A night with Uncle Arthur

DSC_0656.jpg (Photo credit: dvanhorn)

I’m having a little bit of a problem focusing tonight. Well, this morning. It’s closing in on 5 AM, and I’ve had one of those black nights. I went to bed well before 9 last night, because my allergies were going haywire. I’d eaten some cottage cheese, and had Doritos. Both foods are things I dearly love, but I’ve got a strange reaction to them. They make my sinus cavities go insane, and I end up plugged up, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, the whole bit. My dairy allergy, even with the Doritos, is enough to cause me to weep.

But that’s not the topic of this post, is it. I woke up just after 12 this morning to “Water the Lilies”. When I returned to bed, I found that my joints and shoulder were painful enough that sleep just didn’t come. I am tired, exhausted enough that I’ve had to erase several tries at this post, but sleep just isn’t there for me tonight. It seems that the sandman resents me, for some reason, and won’t stop by even for a cup of Vanilla Caramel Truffle Decaf.

Oh boy, so I listened to an audio book, and I worked on other things. I played some games on my phone, but that just didn’t help. I snuggled the puppy and kitty units. The puppy licked my right eyeball, which gave me some serious thought to germs. Oh well, I’m sure worse has happened. That particular puppy has strange dietary habits.

So, I cam down here to the office, and grabbed my crochet hooks, and a little yarn. I use the remnants of yarn cones and skeins for learning swatches. If I’m trying to learn a new stitch pattern, I grab cotton. If I’m just trying to figure out a new technique for my own strange projects, I’ll use acrylic or other remnants. The swatches end up as either dishcloths, or afghan pieces. Tonight, my focus is a little altered, so I can’t follow a pattern, but I decided to try something I picked up yesterday.

The Boye ergonomic crochet handle was available at my local Wal-Mart. I’ve been wanting one for several months, since I first spied one online. My hands have had the “rust” of arthritis settling in for a couple of years now. I was even considering giving up knitting and crochet last fall because of this. Dad intervened, and made me promise to not give it up. Letting me know that I need to keep moving my hands or I will lose the ability to use them. The sad part, I know this for a fact. I was a nurse’s aide for many years, and saw first hand the effect of arthritis on folks’ bodies.

crochet hooks
crochet hooks (Photo credit: stitchlily)

So, I’ve tried the ergonomic crochet handle tonight. It’s purple, and green, and made out of some rubbery/plastic combo. The first thing I noticed, do not open the package over anything but a table. I damn near lost several of the do-hickeys that slide onto the crochet hooks the second I opened it yesterday. The second thing I learned, was that when you lose one of the little collars, the do-hickeys, you end up searching on hands and knees everywhere for the thing, and become slightly obsessed if you don’t find it. I must consult the cats on the location of that particular item.

On the operation of the ergonomic crochet handle, it does help, if your arthritis is mostly in the digits of your hand. If you have carpel-tunnel disease, I can imagine that this would inflame it worse. Here’s what I observed. The handle exaggerated every movement of the wrist that I normally would do as a crocheter. I was doing with my wrist, all those things that I normally do with my digits. Something else that occurred was that my gauge changed dramatically. To start, I used a “I” hook, and worsted weight yarn. Normally, I have a medium gauge with a “I” hook, and the tension of my stitches is much looser, as if I was using a “K” hook. The fabric is much more lace-like, with larger spaces between stitches than I am used to making.

It’s going to take some getting used to, or maybe a learning curve is in order. I’m not sure.

Now, this isn’t the first ergonomic crochet system I’ve tried. When the Provocraft system became available at the local Wal-mart, I purchased that as well. Because my hands did not change movements, the gauge achieved was what I expected for using a standard crochet hook. The only problem with that system? The hooks come loose with much use and they do not have the larger hooks available.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to go take a nap, my brain is running in one to many directions at once.


Louise Ann Benjamin

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