You know that gentle soothing rhythm that you so easily slip into and get lost in when knitting or crocheting or painting or hand sewing or baking or gardening, any kind of creative outlet really. It gently calms the mind, it is like a balm for the soul. It slows us down, we become more mindful, our breathing slows. We find that time disappears and as if waking up from a deep slumber we feel reenergised after doing it. We look forward to our creative outlets all through the day, plot and plan new projects, day dream about materials or ingredients or colour combinations.  When we don’t make time for such creativity and mindfulness we crave it. Something is missing, it can’t be seen. It is that in-between place that we hold so dearly, we can identify, talk about it and explain how it makes us feel  but we can’t see it. The space between the person & the actual thing being made. I am reminded of Lil’s favourite quote:

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Since my accident six years ago I have restricted movement in my right hand. It is slowly getting better. Don’t worry this isn’t a poor me blog post, you will never find that here!  The scars and pain restrict mobility. But not doing anything at all creatively is more painful than the physical injury. I crave that gentle soothing rhythm I was just talking about. At times it has felt like there was a huge void in my life, a certain type of confidence goes when I am not creating and at different times I have felt  like a ship out at sea without any navigation equipment or sails.

The limitations stop me from doing so much but if I focus on what I can do I all of a sudden have a plan and that is freeing and empowering beyond words.  The self doubt shifts, my confidence reappears, my love of creativity that felt so lost is right back. It is not back because I have just picked up where I left off before my accident. Not at all. I am no where near capable of so many things I used to be able to do before my accident. But I am lucky, I am still capable of so much.  Of course I have bad days and if I think too much about it, well it can really get me down. But…and here is the but that saves me.

I focus on what I can do.

And maybe you could too if your circumstances have changed.  The main thing is I break down every single step and work out how I can do something easier by using different materials or approach things in a different way but still have a similar outcome. eg. use the food blender to make a cake instead of using a wooden spoon and bowl like previously. Look the other way traditional bakers it is just my reality now…

Can I give you some examples of what I have done to help me move forward and maybe you could apply that in similar ways to your specific situation?

I could hold the crochet hook but not the same way as I used to before my accident.

So I worked on holding it a little differently to still get a similar effect. My tension isn’t as tight as before but that is ok. Only I’ll probably ever notice that!

The crochet hook I used to use is now too heavy and makes hard work of even just holding it for 5-10 minutes, so I started shopping around for different lighter crochet hooks to use. I went to every shop I could and just stood their holding them to see if they would be the one to help me move forward. I tried out friends crochet hooks, the shop owners and stall holders were so helpful.

The next thing was yarn.  before the accident I was experimenting using rougher hand spun fibres but now that is a step too far. So I look for yarn that will glide off the hook and not kind of tug. Crocheters & knitters will especially know what I mean.  It helps create that soothing rhythm I was talking about earlier.

Alpaca, merino and bamboo are all yarns that really work  for me, nothing thicker that 8ply nothing less that 4ply.

Patterns. I look for things to make that are manageable. Working on a large project can be too taxing and take for ever to do. But working on smaller projects like hand warmers & scarves in different yarns are quicker, easier, achievable projects.

Handmade hand warmers & scarf made by me. As well as the linen dress made from a simple pattern.

I love cooking and baking. A bench top mixer, a food processor, a blender, light weight mixing bowls & wooden spoons with comfortable handles for me to hold have now all become instrumental in helping me still be independent and make food for my family, something I cherish doing. I write about other things I have adjusted in the kitchen in my free ebook Preserving the Harvest, that we can all use to make things easier for us plus other things about preserving/canning. It is easy to download from My Ebooks page here at my blog.

Maybe you could try using different lighter tools or fabrics or yarn that maybe easier for you to work with that still allows you to do what you love.

Sending you lots of healing energy.

Light & Love,

Jude x




Still creating when life changes.

July 26, 2019



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