The problem with my hand has been diagnosed.  It’s Carpal Tunnel and tendonitis – caused by overuse and an existing problem with my back and neck.  Probably.  It’s slowed me down a little.  The physio asked what I did with my hands.  I replied that I spun, knitted, embroidered and wrote.  She asked if I thought I could stop doing those things.  Ummm…Sure….but then what would I do?   It would be really hard to give up all of those things.  I know I should exercise more and I could definitely do that….but what about all those extra hours?  What about the fact that these are things I love to do?

So I have severely cut down on the amount of time I spend on these activities in an effort to cure the symptoms.   The physio seemed ok with that plan and has asked me to stop whatever activity I’m doing the moment it causes me pain and to only work in short bursts.   I have been very good about following those directions and my hand has improved steadily. I’ve been wearing my “wonder woman” splint at night too and in writing this I’ve just rememered that I have exercises to do.  Whoops!   The only problem is  that because  it’s linked to my neck and back the physio thinks that my hand will plateau now until I get those taken care of.   

But the exciting news is that I can still continue to do all the things I like – it’s just going to be a slower process.

Over the last few weeks I’ve found that some things hurt more than others.  Pulling thread through a thick fabric is more strenuous than pulling through a thin fabric, or pulling through air.  So I’ve tried some needle lace which was lots of fun and less strain.

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These are some little badges.  The background fabric is made from white cheesecloth and purple …(damn…what’s that stuff called?  Chiffon?…anyway, you know… the see through stuff).  The two pieces of fabric were glued together, with beads and sparkly fibre sandwiched between them.  The glue was a watered down mixture of modpodge.  The fabric dries stiff but flexible.  The backing is just plain callico.  I think the stiffness of the fabric helped support the needle lace quite well.

I also navajo plied my alpaca. The link goes to a pretty good utube video – I am definitely not as smooth as the woman in the video!  Plying itself is not too painful as the thread just runs through your hand.  But I’m still finding that my spinning is too uneven and makes navajo plying a bit unpredictable.  When I bring a thick bit through a thinner bit of the loop it does seem to catch a little….or break…

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This looks like I have only 3 fingers!  The effects of carpal tunnel are not quite that dramatic.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to capture the colours properly – they are less grey.

Vivian from our knitting group, (that’s right, we now have a knitting group – it’s very cool), kindly lent me her Ashford Knitter’s Loom so I could “try my hand” at weaving. (It’s a joke, Joyce).  I’m pleased to say that weaving does not trigger the carpal tunnel symptoms.  Yay!  It’s been fun trying it out.  I am pleased with my first scarf, though it’s really funny to be back to square one with something.  The scarf has flaws in it where I’ve missed a warp thread.  I figure that this is similar to dropping a stitch in that first knitted scarf.  I still like my woven scarf though, and feel a sense of accomplishment –  just as I did when I completed my first knitted scarf. 

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Here it is on the loom. The two colour warp threads were not planned.  I ran out of red and improvised.  But I like the effect.  The warp threads are Patons Superwash wool and the weft is Vero – “made for naturally” shade 60.   My friend Emily gave me the Vero yarn when she was last in Australia –  along with other beauties which shall no doubt make an appearance on these pages in time.  Thanks Emily!

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The finished scarf.  I’m going to have to find some info on different finishes for the woven material.  I don’t mind a fringe now and then but I’d like to know how else to secure the fabric.   I’ve read that you can thread the warp threads back through the fabric…but wouldn’t that make it awfully thick at each end?  I’ll just have to try it!

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And here’s a mistake!

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And another one!  Look closely…it’s a big vertical thread…oh…and please don’t look at the uneven edges! But I still love it! 

I’m giving some thought to buying my own loom.  I had a fairly big birthday recently and  Husband hasn’t given me a present yet,  but  he says he’d be happy to save up and buy me a loom as a pressie.  More investigation needed.

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