Friday, August 24, 2012

Shifting Focus

Since moving here last month, something has become glaringly apparent.
Using the manual wheelchair means my knitting ability is impaired.
I still have skilz but the amount of time my hands can bear knitting is so much shorter than before. Looking back, my arthritis in my hands has been slowing things down quite a bit all along, it's just that adding the manual wheelchair was the death knell.
What does this mean in the big scheme of things?
1. Making the same limited income based on knitting my own pattern samples is not feasible. As none of my patterns make enough money to pay for someone else to knit them for me, this means that my knitting pattern writing is limited to perhaps 10 percent of what it was a few years back.
2. Although I can knit looser fabric (like lace shawls) with slightly more comfort, it is still painful after a certain amount of time.
3. Not spending all that painful time knitting will leave room in my life for other types of crafting and creativity. Not sure exactly what type, but art quilting and writing come to mind.

I may still design a pattern or two, but not with the drive to gain income. It will just be for pleasure, and most of my pattern ideas will have to be ash canned. Anything with a medium to tight fabric (like socks, most hats, and mittens) will be a long term project and not something I plan to design much if at all.

I have been playing around with other ways of crafting using yarn, and it turns out if I use a double ended Tunisian hook I can have a pleasurable time crafting for longer.
Any of the bulky yarns, at whatever gauge and using whatever method are still painful, so it is time to winnow my stash again.

I also want to give weaving a try. I think it might be easier on my hands. I wonder if there is somewhere I can  try it out without buying the equipment up front. Perhaps I'll start by asking weavers who also knit and have arthritis if weaving is easier for them.

I will still pursue the Master Knitters program. But no time limit.
Looking back, I started knitting because I could no longer quilt. I love knitting, but there are many types of crafts I also enjoy. I think I love making art quilts more.


Don Meyer said...

Oh, yes. We do slow down, find we cannot do what we used to do. Moving for me is difficult, but do-able. Turning around is much harder. I remember a time after my wife had her stroke, I called to her for something. Her response: "I'm not facing in that direction!"

Anonymous said...

I can accept your slowing down, but not stopping! :) Looking forward to all kinds of your creativity.

Ria said...

oh yuck.

JaM said...

My current crafting strategy for avoiding neck/shoulder/wrist pain: do a little weaving, take a break, do a little spinning, take a break, do a little knitting... you get the idea. But not easy for me to overcome my natural tendency to forget about time and just keep doing one thing. When I forget and overdo, I get some relief by massaging trigger points using fingers and/or theracane.

Is there a weaving guild in your area? They usually have library - plus equipment available for modest rental fee to members - and reduced membership fees for those unable to attend meetings.

Have a look online at weavershand and Phiala's String Page. You might consider getting started by weaving narrow bands using simple handmade devices... preferably with smooth yarns.