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Who Owns the Fingers Behind Hand Cramp Crafts?

And Why Are They Always Cramping?

My mother taught me to crochet when I was young – perhaps 11 or 12 years old. I think she thought she would punish me teach me a lesson provide me with some time-consuming entertainment, because I’m fairly certain that I said something along the lines of “being bored.”  During the eighties, my mother (and all the women in my family, really) were in the throws of creative crafting. There were crochet afghans (and clothing, UGH) being made. Forays into ceramics, and fake Cabbage Patch Kid doll making, and even puff painted t-shirts and tea towels. I’m not sure who instigated these creative endeavors – but the core concepts of crafting and creating became very important motifs in my life.

The first thing I ever crocheted was a granny square blanket for my teddy bear. Surprisingly, I have the teddy bear still, but not his blanket. But it was awesome. Addicted to the thrill of completion, and building on that initial success, I then ventured to create a “throw” or lap blanket for myself. And it only took me 7 years to complete it because as I got into high school, my interest waned as I became more enthused in school and boys. =)

But that need to create came back to me again when my father was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2002. The most predominant of these cancers being pancreatic, stage IV. Knowing that he would be going through chemo, I became obsessed with making him a hat to cover his soon-to-be bald head. Little did I know that his kind of chemotherapy wouldn’t not create the hair loss that seems to be so iconic with cancer patients.

Regardless, the crafting and creating “gene” was reactivated and that same year, I tried canning (that old-fashioned skill of putting foods into hot jars for storage), crochenit (a hybrid form of crochet), tatting, and I even tried knitting. I would go on to buy a knitting machine eventually because it was so much faster, and appealed to my sense of almost-instant gratification.  =)

After I moved to North Carolina in 2007, I joined a group in Chapel Hill to try and learn how to spin my own yarn. My first spindle was a drop spindle made of old CDs. I eventually picked up a couple of professional spindles and use them often when I am spinning keepsake mementos, but I still have a sweet spot for my heavy CD spindle.

But again the need to create more and faster reared it’s ugly head and so I bought a double treadle, Ladybug. And I spun. And Loved it.

Which I would later sell because it was taking up space. Fast forward a year or two and I missed the wish, wish of the spinning wheel, so I set out to find another. But my Ladybug had cost $500, and I was unwilling to spend those kinds of funds again – even though the Ladybug was AWESOME. But necessity is the mother of invention, and while I DID NOT invent anything, I was at least instilled with an unquenchable desire to find some sort of replacement. Luckily, I found the spindle wheel.

Everything you see in the shop was produced on the spindle wheel.