Nearly five years ago I suffered severe trauma to my neck and was subsequently diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Since then I’ve found writing and craftwork less enjoyable ~ if I push myself too far I can end up with ferocious headaches and burning pains in my muscles and jonts for several days.
Nevertheless, by practising an (almost) daily Qi~gong routine to keep myself as supple as possible, I’ve managed to keep going to my fortnightly craft group, The Crafty Bees. Even though I haven’t been able to accomplish as much as I would like, the lively chatter and unbridled laughter have definitely helped to keep my spirits lifted. And when I’m taking a break from my own halting work~in~progress, I can always wander round and find out what interesting and unusual projects other members have brought along.
A few weeks before Christmas, inspired and mentored by my super~talented friend Chrissie, (who actually spins her own yarn, weaving and knitting it into a wide range of lovely items,) I began to crochet a small blanket to be sent to a hospital Neonatal Infant Care Unit. Once I’d got my head around the pattern it proved fairly easy but at first I couldn’t manage more than two or three rows at each meeting and ~ since it remained in my knitting bag until the next session ~ progress was pitifully slow.
I wasn’t all that happy with the way it was turning out. The pattern had to be closely worked, with no lacy detail that could trap tiny fingers, which made it very firm. And it had to be made in acrylic yarn, so that it can be machine washed. I didn’t like the way the colours in the variegated yarn that I’d chosen were panning out and, more than once, I felt like ripping it all out and not starting again.
My friends kept reassuring me that it was really pretty and that the hospital would be very grateful, which reminded me why I’d decided to do this in the first place. And, more importantly, for whom ~ fragile little beings who have arrived in this world too soon and who deserve to be surrounded by love and support, not resentment and complaining.
Once my attitude changed I found that I could work for longer periods without suffering too much. And instead of repeatedly moaning, ‘I’m not feeling it,’ I began to enjoy myself, like I used to when absorbed in one craft or another.
Today, as I finally finished the border and wove in the tails, I felt satisfied emnough with my efforts to write about them but hesitated to include a photo because it shows up mistakes, like the wobbly edges. I can probably pull it more into shape once it’s been washed and laid out flat to dry but this blanket will never be as perfect and the one that Chrissie made. I don’t think my Super-Needlewoman mother would be too impressed.
Oh Wow!! Now that thought has pulled me up short and given me much to ponder on. Actually she would probably tell me that it was absolutely fine ~ but would I beleive her? I mean, I don’t pay any heed to Martin when he says the same. Am I my own worst critic, sabotaging my own creative output? Hmm…I guess we all know the answer to that question!
OK, so my crocheting may not be technically correct but I don’t suppose that matters to the tiny recipients, as long as it keeps them warm and snuggly while they’re fighting to survive. So here, without apology for it’s glorious imperfections, is my premature baby blanket: