A Slow Start

Although, as far as I can remember,  I never qualified as a Doctor I believe I have repetitive strain injury in my left thumb due to overdoing the knitting and crochet leading up to Christmas.  I am trying to rest it, ice it, ibuprofen it and generally wrestle it into submission but the frustration at not being able to continue with my current projects is really getting to me.  I cannot console myself with a glass of wine as I’m doing Dry January and I can’t seem to get back into the swing of sewing – I haven’t taken the cover of my machine for several weeks.  Woe is me!

                               Yes, I know that looks like a seal waiting to come in the house but it’s supposed to be a dog. I call it artistic license.

Although I never qualified as a physiotherapist either, I have decided it’s not so much the crochet activity that’s doing for me as the sock knitting.  I don’t really need any new socks at the moment so I’m putting that project aside until I can manage the close pinching movement needed to hold the teeny circular needles I’m using without taking to my fainting couch with an ice pack afterwards and sulking.

So, I have moved on a little with the Eastern Jewels blanket by limiting myself to half hour(ish) crochet sessions followed by ice and now have four completed octagons.  I might do as Sheila over at Sewchet did and try to join the rows of four as I go so I can be inspired but mostly so I won’t have as much of the boring stuff to do at the end.  I can only hope my blanket will turn out half as beautifully as Sheila’s  has.

                                         The first four being blocked – pinned to a yoga mat which is as much action as it has seen lately.

Talking of being inspired, I rather like Trish’s Liberty tana lawn shorty pyjamas over at The Small Sewing Room and decided to make some myself because I need to get back on that horse  sewing machine again and I don’t really need any new clothes but a new pair of P.J.s appeals as the RTW ones with shorts never seem to fit me properly and are often so short that I end up taking in tomorrow’s washing if you get my drift 😮

                                                                     I might not show off my belly button off quite so freely.  

Anyway, Trish’s version uses lovely, feminine, softly coloured tana lawn but mine will be covered in pears  – although they are still Liberty pears so will be nice and soft and comfy and, anyway, the fabric was a bargain on eBay and I decided I didn’t have anything against pear covered pyjamas at that price.

Once I’m back in the swing of things I will have another look at the Winifred Aldrich pattern cutting book I got for Christmas.  I had a quick shufty through and it scared me half to death so I bought a Craftsy pattern cutting course as well to get me started.  I am going to try making a skirt block/sloper for the younger Tialys Mademoiselle.  I was going to do the trousers course, as she wears those more often, but I think the skirt course has more of the basics included which is probably what I need.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

For reasons that I won’t go into again I was very physically inactive during the couple of months leading up to Christmas and over the whole holiday period.  Ironic then that, when I returned to my Zumba class last week, I had the cheek to have my hand and wrist in a support glove thingy as if I’d been doing all sorts of sporty stuff rather than too much knitting.   I didn’t own up to it though – what does that say about me?

Not my hand  – my hurty hand is my left one -you get the idea though.

Usually, I walk the dogs up some very steep land every day and go to Zumba and Pilates classes every week but I had done absolutely nothing.  The difference in my fitness level in the Zumba class was evident to all as I staggered,  gasping for air and water,  out of the side door in the midst of a routine.  Well, that’s a slight exaggeration but I did have to stop mid-fling about and swig from my water bottle instead of waiting until the music stopped :/

It’s been a slow start all round but I’m working on it.

Has 2018 begun well for you?

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  1. #1 by katechiconi on January 14, 2018 - 10:44

    Oh dear, you poor thing. Not only injured, but also deprived of crafty consolations. I hope your wrist recovers along with your fitness levels. Pity your dry month doesn’t permit the application of liquid anaesthetic/motivation juice!

    • #2 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 11:42

      I’ve actually been finishing machine quilting my hatbox blocks this weekend – I only had four left to do so I overcame my sewing lethargy, put the radiator on in my workroom and set to. Funnily enough, after all the agonizing about layout, I sort of randomly put them on the floor and it seemed to work first time. Just got to join them now so re-watched the Gourmet Quilter’s ‘how to’ tutorial on YouTube again to remind me.

      • #3 by katechiconi on January 14, 2018 - 13:05

        So, does this mean we can expect to see some sort of layout soon? I do like progress posts… 🙂

      • #4 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 13:10

        I did think about it. Trouble is my blocks don’t seem to want to cling to my flannelette sheet display wall any more and, as I’m typing this I’ve just realised it’s probably because the blocks are all now sandwiched and quilted and are probably too heavy. So, they are laid out on the floor. I’m waiting for the radiator to heat up in my workroom and then I’ll go up and start joining but I’ll take a photo first so I can post a progress report. I will probably need advice on whether or not to put a border on and hanging it so I’ll ask about that at the same time.

      • #5 by katechiconi on January 14, 2018 - 13:20

        Looking forward to it!

  2. #6 by nanacathy2 on January 14, 2018 - 11:14

    I feel so sorry for you and your poorly paw, sorry hurty hand. Repetitive injury is horrid, I have suffered from that myself from crafting. Well we all have. The bandage watsit is really a badge of honour! I craft therefore I ache. The jewel blanket look really lovely. I have investigated it myself and think I may succomb in time. Knowing me I would want to start from the middle and work out, rather than in rows. Pear PJs are the business. We called them baby dolls in my day! I know as I made a pair of baby dolls at school. But come to think of it the tops were easier than shirts. I love the cover for your sewing machine. I recognise the roof material!
    Anyway enjoy the sewing and crochet and hide the pesky socks so you are not tempted by them. Soon be February!

    • #7 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 11:45

      I did wonder about the bother of buttons and buttonholes for nightwear but thought it would be good practice for when (if) I make Mr. Tialys his actual shirt after only giving him a wearable muslin – although, after his Christmas excesses, it might not be so wearable any more 😉
      The socks are hidden until normal service resumes.

  3. #8 by mumokio on January 14, 2018 - 12:52

    Feeling your pain. After frantically knitting for Christmas two years ago it has take 1 whole year of physio to be able to lift my arm above my head again. All the medics I met in the process fell about laughing when I told them it was knitting injury. I don’t knit any more…I love the idea of your pyjamas, the fabric is fabulous although I did spit out my morning tea laughing at your comment on the fit of the RTW pjs. Your jewels blanket will be stunning.. have a good year.

    • #9 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 14:01

      Eeek! I hope it doesn’t take that long – I’ll try to be more careful. I don’t think you should have been knitting with your arm above your head though – no wonder you came a cropper 😉
      You know where I’m coming from with those uncomfortable night time shorts don’t you – I can tell you’ve had a similar experience 😮

  4. #10 by myquiltprojects on January 14, 2018 - 12:58

    Your hand/wrist sounds very inflamed. I hope it heals on it’s own with no extremes. Your pear fabric will make cute pajamas! Your mandalas will make a stunning blanket! To bad you do not have a robot to take stitching orders from you. 🙂

    • #11 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 13:00

      Thank you. I’m sure the day of knitting/crochet/sewing robots will come but where would be the fun in that – although I might enjoy the ‘giving orders’ part. 😉

  5. #12 by KerryCan on January 14, 2018 - 13:11

    I’m worried that you shouldn’t even be crocheting right now–maybe a trip to a real doctor or physical therapist is in order?? I am 100% sympathetic about the lack of exercise–I have been trying to understand myself and my own lack of moving recently. I love myself when I do it but then I don’t do it . . . . You’ve made good starts in a lot of directions—I can see you’re hitting your stride! (But don’t overdo it!)

    • #13 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 13:28

      Thank you for your concern Kerry. I am very reluctant to go to the doctors – ever! – I don’t know why really. My hand does seem quite a lot better and it is particular movements that seem to set it off. Yesterday I grated an orange for the zest and it really hurt afterwards :/ When it’s not the Christmas holidays I tend to only knit or crochet in the evenings – daytime is for sewing – so I really miss having my hands occupied while watching a film or Netflix series but I think I’ve found a solution. I’ve started watching a French series and, although I speak French it’s not always good enough to catch every word so I do have to look at the subtitles quite often which means I can’t do anything complicated with hook or needles 🙂

  6. #14 by juliascreativeyear on January 14, 2018 - 13:12

    I hope all the measures you are taking to impotence your hand work quickly… I would suggest avoiding the wrestling that you mentored though…. I think that may do more harm than good 😂😂.
    Also, I rather like your ‘seal’. One of my plans for this year is to make a pretty cover for my sewing machine.

    • #15 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 13:46

      Thanks Julia. That sewing machine cover was a beast to make – lots of reinforcing going on and all sorts – but I did enjoy decorating it. There are a lot of other great patterns out there though. I’ve giving up the wrestling now you’ll be pleased to know 😉

      • #16 by juliascreativeyear on January 14, 2018 - 22:48

        Excellent! I think that will be better for your hand! Where were you needing to reinforce on the cover?

      • #17 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 10:41

        All the sides are reinforced with 2mm card – the interior is fully lined – and the roof has its own base and then shaped with stuffing. So you lift it on and off like a hard cover. The pattern came from a book called ‘Born to Quilt’ by Veronique Requena which has some lovely, country style projects but is in French only I believe.

  7. #18 by claire93 on January 14, 2018 - 18:30

    I’m also off to a slow start this year but more due to family visits and too many projects I want to begin, so no idea which one to start first.
    Re your hand/wrist . . . I have several pairs of Hand Eze mittens which I find really help ease joint pain when I’ve been over zealous with crafting. You can find them in loads of on-line stores. Just a thought.

    • #19 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 20:04

      Thanks for the tip Claire – off to have a look at those.

  8. #20 by CurlsnSkirls on January 14, 2018 - 19:48

    Slow starting years sound a good idea to me, after the flurry of holidays. Time to incubate new ideas and reflect on past & future. Love your great Liberty find! Good for you for even attending Zumba. Have never liked the high impact style of exercising. 😉 Well done for cranking up the radiator and getting the cute cover off the sewing machine! I should be doing the same . . . maybe after some hot chocolate . . . xx

    • #21 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 20:04

      Well, I got a bit of machine quilting done but my joining of the blocks went to pot so I’m ‘resting’ for the rest of the day and will try again tomorrow. Hot chocolate sounds good.

  9. #22 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 14, 2018 - 19:55

    You might as well admit it, it is a great seal.
    Sorry to hear your thumb is still poorly. Not knitting/crochet and no alcohol is definitely more than flesh and blood can stand. The Eastern jewels are looking fab – at the moment I’ve decided I’m not going to make one, because I have absolutely no idea where it’s going to go when I’ve made it. But if I think of somewhere it may be a different story.

    • #23 by tialys on January 14, 2018 - 20:02

      Much as I will hate to part with it, I think I’m going to give it to Mlle. T. the elder for her flat as she admired the pattern when I showed it to her and I think she was being genuine.

      • #24 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 14, 2018 - 20:07

        It did cross my mind I could make it for one of my girls – they tend to be brutally honest about such things, so no deciphering if they really like it. But I think if I made it, I wouldn’t want to part with it.

      • #25 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 08:54

        Well, we’ll see if I feel so generous myself when the time comes 😉

      • #26 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 15, 2018 - 10:35


  10. #27 by sew2pro on January 14, 2018 - 20:05

    I think it’s natural for our bodies and much else to want to hibernate at this time of year, and you especially have had a hard ending to 2017 so cut yourself as much slack as you need.
    I only drink 1-2 units a week but eat too much stodge and my equivalent of dry January is Cakeless January (no biscuits, cake, chocolates, though still plenty of fruit and nuts). I thought it would be hard but after being pressurised into eating loads of junk in December, it’s almost a relief to eat better. I feel a tad lighter already (and run faster) so I might carry on into March till my birthday during Easter weekend. And I’m sewing consistently replacing worn out blouses and items that are tired. Did I tell you last year I kind of learnt to knit! Maybe will share some of my beginner efforts soon.
    Happy 2018!

    • #28 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 09:06

      I’m not a ‘stodge’ eater usually – after I had the girls, my taste buds seem to change to favour savoury over sweet but I probably drink a couple of glasses of wine each evening on average over a weekend (I count Fridays as a weekend). What with everything going on in the last quarter of the year I had slipped back into having a glass with dinner on weekday nights too so I’m hoping doing ‘dry January’ will re-set me and I’ll go back to just weekends.
      I miss seeing your sewing projects – I did root through your archives recently as I remembered you doing a post about making a skirt block and I’m gearing myself up to go down that road soon – I have an expensive book and a Craftsy class so I’ve committed myself!
      I look forward to seeing your knitting efforts – I’ve always been a knitter but only fairly recently learnt crochet so don’t be shy about showing us what you’ve done 🙂

  11. #29 by anne54 on January 14, 2018 - 22:33

    Oh I sympathise! Those sportswomen and men don’t know what it’s like to have an injury caused by knitting and crocheting ☺️ The Healer in me says ‘what about massage and/or acupuncture’? And have you thought that it may be accentuated by the lack of alcohol?!
    The colours you have chosen for your mandala are perfect and and I can see why you want to carry on with them. And I agree with Dartmoor Yarn ~ embrace the seal!

    • #30 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 08:53

      I’m trying not to think about how soothing a glass of wine would be!
      I can’t take credit for the colours in the blanket – the yarn and instructions came in kit form. To be honest, they probably wouldn’t be colours I’d have chosen left to my own devices but it’s good to move out of your comfort zone and the finished one on the brochure looked so good I didn’t want to change anything.

  12. #31 by yarnandpencil on January 15, 2018 - 01:35

    Knitting is definitely harder on our thumbs than crochet. I find weaving is a good alternative but still need regular breaks or I’ll get a bad shoulder 😆
    I hope your hand improves very soon xx

    • #32 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 08:49

      Thank you! I think it’s going in the right direction but I’ve just ordered a special glove, supposed to relieve pain in crafters’ hands, recommended to me by one of my other blogging friends – I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

  13. #33 by Born To Organize on January 15, 2018 - 06:32

    It’s awful being in pain. I’m really sorry to read that you’re struggling with what is possibly a repetitive injury doing something you love. I wonder if you were particularly tense with your crochet or knitting during the difficult days with your Mum? Sometimes emotional tension carries into our physical selves and we hurt without realizing why. I love my Pilates classes, and find that even the days when I’m tempted to stay home I go anyway. I’m always glad I did. It puts me in a better mood and I always feel physically better too.

    I can’t wait to see your finished pear PJ’s. That’s a fun print.

    • #34 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 08:48

      You’re so right – sometimes I’m just not in the mood to go to class but I’m always glad I did afterwards.
      Unfortunately, I had the pear fabric sent to my husband’s office and he forgot to bring it home at the weekend so I can’t get started yet but, no matter, I have finished quilting my hatbox blocks instead so the time wasn’t wasted.

      • #35 by Born To Organize on January 19, 2018 - 23:58

        I hope the fabric is finally in your possession.

      • #36 by tialys on January 20, 2018 - 09:38

        It is and the pears are actually tiny which is much better than I thought! Just got to pre-wash it – although I might not bother as it is Liberty and the P.J.s won’t be very fitted so even if it shrinks a tiny bit I don’t think it will matter.

      • #37 by Born To Organize on January 23, 2018 - 07:16

        I’m looking forward to seeing it made up.

  14. #38 by tinaor on January 15, 2018 - 14:18

    Great fabric for your PJ project! Sorry to hear you are slightly out of action for a while. Maybe a good opportunity to continue to look for inspiration, have a pile of things to do when you are able!

    • #39 by tialys on January 15, 2018 - 18:33

      I like it! I probably wouldn’t wear it outside the house but if you can’t go a bit mad with P.J.s when can you?
      I’m making the most of not feeling in the mood to start new things and finishing a few projects off so that I can start something new with a clear conscience and, hopefully, a fully functioning left hand.

      • #40 by tinaor on January 15, 2018 - 22:46

        PJs should be funky definitely! Good luck with your finishing off. x

  15. #41 by sewchet on January 15, 2018 - 16:37

    Oh dear, sorry to hear your hand is still playing up. Trouble is, these things take time and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel a bit better, get straight back to it again…..and then think “Bugger, it’s not better after all.” Love the machine cover and can’t wait to see the quilt and the Eastern Jewels blanket come together. Happy New Year!

    • #42 by tialys on January 16, 2018 - 11:12

      I am exactly like you in that respect so I expect it will take longer than it should to get better but I can’t possibly leave the hook alone for too long. I’ve ordered a ‘glove for crafters’ that somebody recommended so I will be wearing that as soon as it arrives and will be expecting miracles. 😉

      • #43 by sewchet on January 16, 2018 - 11:18

        If it works, I’ll buy one!

      • #44 by tialys on January 16, 2018 - 11:22

        I’ll keep you posted.

  16. #45 by magpiesue on January 16, 2018 - 02:57

    2018 seems to be getting off to a slow start for me too. At least I’m not suffering from an injury. You’ll be a peach in those pear pj’s (sorry, couldn’t resist!). Glad to read that you’re hat boxes are coming along; I’m looking forward to seeing them!

    • #46 by tialys on January 16, 2018 - 11:14

      I’m about to join the boxes but have had to ask Kate for some tips as I haven’t got enough length in the fabric to do it without joins – unless she knows different!!

  17. #47 by Lucy Corrander on January 16, 2018 - 10:24

    I like the pear material. Does wearing one of those glove thingies get you out of washing up as well as impressing everyone with your devotion to fitness? If so, I’ll buy one too!

    • #48 by tialys on January 16, 2018 - 11:16

      So far it has got me out of washing up, peeling vegetables, carrying heavy shopping, picking up heavy pans (thus, cooking) and other things but I don’t wear it all the time so I have to remember to put it back on and look pained if I require assistance 😉

  18. #49 by Jo on January 16, 2018 - 10:58

    Oh no, RSI is no fun at all, and no alcohol either to console yourself with. I’ve seen the Eastern Jewels Blanket on a couple of blogs, it’s so pretty, it’s going to be fabulous. I love your sewing machine cover.

    • #50 by tialys on January 16, 2018 - 11:18

      The sewing machine cover is getting lots of compliments. I shocked myself by looking up whether I blogged about it at the time of making it and I did but it was six years ago 😮 and I only had a handful of followers then. It was obviously built to last which is good as it was a trial to make and I don’t want to make another one.

  19. #51 by Kim on January 16, 2018 - 18:51

    My sympathy with the injury. Never underestimate the dangers of crafting. I hope the slow start to the year helps with recovery. My year seems to have started slow and fizzled out altogether so I really do need to make a plan.
    I would love to make one of those gorgeous crochet blankets (Sheilas was divine) but my crochet isn’t magnificent, and I can’t think where I wonder put it. Maybe that’s just as well until i finish The Managements quilt.

    • #52 by tialys on January 17, 2018 - 08:59

      There isn’t really anywhere for it in my house either to be honest but it’s so beautiful I wanted to make it anyway and one of my daughter’s expressed a (rare) liking when she saw the pattern brochure so I have her in mind to give it to – if I can bear to let it go 😉

  20. #53 by sparkscrochet on January 16, 2018 - 22:12

    I hope your thumb mends quickly! Those pears will make very lovely PJ’s!

    • #54 by tialys on January 17, 2018 - 08:57

      Thank you – I think they will too.

  21. #55 by dezertsuz on January 17, 2018 - 06:47

    If Zumba were at about half speed, I could probably handle about 1/4 of an hour. LOL It’s never been my torture of choice. I hope your hand is better. I like the crochet, but maybe you should lay off that a few days, too. Walk, do Zumba, and take the dog for a spin on the beach. LOL Or somewhere.

    • #56 by tialys on January 17, 2018 - 08:56

      I think it’s on the mend – if it’s still dodgy after another week I’ll go and see a doctor 😦

  22. #57 by Trisha on January 17, 2018 - 22:23

    I am pleased to hear that I inspired you to make PJ’s, I can’t wait to see your pear!

    • #58 by tialys on January 18, 2018 - 09:13

      🙂 I wondered how long it would take before somebody couldn’t resist the pun – much longer than I expected actually!

  23. #59 by jendavismiller on January 20, 2018 - 03:03

    Love those pj’s! I think a pear kerchief to tie up your locks would be the perfect complement. And I’ll be following up to see how that crafter’s glove works out, hope it brings you speedy relief! Sorry your year has started slowly, but it may be a blessing in disguise as you’ll be so ready to go when body permits, you’ll outdo everyone! The Eastern Jewels blanket will be absolutely fabulous, such gorgeous colors. Feel better soon, Lynn.

    • #60 by tialys on January 20, 2018 - 09:39

      Thanks Jen – I’ll definitely let you know how the glove works out.

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