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