Around three years ago I decided to start knitting – the thought was that I could make Christmas presents for my friends. At that time I was commuting into Central London by train and so each morning when I got a seat, I would take my latest ‘scarf’ out and get another few lines done. The same would apply on the evening commute home and I’d often do a little more before bed.
The final products weren’t polished by any means, but they were made with love. Not only that, making them had provided a sense of stillness and helped me relax in those hectic early London days. They ensured that I could give my best friends a gift when I had next to no money. These were a few of many homemade gifts that year and creating my own was not only relaxing and fun, it also allowed me to take part in Christmas without getting myself into debt.
Since then, I haven’t really picked my needles and wool up. I still have the bag with different balls of yarn and I know at some point I’ll pick it up again. The truth is, when I got my second London job it was better paid meaning I didn’t need to knit. Also, commuting by tube doesn’t provide the same comfort and space to knit and I tend to spend my commute writing this blog.
So you’ll gather that I haven’t knitted since long before my myasthenia diagnosis but this weekend I accidentally ended up in a knitting and craft event. My friends and I were initially mocked the stalls, however, looking around, I was reminded of the forgotten sense of calm crafting can give. It made me keen to try some homemade gifts this Christmas – not because I need to but because I love doing it.
I’ve seen on one of the myasthenia groups I am part of that there are often home crafted gifts. It made me wonder if, when you feel that your body is against you, do short periods of crafting give people with myasthenia respite and a sense of calm.
While exercise isn’t always possible for people with myasthenia, most forms of crafting can be adapted. It gives a similar sense of achievement, except mostly you have something to show for the time spent.
Of all the crafting forms, I wonder whether knitting, and other related forms, is the most difficult for people with myasthenia due to the repetition of movements. My strategy, were I to pick it up again, would be short bursts of it – hopefully long enough to get a sense of the absorption and escapism.
I wonder if any of you myasthenia crafters have favourite activities to share?