are some of the flowers I have put together:

There's still a long way to go, but so far no wrist or hand problems from the sewing :-)  By the way, I am learning mainly by error and a little by youtube how to do this - a great many time-consuming mistakes are still being resolved!