Welcome to Episode 4 of the Get Hooked with Ashley Podcast, today we are going to talk about crochet health.
So, about a month ago, I injured my shoulder after many long days of crocheting and once I was healed I knew that I needed to add crochet health to the podcast schedule.
So, let me take this back to the beginning when I first started crocheting, well crocheting all the time because I had mastered the basics and was making a variety of projects. So, this was about 6 years ago, I would crochet throughout the day whenever I had a free moment, when the kiddos were napping or playing. Back then I crocheted only with aluminum hooks and if you have seen a lot of my patterns you know I like my K hook. I don’t know if I was driven to that hook because it was a little larger than working with the H hook and it was more comfortable to crochet with, but it stuck with me. But on those days, that I crocheted a lot, when I would go to bed at night, my right hand would be achy that I would have to lay it flat and completely relax it. But when I woke up the next morning I felt fine.
After that went on for a short while I started looking into other hooks, I switched to bamboo hooks and it worked wonders, I wasn’t having my hand cramps anymore and I used my bamboo hooks for at least 5 years. Then I gave handmade clay handle hooks a try and I liked that a little better than the bamboo because it was a little smoother in the handle (sometimes wood chips) and it was cool, not just cool looking but had a cool feeling and your hands wouldn’t get clammy. Then about 4 months ago, I wanted to give the Furls Odyssey Hooks a try, because it had a larger handle, was smooth and beautiful. The first project I crocheted with my new hook was a hat and it took me a little getting used to, to hold my crochet hook comfortably, but once I was about half way through the hat, I was crocheting comfortably and haven’t turned back. Of course, when I ordered my first hook, it was the K Hook but once I decided I loved it, I had to order a H and N Hook to add to my collection. So, my crochet hand health tip is to make sure you find a crochet hook that is comfortable for you!
So, another ache I have discovered over the years is if I don’t have good support to rest my arms on when crocheting, they will start to ache. For about 4 years we had a large sectional in our living room and that is where I crocheted but I would sit in the middle of the sectional because I could stick my crochet project in the corner of couch and always had it on hand. By sitting in the center of the sectional I didn’t have arm rests to rest my arms on, so I would always have a pillow to rest them on and I could then crochet comfortably. But when I taught crochet classes a couple years ago I would be sitting at a table or standing to teach, and my arms would be sore later because I didn’t have my proper arm support. When we got rid of our sectional about 8 months ago, we replaced it with a sofa and recliner. I now have a crochet arm rest again but still have a blanket or pillow under my other arm from crochet support. So, another crochet health tip I have is to always find a comfortable place to crochet.
So mid-year of 2016 I went on maternity leave for about a year and during that time I only crocheted sporadically and crocheted different things for Elizabeth to wear for photoshoots or for her 1st birthday party. I also crocheted bear beanies for the Lizzie Bear Project. So, I worked at my own pace and didn’t have quick deadlines. But, about 4-5 months ago I ended my maternity leave and started crocheting full time again designing new designs. Well I was working nonstop right around Christmas time to finish up these two designs. But the crocheting non-stop caught up with me, I started having a lot of pain in my shoulder. If I put the crochet hook down, put some ice on my shoulder and kept it as still as I could I felt better. I thought it would only be a 24-hour break, but I ended up keeping my hook in the pouch for 48 hours and it made a world of difference. It also reminded me that I need to take crochet health seriously! Since then, I always make sure to take those crochet breaks, stretch, make sure that I am sitting up super straight on the couch (no slouching), have good arm support and a good crochet hook!
What are things that you have learned to help make those crochet days fun and pain free?
Alright guys, we have reached the end of episode 4 and it is time to get back to crocheting the healthy way, so until next time, grab your yarn, your hooks and Get Hooked!