Adaptive Hookery – the NEW Standard

Most activities traditionally have a right way of doing things and a wrong way, but I believe that’s not exactly the case!  So I like to say there’s a standard way and a nonstandard way of accomplishing the task.

Take knitting and crochet for example…. if you watch the instructional videos online for learning techniques for these crafts, most of them feature a common theme for holding the tools, holding tension on the yarn, and how to yarn over – amongst all the other tidbits involved in the project.  While these techniques are admittedly the standard, quite a few folks may not be able to accomplish it exactly the same way due to various limitations.  I really hate for people to get scared off from experiencing the love and wonder of being able to create things with their hands – it is truly heartbreaking for me

So I always tell my students that really, ultimately, when it’s all said and done, how you got to the finish line is no where near as important as that it looks how you want it to look when you get there!  I do my best to hammer it in (oh, come on.. metaphorically of course 🙂 ) that it’s ok to hold your hook a little different, or yarn over backwards from the way your friend does, or to even use a different tool altogether than what is recommended in the pattern.  Follow a process of trial and error to find what is comfortable and works for you.  There is no wrong way, as long as you are happy with the results!  Of course, there are some things that make a difference, like matching gauge, but as long as it’s meeting gauge requirements with your adaptations – you are GOLDEN!  The only “right way” is YOUR WAY! 

This unconventional philosophy is particularly critical for handicapped crafters… (honestly, I’m not sure what the politically correct term is, but since I fit in this category, I feel like I can label it however I want 🙂  )

You may not know it, but I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis for about a year now, with flares coming and going randomly, and determining which body part will be impacted next is like eating a box of chocolate with Forrest Gump (cmon, can’t you hear him saying “you’ll never know what you’re going to get?”).  As a die hard crafter of all sorts, I started to panic trying to figure out how to keep my hooker mojo going during flares.  And I came up with a doozy for crochet!

CHECK IT OUT!!!!

When my right hand & wrist get inflamed and useless, I wear a brace to provide a little extra support.  And because I lose the ability to grip during a flare, I ram my hook between my fingers and into the brace… and channel my inner one-blade Wolverine by moving and rotating just my forearm..

It works like a charm!!  It sure ain’t pretty to look at, but it definitely gets the job done and allows me to keep getting my craft on.  I tried to take and edit a video on iMovie, but apparently my skills are challenged and I couldn’t figure out out, LOL…  Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to show you my adaptive talents in motion.

For now, here are some links to a few creative adaptive tools that are out there.  I haven’t used any of them, but they look pretty neat!  If you are an adaptive crafter, have ued any of these tools, or know someone who fits the bill, feel free to comment and share!

Norwegian Knitting Thimble – helps folks who may not be able to hold yarn tension
Clamp-It Suction Base Hook Holder – great for folks with use of only one hand
Electric Yarn Ball Winder – helps keep your yard nicely wound without needing alot of hand or wrist strength and dexterity

Remember …. the only right way is….. you got it – IT’S YOUR WAY!

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Gettin’ Raggy With It!

Hey y’all!  It’s been a little while, but I had to take a little hiatus for the birth of my very 1st granddaughter!  I tell you, there is no greater gift, other than the birth of your own children, than the gift of becoming a Nana…  I just want to look at her face all day every day 🙂  And smooch her, and nibble her little cheeks off….  but my son-in-law seems to think that might make me a cannibal, LOL… Anyway, my new granddaughter Hanna inspired today’s blog post.

Before she was born, I had the idea to make her a flannel rag quilt, but had no idea how to do it.  So after the obligatory Google and Pinterest searches, blog reads, and shopping trip to the fabric store, I set out on my raggy journey.  And what I found out is, it is extremely easy to do!  You simply cut the flannel squares, double layer the squares and baste a big X in the middle for security, sew them together in the desired configuration with the seams on the top side (which admittedly seems counterintuitive, LOL), and then snip all the seams.  The last step is to toss it in the washer & dryer, and the normally quite annoying property of flannel to fray on the edges when washed actually becomes the most beneficial finishing step of the process!

Here is her quilt, with 6 inch squares in a 6×6 configuration, done with 3 layers of flannel:

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I even monogrammed the lower right corner with my handy dandy embroidery machine, and I am just soooo tickled with how it turned out!

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It turned out so well, that I had to make more!  Especially since Joann’s had a sale on flannel, and they had some really cute boy themes!  Which was perfect, since my good friend is having a boy, and I promised the hubs that I’d try to only buy fabric I had a plan for due to space restrictions.  (little does he know my fingers were crossed when I promised – muahahahahahaha!)

I decided to switch it up a bit on the second one though.  My friend lives in a warmer climate, so I cut it down to 2 layers of flannel instead of 3.  My daughter suggested a rectangular shape would be more crib/bed friendly, so I arranged the squares in a 5×7 configuration.  Here’s the end result:

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You might notice that the monogram is also oriented diagonally instead of straight – also a suggestion from my daughter.  She doesn’t think she’s very creative on her own, but she really does a great job helping me edit and fine tune things, doesn’t she??  If you look up close, you can see the monogram has a mix of fonts and colors to add even more personalization to the little dude’s new blankie.

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The back side matches the front exactly minus the seams, although you could totally take advantage of the opportunity for added creativity if you wanted!

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I’m telling you – I am TOTALLY addicted to making these!  I’m working on a tutorial for these, so if you’re interested, keep your eyes peeled in the near future!

In the meantime, if you’re interested in ordering one, leave me a comment below, or visit my Facebook page and send me a message!