Thursday, November 4, 2010

Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Business

Hi all! Slytherin blogger, checking in!

Can you believe that we're already in the third and last month of the term? Whenever I look back, it always surprises me that we're almost at the end of the year -- and, consequently, at the busiest crafting time of the year (at least for the vast majority of us).

I know I'm tempted to spend every spare minute knitting, and when I'm not working or out with friends, there's nothing I love more than to curl up with some tea, a good movie or TV show, and knit for hours. As fun as that is, I'm risking injuring myself if I don't take frequent breaks and give myself a rest. Since we're all going to be feeling the crafting crunch as we try to finish our homework, OWLs and holiday knitting, I wanted to share my favorite tips for keeping ourselves safe and happy. That way, we can keep knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving for years to come.

1. Take frequent breaks. This is easy to do when watching TV or a movie: when you're watching TV, don't craft during the commercials. If you're watching a movie or TV show on DVD, a good rule of thumb is to craft for no more than 50 minutes at a stretch, and then take a ten-minute break.

2. Massage those hands! My favorite mini-hand massage goes like this: place your left hand in the palm of your right hand so your hands form an X-shape. Then, massage the palm of your left hand with the thumb of your right, in firm, slow circles. Continue doing this for 30-45 seconds, then switch hands and repeat. I usually take about three minutes to do this massage, switching my hands every 30 seconds. Make sure to flex your fingers too!

3. Whenever possible, make copies of charts and enlarge them. Squinting at teeny-tiny pattern charts will kill your eyes and give you a headache before you can say "Bat-Bogey Hex".

4. If your project is stressing you out or it's going wrong and you can't figure out why, take a ten-minute break and walk away. Seriously -- just put it down and leave the room. What we're feel when we craft goes into our projects, and you won't want to keep working on that shawl or sweater or bobbin when all you want to do is banish it to the crafting equivalent of Azkaban. By the time you come back to it, you'll be calmer and a solution to the problem will be easier to find.

5. Make sure you have good lighting -- no use straining your eyes!

6. Don't craft for seven hours at once if you haven't done so before. Like any physical event, you have to work up to that point. Try breaking up a day of crafting into smaller chunks so it won't be as much of a strain.

7. If your hands or eyes start hurting, take a break. Your body is really good at telling you when it needs a break -- listen to it. Take fifteen minutes to stretch and make tea, or take an hour or two for a nap.

8. Try to not sleep on your hands, and make sure that your hands are flat and not balled up or in fists when you fall asleep. This will give your hands a chance to relax from being in a fixed position for a long time.

I hope these tips help you get ready for the final push as we come to the end of the term! Everyone has been doing such amazing projects and I can't wait to see all the finshed projects at the end of this term!

Take care of yourself, fellow Hogwartians!

Love and scales,
theherocomplex and Prince Donaldo Vemont von Freshycat

1 comment:

Ulrika said...

Nice tips, even though I prefer to knit during the comersials. Thats the best way to stand them. Maby I should only knit during the comersials :-)

/Ylleflickan, huffelpuff.