Jan 28, 2013

A Wealth of Washcloths . . .

It seems as if I spent most of last year in pain.  No, not the pain of a watching a steadily deteriorating 2012 presidential election campaign, nor the pain of living in a swing state, although by the time November 6 had rolled around, I was ready to unplug myself from all modern -- and not so modern -- communication mechanisms.  And, no, not the pain of a slow recovery from two back-to-back minor car accidents that had me in weekly physical therapy for 6 months.

Rather, I'm talking about the pain of tendonitis.  For much of last year, I suffered from recurring tendonitis in my right wrist.  Tendonitis is a bitch, particularly when the inflammation holds hostage the very muscles one uses for a favorite activity.  At several points in the year, I would pick up my hook, make a hat or two, only to have to immobilize my wrist when the pain came flaring back.  Even a steroid shot didn't provide long-term help.

Happily, I can report that the inflammation is virtually gone.   As I struggled to figure out why the pain kept returning, I discovered that how I cradled my wrist when I crocheted further inflamed an already inflamed tendon. 

As  recovered, I took crochet slow and in small doses.  I focused on crafting a series of washcloths for my eldest, eldest niece, who recently moved to New York City where she is living on the shoe string budget of a struggling actress cum waitress.   As I experimented with ways to reduce the chance of aggravating the tendonitis, I toyed with different yarns (cotton, hemp, linen) and stitch patterns.  

I even managed to get over my dislike of the front post stitch.   Executed only on the front side of the fabric, in alternating rows, the fpdc created a beautifully textured designs, such as these two squares. 

Tree of Life Afghan pattern, LionBrand Yarns
Weldon's Practical Crochet, Second Series, ca1889
I made 12 washcloths last year.  I also ended the year with a wealth of knowledge about how to reduce the chance for injury, as well as gained a greater appreciation for the craft of crochet.
However, I still hate the back post stitch.