Posts tagged [clover]


  • Blog 3: I had a dry January

    Like many of us, I completely overdid it in December – I went from famine to feast because I could. I had the time, I was relaxed, and I was in the zone to completely over doing it.

    But it wasn’t a food and drink feast!

    No! It was a crocheting feast.

    crochet blocks 1

    In the space of five days, I crocheted 3 octopuses, 12 squares for my blanket and taught myself to do the star stitch. I was an addict. I could truly say “Hi my name is Briony and I am a crochet addict”. Crocheting had gone from being a meditative and soothing experience to being a somewhat frantic affair.

    crochet star stitch

    My addiction was hurting me – my hands were aching, my fingers went tingly and numb, my left wrist stiffened up, my elbow hurt and we won’t even talk about my shoulders and neck that were pretty much locked.  At some point holding my crochet work became impossible. But worse than that, I was struggling to hold a knife, pick up anything heavier than a mug, or make a fist.

    Yup, you guessed it… repetitive strain injury (and a flare-up of arthritis). (I hate that word – I am too young to be using that word!!).

    So January has been a dry month for me. I packed away my crochet projects and for a month my hands have rested. Sadly they spent most of January picking up food because they weren’t busy all the time… so February is now the reverse of January. My crochet work is back in hand, and I am having a carb-free February!

    When I chatted with Helène and did a little research on repetitive strain injuries, it became clear to me that most crocheters go through this at some point.

    So here is some wise advice from Helène and other crocheters on the internet:

    • Concentrate on your grip.  Whether it’s a knife grip or a pencil grip make sure that you place little to no pressure on your thumb. 
    • Invest in a soft grip hook (I already have one). Helène recommends investing in an ergonomic hook like the Ilaja Hook handmade by LJ Craft Creations.
    • Change your grip. Helène says that a few years ago she forced herself from a pencil grip to a knife grip because of sore hands.  Find a way that suits you.
    • Rest, stretch and focus on posture. Regular intervals of hand, arm, and shoulder stretching are very important (definitely something that I neglect, but have started being a lot more conscientious about).  The Crochet Project goes as far as recommending stretching every 20 minutes and even doing light weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your “crochet” muscles!
    • Try massaging Hilda Steyn’s specially formulated sore hand's remedy on to your hands, arms, and sometimes you can buy directly from Yarn at ZelLé. (Check out Hilda's patterns as well – I think her Wacky Weave Squares CAL might just be a project in my future!!)
    • The opposite of repetition is variety. Try having a number of different projects on the go to introduce variety in hook sizes, yarn types, tension, and figure out for yourself what types of projects are least straining for you.
    • Stop! If all else fails just stop crocheting for a while. If crocheting is causing fear rather than fun, then it’s time to stop. Read Sally Strawberry's blog for another account on RSI.

    After a month of no crocheting, my hands are all better and I am back to doing a bit of crocheting here and there when I have a half hour or so. My blanket may take longer to complete than I had hoped but rather than, than hands that don’t function.

    Have you ever had a repetitive strain injury?

    crochet blocks 2

     Briony Parsons (Liber) is the owner and founder at Briony Liber Coaching (www.brionyliber.com).  She provides coaching to young professionals that want to explore and develop their behavioral competencies and broader personal and interpersonal business skills, to complement and support their technical capabilities.

    Read More  

  • Ready, steady, gauge swatch!

    In all the 20 years that I have been crocheting I've never made a proper crochet garment for myself.  I've always been too scared that after I've put in so much effort the garment will not fit me.  Although I have a healthy body image I know that I am on the - let's call it - voluptuous side.  Thank goodness that I have large bust otherwise my large tummy would have been the focal point.  Now it's the large bust that are the focal point!  Then, I have a high waist.  So, in essence, I'm a typical apple shape and the apple gets juicier and juicier over time.  

    Clothes shopping is such a headache for me.  I never feel comfortable in form fitting clothes.  I want something that's loose over my muffin top but it mustn't make me look pregnant.  I want a blouse that can button over my bust but the shoulders should still fit like they're supposed to.  Aaaah, the joys.

    What drew my attention to the top design on the cover of the Your Family mag of February 2018 was the symmetry and simplicity of the design.  It's loose fitting in all the right places without looking like a flour bag.  And surely when I wear it I will look exactly like Reinette Potgieter who is the beautiful (and skinny) model wearing it.  Right?!  Right.

    Off I went to Surene at Yarn at ZelLé in Centurion to pick up my 6 balls of Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion in Seashell (like the pattern suggests).  The yarn looks absolutely magnificent.  The 50% Bamboo Viscose and 50% Cotton blend is silky soft.  The bamboo strand weaved with the cotton strand gives it such a luscious shine.

    At home I, of course, had to find a craft bag for my latest project!  The Dark Chocolate colourway of the Brilliantmommy Valentine's Collection matches perfectly with the soft pink yarn.  Ready, steady, gauge swatch!

    Brilliantmommy Craft Bag Valentine's Collection

    Because I'm so hesitant to crochet a garment I thought I'd be a good hooker and really, like in really, do a gauge swatch.  I was very relieved to have figured out in the end that I can continue my project with my brand new 4mm Clover Amour hook that I bought from Be Inspired.  It would have been a travesty if I had to use my aluminium hook which - to me - is so last year...

    When you hear from me again I would hopefully have started on my front panel!

    x Helène

     

    Read More