On Not Knitting.

It has been very quiet on the blog.

That's because for the last few months, I haven't been myself. (I know that sounds hella dramatic, but it feels true.) I've talked about it in the past: for the last year and a half or so, I've had intermittent problems with arm pain, related to knitting, spinning, sewing (pretty much all crafting), typing (which is super hard to handle because I'm a grad student in the throes of dissertation-ing, which involves typing a lot... and I used to have a job where all I did was type, which I had to stop doing), and even some household chores like chopping vegetables and ironing. 

I've been seeing a physiotherapist who specializes in arms and hands since November, and he's had some great advice. I've been trying to rest a lot, and that means minimizing typing, taking breaks, trying to sit in a more ergonomic position, and absolutely no crafting of any kind. Also, testing out heat vs cold for soothing flare-ups and relaxing muscles, gentle self-massage, and figuring out which stretches help my particular body to feel better. 

It's not carpal tunnel or de Quervain's or any of those more specific things; the medical people I've talked to all say it seems like just a bad case of tendonitis that isn't going away, or that keeps coming back. 

Today, after having very responsibly not crafted at all, not even a little, since February, I knit one row, to see how it would feel. Not an especially long row, no intense stitches, just a row of purl on my Clincher. I was really, really hoping that all the rest and care would have paid off. I'm feeling pretty good most days, able to type for short period as long as I stretch and use my wireless keyboard instead of the laptop keyboard, and generally not having pain all the time. But, I could tell by about two thirds of the way through the row that my muscles were already getting tight and the telltale tickle of burny feeling was creeping in. Sigh. 

This is probably a pretty boring blog post to read, but since it's my blog, I'm putting my thoughts here. I really, really miss crafting. Over the last ten years, creative things, knitting especially, have become central to my life, and an important part of my identity. Not being able to do the things I love, the things that make my brain hum happy and my spirits feel joyful, is very hard. I feel silly about those emotions, sometimes, because geez, what a first world problem to have. But man, it hurts my heart not to be able to make things.

For now, I'm going back to no crafting. I'll keep stretching and massaging and hoping. Maybe in another three months, things will be different. Until then, my yarn is put away and my heart feels a little bit on hold.