Where growing, making & good living come together

Attack of the Crochet Claw

Posted by on Tuesday 2 April 2013 in making | 2 comments

One of the reasons my crafting extravaganza hasn’t gone as planned is because of my hands. Between lots of wet felting, crochet and protecting my super-sensitive new scar over the last month, they’ve been slowly turning into T-Rex claws. But it wasn’t until Friday, when my knuckles were properly swollen and achy as well as stiff, that I actually thought about it seriously.


(Me, on Friday. Except I have curlier hair. And glasses. And a shorter tail.)

When I’m working at my computer, I’m pretty good at taking breaks, sitting in a good chair and doing little exercises to help reduce shoulder/eye strain etc. (I don’t use it any more but when I worked at the university, I used to use Workrave to keep me in line.) But for some reason, I don’t apply the same principle to crafting – I can sit curled up in a ball, on the sofa, for hours at a time, and the only exercise I do to break it up is occasionally tickle an animal or clasp my claw around a cup of tea. (This is a small exaggeration, but only a small one.)

As my dad has pretty bad osteoarthritis and I’ve had joint pain problems in the past (in my knees particularly), I’ve decided to take Claw Friday as a bit of a wake up call so it doesn’t get worse in the future. I’ve started breaking up my crafting like I do my computer time (and like any sensible, normal person would do) and switching between different things (eg between crochet and sewing over the weekend) rather than doing the same thing over and over again. I’m hoping to start going swimming again regularly from the summer onwards which will help things generally but in the meantime, I’ve also started doing some hand/forearm exercises that I remember from my yoga/pilates days – hopefully encouraging my muscles to become a little more flexible again. It’s amazing how just a few days of those has already improved things.

Do you do any particular exercises to help prevent RSI/other injuries during your crafting/making or gardening etc? Do you have any tips?


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  1. Jodie Ervin

    I suffered from joint pain, especially in my knees, for years. Two years ago I gave up diet sodas after I saw a report that it increased stroke risk. Within 48 hours my joints were amazingly free of pain and continue to be today. Aspartame turns into formaldehyde in the human body and collects in the joints, leading to pain. If you consume any products with aspartame, you owe it to yourself to go cold turkey for a few days and see a miracle.

  2. Lisa Clarke

    Do you crochet with a hook that has a larger handle? I cover metal hooks with polymer clay handles, and I am told that they help with joint pain. They’re easier to grip than the plain metal hook. You can see mine here, but of course you can also just find something inexpensive at the craft store. Clover makes a few varieties.
    Good luck with your hands!

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