How much pain for art?

I love to crochet. For years, it’s been my escape from the computer and the online world and also away for me to make others happy with the gifts I’m able to make them.

About a 18 months ago, I started experiencing increasing pain in my left wrist. Crochet and some pain have always gone hand in hand. Any repetitive movement like crochet is going to cause pain for someone dealing with a disease like Ehlers-Danlos. But, the pain had always been relatively minor and usually only occurred if I was exerting myself trying to get a project done.

Unfortunately, my left wrist has no become hypermobile to the point that the pain while crocheting has been intense and also wasn’t going away. It was leading to pain while I did other activities — like working out, typing, sleeping or trying to lift and carry things in my left hand.

While Ehlers-Danlos isn’t technically a degenerative disease, the problems with joints can be cumulative, and I’ve been worried about pushing my wrist past the point of no return — especially for something as frivolous as art.

Do I want to risk potentially needing surgery on my wrist just to crochet a few more blankets?

Do I want to risk potentially harming my career because I lose function in that hand / wrist just for a few more blankets?

I’ve been struggling with these questions the past several months.

I miss crochet. I miss the art I was able to produce.

I don’t know what’s next and what can replace the enjoyment I received from crochet.

At Christmas-time, I bought a bunch of supplies to do some other Christmas crafts, but I couldn’t get inspired. The supplies are still sitting in the same bag they were brought home from the store. Every time I thought of doing some of the crafts, I just kept thinking about how much I missed crochet.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the windmill project

Thank you!

When I first heard about the windmill fundraising project that AJ Leon was putting together, I wanted to sign up but I just wasn’t sure.

I knew that my month was going to be pretty chaotic — starting with a trip to Fargo for the Misfit Conference and then the big move up to Clarksville. I knew that I wouldn’t have time to pester folks to donate, and so I wasn’t sure if I would be able reach the targeted amount.

After attending the Misfit Conference, I was still struggling with whether or not to sign up. I exchanged a few emails with Jessie and then finally thought up a plan and gave her the go-ahead to list me as a good misfit.

Today is the final day of the month, and so far I’ve raised $435. Overall, the project has reached its goal of $15,000 to build a windmill in Africa and any extra money will now go to help complete other projects needed by the community.

It’s not too late to make a donation. I would love to make my personal fundraising goal of $500 (I’m at $435 now), and I will send you some crocheted loveliness.

Would you help me help build a windmill in Africa?

Travis and Camille's blanketSome good friends of mine are holding a massive fundraiser to build a windmill in Africa. You can read more about it here … it’s pretty amazing!

I would like to commit to helping them raise money for the well by giving you the opportunity to own something I’ve made.

Here’s the catch … I need to raise the money this month (June 2013), and it takes a bit longer than a month to make the things I do.

So, here’s the question — would you pre-order and pre-pay for a gnome, scarf, or blanket with the commitment that I would get the item to you sometime this fall?

I need to commit to this over the weekend, so let me know if you’re interested, and I will get things set up.


Liz & Brad blanket

My sister Liz got married before I started making blankets for people getting married. I’ve always meant to do a blanket for her, but it kept getting put off.

Liz Brad blanketThis blanket was originally intended as a Christmas present, but didn’t make it in time.

I made this using Simply Soft Yarn. It started out as a never-ending granny square and then I added additional rows in double and half-double crochet.

Liz brad blanket close up