April 2, 2012

Hook in Comfort DIY

Random fact: when I was 16 years old I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Essentially, my joints completely froze in place and I was unable to move very much while my doctors completed many tests to figure out what was wrong with me. I was one symptom away from being diagnosed with Lupus, but was still treated as if I were (medicinally) to be safe. Fortunately, my rheumatologist was confident that since I was diagnosed at such a young age, I might have a chance of "growing out of" the illness. I was medicinally treated for nearly 5 years, but during college, I tried to get through life without the medicine. It was scary at first, but in the end, my body was functioning just fine! Hooray! There are still a few things I need to be careful about. For example, I cannot eat aspartame as it flares Lupus symptoms and is generally dangerous for people with RA. Fortunately, my taste buds have become quite sensitive to it so I can taste it in everything from soda to cookies to gravy! I also have to be sure that I eat a lot of lean meats and fruits and veggies to keep a healthy diet. I get tired pretty easily, and for a long time, it seemed like I got sick at the drop of a dime, but I've been lucky recently (knock on wood).

What does this have to do with hooking in comfort? Last winter I could feel my arthritis coming back in my wrists. I was crocheting for at least 4 hours every day trying to keep up with the holiday demand of craft shows and Etsy sales. I loved every minute, but I was also afraid that I was hurting my body in a way that I would pay for--big time. I invested in a pair of stress relief gloves from Lion Brand that really helped me get through those last few weeks. After the new year I took a long time off--two months--from crocheting. It was nice, because now I'm ready to get back at it. This time around, though, I'm being a bit more proactive. 

I noticed this quick and cheap DIY a while back and decided to tackle it myself. I only needed to buy one item: pencil grips. This weekend, while I was running errands, I picked up a box of pencil grips from Walmart for only $2.00! A $2.00 DIY, people! Awesome!

You'll need any aluminum crochet hook that is a size 9mm or smaller and a box of pencil grips.


Wiggle the pencil grips to the middle of the crochet hook. I stopped every few seconds to make sure the pencil grip was close to where I hold my hooks naturally. I know there are a few different ways of holding the hooks--I always hold mine really close to the hook instead of in the middle.
 

Wha-la! Easy peesy, lemon squeezy. I've been stitching with my all-new comfort hooks for the last few days and it has been amazing! I will forewarn you, though, sometimes the plastic pencil grips can catch to certain fibers (ie: wool). If you know you're working with a luxe material and don't want to take any chances, I would upgrade the pencil grips so they weren't a sticky plastic.

For more ways to prevent injury while crocheting, this is a great resource.

Have you seen any other DIY ways to better your hook experience?

4 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! I would have never thought of this!

    It is weird how our bodies work, developing things & even growing out of them. I am not as conscious about my joints as I should be being I type all day for work, make pottery, & crochet. I do remember once crocheting so much my wrists hurt!

    This is such a great idea. I am also going to check out that resource! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my goodness! Why did I never think of this!?

    Goodbye mini finger cramps!

    :-)

    Missyellowshoes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. i just found a similar idea to this at http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Easy-Comfort-Crochet-Hooks/#step1 . it suggests you wrap tape around the hook until the pencil grip stays. I tried your way and couldn't keep the grip in place. i think i'll try the tape idea and see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. fish tank clear tubing, not very much at Walmart i think maybe a couple of dollars, cut the tubing the length of the pencil grip then cut the tubing length wise and put on hook, add pencil grip, it holds great. the tubing when cut spreads out and takes up the room inside the grip.

    ReplyDelete