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 7 or 8 years old. I was probably driving her crazy – saying “I’m bored!” And so she thought she would teach me a lesson by providing me with some time-consuming entertainment.

During the eighties, my mother (and all the women in my family, really) were in the throws (not pun intended) 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. See, my teddy was my most prized possession at the time, and according to “legend” (aka what my parents told me) I got him when I was born. So to my mind, he was as old as I was.* So, I swaddled him in the blanket every night so he wouldn’t get hurt; to protect him while I slept, or in case he fell off the bed. You might be surprised to learn I still have both the teddy bear and his blanket.

* (What’s interesting to me about that is that while I didn’t think of myself as “old”, I did think of him as “old” – even though we were the same age. LOL kids.) 

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 stereotypically iconic with cancer patients.

Regardless, the crafting and creating “gene” was reactivated and that same year, I taught myself to knit, tried crochenit (a hybrid form of crochet using a double-ended crochet hook), and even tatting. 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 (successfully) spin my own yarn. I say “successfully” because my first attempts were self-taught using a spindle I made from old AOL CDs (get instructions on how to make yourself one here), and the outcome was unfit for anything but felting. I eventually picked up a couple of professional spindles and use them often, especially I am spinning keepsake mementos.

These keepsakes were born from a desire to have something to keep and comfort myself with after we had to surrender our fluffy Corgi to the rainbow bridge when her struggle with degenerative myelopathy became too great.

I continue to make the keepsakes for anyone willing to collect some fur because I know how hard it can be for some to lose their pets. And unlike humans who often have graves to go to and visit, most of the time our pets are just gone.

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.