Oh my aching hands! Since starting Amigurumi crochet my hands and wrists have increasingly become more sore and achy.When I wake up in the morning they are so stiff I feel like an 80 year old lady! The reason for this is that with Amigurumi you are working with an extremely tight gauge, and pulling your yarn tight, not to mention inserting your hook into the tighter than tight stitches on your project. My grandmother crocheted every day for hours on end. Not only because she loved to crochet, but she explained to me one day that crocheting helped her arthritis. She said it helped to keep her fingers loose and moving. However, Grandma didn't crochet amigurumi...in fact she crocheted very loosely.
I have found a few solutions that have helped my hands in small ways, and in BIG ways. One thing I have found to help is taking short breaks now and then to stretch my hands and give myself frequent hand massages. It not only feels wonderful, but revitalizes my hands and allows me to continue crocheting for much longer periods of time if I want to (which I usually do!). I don't have any fancy massage techniques that I use, I just rub the palms of my hand with the thumb of the opposite hand, then gently pull and stretch each finger, and finish off by rotating my wrists several times in each direction.
But the biggest thing that I did, which helped me the very most, was investing in what are called "ergonomic hooks". They are slightly more expensive than the skinny metal hooks, but the difference they make is huge. They have a soft padded plastic grip that is larger than a standard metal hook, which makes them much easier to grip.
The tips are also slightly more pointed which helps them to glide into the very tight yarn stitches with ease. They are the cadillac of crochet hooks in my opinion and I wish I had invested in them years ago. One evening after a whole day of crocheting, with hands throbbing and stiff wrists, I decided that something had to give if I'm going to continue crocheting at this pace to prepare for the craft fair in October. So I went online and ordered (treated) myself to some ergonomic hooks. I mean if I'm going to pursue this venture to be a full time "crochet artist" I have to have the proper tools of the trade don't I? I did some searching and was able to get a complete set of 8 hooks, complete with a lovely "gift" case from Joann.com. And I got such a deal!!
I read on the Joann.com website that if you register at their site, you get a promotional code for 40% off of one item, plus discounted shipping. I got the complete set of ergonomic hooks for $29.99 plus $2.95 shipping. That's a terrific deal because the regular price of this set is $49.99!! If you are considering buying these hooks I'd highly recommend ordering them from here. They take a little getting use to, after using the metal ones for so many years, but once you "break them in" you will never go back to the others!
Speaking of crochet hooks reminds me that several years ago I made a crochet hook case for myself, and made one to give as a Christmas gift.
I really love this case and I have used it so much over the years.
If you'd like to make one I have posted a link to the pattern below. As the pattern instructs I put 2 squares of plastic canvas (available at Wal-mart for pennies) inside the covers (front & back) to add a little stability and used a button closure, although the picture on the pattern and the directions use a zipper closure. I'm just not very good at zippers!
It was really fun to make and uses 'cross stitches' for the cover which looks awesome and is very easy to do if you follow the directions on the pattern.
Here is the link to the free pattern for this super neat case: http://www.allcrafts.net/f.php?url=web.archive.org/web/20010714114354/members.aol.com/lffunt/alhookcase.htm?mtbrand=AOL_US
So, I'm feeling especially upbeat tonite, new fancy crochet hooks in hand and ready to start a new project.
Thanks for visiting my blog and until next time...happy hooking!