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Chill busting simple scarves

Chill busters

Almost every knitter I know loves the Fall chill. Crunchy leaves, bit of a nip in the air, and something fun and woolly to wear. I’m a self-described hard-core knitter. If I have a spare minute (and even when I don’t) I have needles in hand, a little yarn bag on my arm, and the needles are clicking! While I’m standing waiting for the bus, boarding the bus, riding on the bus, etc.

For me, knit out in public day is every day. And FYI, it is a great conversation starter. I can’t tell you how many interesting people I’ve met over my knitting. People of all ages, and believe it or not young children are absolutely mesmerized by watching someone knit. I’ve even let random people knit a stitch or two just so they could experience the absolute joy of knitting.

In an age where everything is public scrolling on smartphones it’s becoming obvious that people want to be tactile. They crave hands-on creativity. If I have the tools in my hands and someone wants to knit a stitch or two, I am absolutely happy to help.

Welcome to the dark side. (Channeling my inner Darth)

Right now, I am absolutely cranking out the scarves – the more the merrier. I have big plans for the scarves – more on that later. Believe it or not, I have a Red Heart and Caron stash that is absolutely blush-worthy. I know, I have a yarn problem. Luckily, as a knitter, I also hold the solution on a pair of size 9’s.

After the first four garter stitch scarves, I decided to change it up a bit. It does get a little boring knitting a row, turning the work, knit a row, turn the work. So one day I stopped turning the work. Why turn the work when you can purl back the way you came?

The first couple of lefty passes were a bit of a challenge but it’s starting to become second nature. I hope to work on some left handed knitting techniques for more stitches but for now I’m content to practice this new-to-me method.

Now for the pattern. Knit and be happy!

Simple Scarf:

Yarn: approximately 250 yards of worsted weight – get creative with your stash. A single color is good but mix your colors. Experiment with color combinations!

Needles: one pair of size 9

Crochet hook or yarn needle to weave in ends.

Instructions:

Using long tail method, cast on 28 stitches.

Knit every row until scarf measures 40 inches.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

It’s a quick make so you have time to get a few done for Holiday gift giving.

 

 

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Tis the season for RSI’s

Chances are you’re probably in that holiday craft twilight time – the mad dash to get all those projects finished that you have in mind for your handmade gifting this season. I feel your pain, I have a list myself. I am also fortunate in that I get to knit and crochet as a source of income – so that’s a lot of time spent with my hands and wrists in repetitive motion which could lead to repetitive stress injury or RSI. Even without the worry of RSI’s, working long hours on knit or crochet projects can make for some pretty sore and tired hands, aching shoulders and a complaining spine.

So what can you do to reduce pain and fatigue while you craft?

Use proper body mechanics

I know I’ve spent some time on my nice comfy couch with feet propped up and needles in hand, in front of my favorite show only to be terribly disappointed when I can’t move without pain just 30 minutes later. How is it I can spend hours in my craft room and barely tolerate the comfort of my red cushy leather couch? It all boils down to proper body mechanics.

Keeping your spine in proper alignment will help reduce pain and fatigue. Your grandmother was right – sit up straight. We all have three natural curves in our spine: the cervical (neck), the thoracic (upper back) and the lumbar (lower back). Proper alignment of the spine means keeping these natural curves lifted, not collapsed or held. Picture your spine as a gentle S curve, with each vertebrae stacked gently on top of each other. When you sit, you should feel your ears balanced over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips and your spine lifted. If you have a chair with a lumbar support, make sure it is in the proper position and uncross those legs! Crossing your legs while you are seated will cause the spine to twist in an unnatural position which will lead to an aching back and shoulders. Speaking of legs, make sure your chair is at the proper height for you. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle – no dangling feet and no knees pointing up. When seated, you should be able to have both feet comfortably on the ground while maintaining that 90 degree angle. I personally don’t use a chair with a back. My favorite crafting chair so far is a padded storage stool. It’s the right height, it’s comfy and it serves a purpose (it holds my spinning fiber). I make it a point to sit up into proper spine alignment while I work but when I notice I’m starting to slouch I move on to the next point.

Take frequent breaks

It’s important to take frequent breaks. If you notice yourself slouching or your shoulders are starting to squeeze in on your neck then it’s time to move around. Get up, do a few squats, or a few lunges. Gently stretch your fingers back, give yourself a mini hand massage, lift your hands up to the sky and stretch out your spine. Do anything that will gently stretch those muscles and joints and get the blood moving.

I save my dusting and vacuuming for some of my “break” times. And fortunately with two large breed dogs that like to shed a lot, it’s a daily break time opportunity.

De-stress your workspace

The quickest way to sit in a hunched or stiff position is to have a stressful workspace. Try not to have too many projects out at once, especially if you’re planning on them all going out the door at once! This is a visual cue of a pile of work that needs to be done. Pull out one project at a time, work on it for a while then put it away before pulling out your next work in progress. This will keep your workspace de-cluttered and will help you remain calm. Stress? What stress, I’m almost finished with this and I see nothing else that needs to be done right now. That’s my yarn zen mantra – it’s a little simplistic but it works.

I hope you get to enjoy your crafting as much as I enjoy mine.

~Happy Crafting!~

Disclaimer: I am not a physician and can not diagnose or treat any condition. The advice given here is my personal opinion for my situation. If you are having difficulty, please consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.