general ramblings · life

Break from Knitting

I was going to post some of my FOs from the time of the lockdown in recent weeks, but I really haven’t been doing too well. My headache continues (although thankfully it’s been less severe for a few days now, yay!), we’re searching for the primary cause but with no success so far.

I’ve had a cervical MRI to out-rule or confirm disc herniation, and it didn’t show any changes in the cervical spine. This may seem like good news, but in a situation when I don’t know what’s going on and can’t be treated except some pain management, I think I’d rather have the known diagnosis already. As things are, I am waiting for the confirmation of the date of the appointment with the neurology consultant (still no news, even though I keep calling the clinic – pandemic is not a good time to get sick, everything takes even more time than usual) and trying to avoid Google, although it’s probably too late as I’ve already found all the worst options possible. I’m also trying to help myself in case if some spine-related issues affect my headaches, despite the negative MRI – I’ve changed the chair to a kneeling one (because I am not able to sit straight on a normal chair, I always end up half-squatting or sitting on my feet), try to strengthen my core muscles, and I have a new orthopaedic pillow.

It is a little better, but over a month of headaches that don’t respond too well to pain killers and never give me a break made me really grumpy and not very eager to do anything. Meanwhile, my job entered the busiest period, and there’s no time just to drown myself in self-pity!

But for a while, I took a break from knitting – bending my head makes my headache worse, so I decided to avoid it for some time. In the meantime, when I had a little time for myself, I’ve been reading (my new ebook reader is here, and I love it!) and discovering embroidery again, after many years of break. Like crocheting, I used to dabble in embroidery for some time as a young teenager, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Then I forgot about it – until now. One day browsing through Etsy embroidery kits, I saw one that I wanted to try, so I ordered it, and once it arrived, I jumped straight in!

Holding the embroidery hook high, to avoid bending, is more comfortable than holding the knitting project because the whole thing is lighter, and so I was able to work on it for a short time every day. Little by little, I kept adding the stitches (some of them neater than the others – I’m looking at you, short and long stitch, you look terrible!) and I ended up with a colourful picture with cacti and succulents. I was going to hang it above my desk, but my Mum claimed it (she has a huge cacti/ succulent collection so of course, she liked it). Which is good, I’ll send it to her and make something new for myself, because I already know I’m going to add embroidery to the list of my crafty hobbies. It’s super relaxing, because stitching takes more time than knitting and it’s more precise, it makes me feel calm and fully focused and present in the moment – definitely a right kind of activity to distract myself from the pain.

And I think now that I’ve finished this project, I might try to knit again – hopefully with my new pillow and some good back support I can do it more safely πŸ™‚

13 thoughts on “Break from Knitting

  1. So sorry to hear you’re having chronic pain issues. Bummer! Hope you find the cause and can find something that will help. You have to listen to your body, which you are doing. Sometimes switch. Have you thought of doing relaxation meditations to music? There is some wonderful relaxation music out there — darkened room, comfortable reclining position, and quiet music. If holding up the embroidery hoop is tiring or causes problems, you can buy clamps to hold it steady while you just work the needle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for all your advice, I appreciate it!
      I’m already doing meditation because of my CPTSD, it’s a struggle, but it helps. I wish I could go to a floating tank to relax my muscles more, but it’s not an option in the pandemic. I just feel like my cervical nerves are on fire and it’s really more than my pain meds can handle… and I’ll wait for a long while for the neurologist appointment. Ugh, always something, right?
      At least we have our hobbies to survive the rough times!


  2. I can understand wanting test results to indicate something already known and manageable than a still-not-sure “conclusion”. It’s great that you managed to keep crafting as a distraction, and I’m glad you reacquainted yourself with embroidery. You’re definitely as prolific here as with knitting. πŸ™‚ The project looks wonderful, and (though your stitching looks great to me) I’m sure your current complaints will vanish pretty soon! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kat, I’m so sorry to hear that you are still in pain 😦 Embroidery sounds like a good compromise to keep the headaches away. I LOVE this piece soooo much. I love cacti/succulents, and you did such a great job with the satin stitches! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      Satin stitches were easy, the short and long ones are a nightmare for me, but I’m going to learn πŸ˜‰
      I love cacti too and miss having them, but that wouldn’t end up well with my cats being very inquisitive πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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