working on gifting warmth

Learning how to crochet began with wanting to make little items for our little apartment. Dishcloths. Coasters. Hotpads. Swiffer covers. Just small items that we could reuse. I ended up making two hot pads using two $3 balls of cotton yarn instead of spending over $15 for oven mitts. We’ve stopped buying disposable sponges and swiffer pads, and just cycle through crocheted cotton dishcloths and rags in the washer. Honestly, the goal was just to practice my crochet stitches, so these small projects were perfect. Being able to minimize waste (if we actually were, really) was a bonus.

With Christmas coming up, and from finding beautiful yarn on the internet, I decided to take on bigger projects for presents. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with wearables like sweaters or cardigans – maybe next year. So shawls, scarves and blankets became the plan that began in late August.

I ordered cakes of gorgeous yarn for my birthday. Yes, cakes! Massive rolls are actually called cakes – just the perfect gift! For me and for my family… eventually.

These simple flat projects are perfect because I like crocheting while watching TV. I don’t mind following a pattern for the first few rows, but once I get the hang of the repetition, it’s a lot easier and I don’t miss that many stitches. I still miss a few here and there, and Wes has been witness to my disappointment when I have to unravel my work to correct my mistakes.

Since last month began, I started my crochet marathons on weekends and weeknights. Majority of my free time has been spent with yarn in my hook and building up a blanket or a scarf. On average, about three to four hours per day.

But something I didn’t account for was developing a strain on by wrists and hands due to the constant, repetitive movements. I looked it up and it’s apparently a common thing among knitters and crocheters. Who knew crochet marathons could have a bad effect on your body? Not me!

Since then, I have been wrapping my hands before spending the rest of the evening working on Christmas presents. I initially used sports tape. Yes, the same one that athletes use! But that waste wasteful, so I bought tensor bandages instead. They work just as well, and I don’t have to worry about throwing it out – just washing after a few uses.

Apart from the wrist and hand issues, this new hobby has been quite therapeutic. Since I’ve finished a few projects meant for Christmas presents, I have been very excited to share it. Although I have to admit, there were moments I panicked because I thought I would not finish some of them on time. At least the most important gifts have been completed now.

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