Posted in Life, Machine Knitting

Craftivism and a Tendonitis Update

It’s not often (read: under duress  and rare circumstances) I make things for other people. I am more than happy to give away clothes I’ve sewn that don’t work for me. But, straight making things from scratch for others — pretty much only happens for Linus and Jordan (and in that order).

That should help you understand my absolute commitment to and love for my friends when I tell you I (with Jeannie’s help) knit 28 Pussy Hats for them to wear to the Women’s March on Washington last weekend.

girls

I never questioned whether or not I was going to attend the DC March. It was a natural reflection and intersection of my beliefs and politics. When I first read about the Pussy Hat project and saw it was easily adaptable to the knitting machine, I was hit with one thought, “I will knit these for my friends“.

So, I just posted a quick note on Facebook offering to knit hats at cost thinking I’d get a couple of replies. I was gobsmacked by the response. I heard from middle school friends I knew in Germany, high school friends living in Denmark,Spain and San Diego, college friends from LA and Spain, coworkers, most of my amazing and irreplaceable bookclub, Jordan’s bosses, Jordan’s former bosses and more.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-10-37-50-am

Now, God bless Jeannie. A few weeks after I offered to knit these hats my tendonitis started flaring up.  And, just when Jordan reminded me that I’d essentially entered into a contract with a lot of people (LOL)  Jeannie sent me a note and told me — not asked. But, told me, “I’m knitting hats for you”.  The sense of relief!

Let me tell you this. Walking down to the DC March and seeing scores of pink hats was an overwhelming feeling. I’m a very practical person and have previously thought the idea of craftivism a bit of an eye roll. But, it was visually impactful to see a united sea of pink. This Esquire article does a great job of discussing the historical intersection between fashion and politics.

During the day, as friends started posting photos on social media during and after the March I got all the feels. I was so happy to see the people in my life who support the same causes as I do and irrevocably touched to see them wearing hats made for them.

I wore mine out the night after the March to dinner. The owner of the restaurant shook my hand and said, ‘Thank you’.  A group at the bar nodded, smiled and told me they liked my hat as Jordan and I walked through the restaurant. It was a very long and emotional day and these small acts nearly had me in tears. It also helped me understand the impact of uniformity in a time of disruption.

I wore it in the weeks leading up to the march and I noticed as we got closer women started to smile at me, now after the march strangers are talking to me. Its a powerful thing to see people on the street and know you’re connected.

I read an article that noted that the there are three symbols of the march that are important because they took time, thought and planning, signs, the hats and clear bags. Nearly every woman (and many men)had all three of these things and it brought all 500,000 people together regardless of their skin color, background or religious choice.

— Renee’s friend Liz


Now, for my tendonitis. Thank you so much for your responses and suggestions on my last post about this. I saw a hand specialist at the hospital last Tuesday. It’s still tendonitis. I’d been afraid I might have carpal tunnel too. The doctor administered a cortisone shot to my wrist and my hand hurt like hell for two days (totally normal). Now, the wrist and thumb pain I was experiencing  has gone away.  I can type  with capital letters again! I can use scissors again!  It’s a week later and despite these improvements, my grip is super weak still. I can’t really hold a needle, cut with a knife, hold on to something for an extended period of time or type on my cell phone without problems. But, I feel like I’m on the mend overall. I’m giving it another week to see if my grip improves. I do miss lifting weights :-/ I mean, not really. I hate exercise but like the results.  Heh.


Whew. This post is so long! To wrap up, I’m currently knitting Jordan’s birthday present. It’s a varsity style letterman’s sweater. I have a whole Pinterest board with inspiration if you’re interested. Hopefully that’s what my next post is about 😀

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33 thoughts on “Craftivism and a Tendonitis Update

  1. From sitting for 2 days straight knitting hats, my right hip was is spasm but well worth the pain to march with my sisters in arms in our area. So many strollers, so many men, so many ancient grandmothers with canes and wheelchairs all out for one reason…to be seen and heard. This movement will gain momentum like a snowball for now we are united with our sisters all over the world even those who poo-poo us…we are fighting for you too. Wishing you some relief soon!

  2. Great work! Unfortunately, I could not go to the march myself ( a rare time in my life when I’ve missed any large protest, but life can be complicated). I love seeing the photos of everyone who went.
    Good luck with the tendonitis. It took me some time (years) but I eventually beat it myself. I don’t have any good advice, just time and rethink the way you do things. It’s not always logical. I now use my laptop on my lap literally and that helped immensely. But that’s me, and I’m sure its different for others.

    1. You’re right. It’s finding little things to change too. I hold the knitting machine latch tool differently, I avoid most hand work now. I sleep with mu brace, etc. And, I have got to get a split keyboard at home. I’ve had them at every job before. But, not at the house where I do more typing these days.

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 1:38 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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      1. Definitely little things. For a long time I had to stop pressing the space bar on my keyboard with thumb. Had to switch to my index finger. Back when I used a mouse I switched it to my other hand. It’s a frustratingly long process though. Good luck!

  3. Thank you so much for knitting all those hats! I loved seeing so many of the pink hats in photos. I was marching in Austin, TX and it was 78 degrees on Saturday, but there were still some people in pink pussy hats, despite the weather. Saturday was just a warm-up! There’s so much work to be done on behalf of so many!

  4. You are a STAR! Thanks for supporting so many people in the march. I just hope the momentum continues. We are going to have to be diligent for the next four years, and it will require focus. I hope people don’t think this is a fix! We can’t take our eyes off this guy and his hooligans.
    As for the tendonitis, I think the best thing you can do is rest it and take anti-inflammatories, but I expect that’s what the doc told you. I have had several of those injections, and they hurt like a bitch! I also found Voltaren gel, which is a gel form of a pill that is an NSAID. You have to have a prescription here in the states, but you can buy it online from Canada. It provides me with relief without all the stomach side effects, without great expense. Good luck with your tendonitis, and remember to have _patience_. It will get better.

    1. Thanks for this! I am not above ordering online from Canadian pharmacies. I was taking so much ibuprofen the last month it was starting to worry me. I came home from that injection and fingers were swollen and my first thought was he nicked a nerve and I had made everything worse, lol!

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 3:52 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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      1. Thank you for making those hats!! The feeling you describe is unity and we must have lots more of it- I believe it is the spirit of the age we are in. All the rest of this ‘sturm undt drang’ is the death throes of outworn systems and ways….this is a real soapbox thing for me, so I’ll stop now. Of course if you *want* more about this, let me know and I will hold forth until you tell me to stop! 🙂

        I have a couple of suggestions for the tendonitis ( I have been in a decades – long dance with it myself).1) take turmeric capsules daily. It really does reduce inflammation and the only side effect I’ve ever noticed is that it can change the color of my poop. (TMI I know). Other dietary things that reduce inflammation are also really, really helpful -you can Google these, and there are zero side effects. Yay! 2) when sewing, knitting, typing,handwriting, anything that may exacerbate the tendonitis, it’s very easy for me to over-do as I get lost in the activity. So I set a timer for 25 or 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a break, massage & stretch your whatever bits have the tendonitis, for me-hands and wrists (gently). When I’m in a real flare-up of symptoms, I’ll do 25 minutes of activity then 25 minutes of break time. For the last 8 months or so, I’ve been in a really good place,so I set the timer for 35 minutes and my breaks are about 3 minutes long. This is also beneficial to our total body systems because sitting as much as we tend to do these days is really quite bad for us.My timer reminds me to get up and move. And if you don’t have a timer handy (most phones have them as part of their clock app),you can Google “google timer” and there’s a really easy one to use that comes right up.

        I always love your posts.

        1. I bought numeric last night! Thank you for the suggestion. And, I’ve started using a timer for everything (typing, cleaning, exercise, etc.). Thank you again!!

          On Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 11:42 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  5. Thank you for marching for those of us who couldn’t make it. For those who are looking for what to do next the march organizers have a page… 10 actions in 100 days where they will be releasing suggestions. Right now they have a printable postcard you can send to your elected officials. https://www.womensmarch.com/100/

  6. Wow! You are such a good person! Glad you had a friend to help you with the knitting. Also great to see Treena in the pictures as well. I miss her blog.

    1. I miss her blog too. My last act leaving DC was to upload her cell phone photos to Flickr so she had enough room to download Instagram. She hasn’t posted anything yet. But, when she does I’m letting the world know.

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 7:03 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  7. Yes! to Voltaren, your doctor may be willing to prescribe, in view of your diagnosis.
    Thank you to you and Jeannie, you knit on my behalf too as I don’t knit (yet?).
    I had fun with the synonyms the news found for *p*hats: pink symbolic hats, pink cat’s-ears hats, and the “they-worked-hard-for-this” fav, pink beanies.

    1. I saw sewn ones pop up on Instagram and at the rally and thought, “Doh. Yeah. That would have been a million times easier.”

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 9:19 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  8. I don’t knit because I don’t need another obsession but bravo to you, everyone who marched and to everyone who is working at every level for all the people in this country. I’m with the women who are saying “I can’t believe we have to do this again” but old doesn’t mean any less powerful. In the meantime, hope you find some good solutions to the pain.

    1. I saw those signs. And, women in wheel chairs, elderly women and retirement age women and was very… I dunno the right word. Demoralized maybe. And, I thought about the people who marched for abolition, women’s right to vote, civil rights, anti war protests — all the things that people on the sidelines said didn’t need to happen and felt lifted up again. Thank you for marching the first, second, third time. And, thank you for marching now.

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 10:21 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  9. Girl, i’m serious. Get a splint and ice your hand. Both are a PITA, but they help. My pain is minuscule compared with before. I’m still debating whether to start knitting/crocheting again but at least I can work and sew! Baby steps!

    1. I did buy an icing kit and changed my brace to one that isolates my thumb. Did you use it every day multiple times a day? Or for when you thought you might have a flare up? And did you stop using heat?

      On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 11:43 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  10. Well done on the commitment – that was a lot of hats. All those pink hats marching en masse really sends a powerful message.
    I hope your tendinitis continues to improve so you can do everything you want to again.

  11. Thanks to you and to ALL the volunteer knitters who made the hats for last week’s Women’s March. A friend from Detroit brought five of them for our group of marchers — our hats were made by a woman whose job involved working in a Michigan maximum security prison and apparently the craftivism provided her some stress relief. I wore my hat proudly and was absolutely stunned by the sea of pink hats on the DC metro and at the event. It was a special way to identify with fellow marchers on an amazing day. As a non-knitter, I feel indebted to all of you who worked to unite us.

    1. I’m admittedly in a goosebumps state of mind, but your comment gave them to me. Again. The metro was INCREDIBLE. I drove to the Greenbelt metro and watching people stream out on the way home was amazing.

      On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 5:06 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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    1. Machine knit all the way. I cranked out four more the Friday before. If you’re ever interested in seeing how it works, let me know!

      On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 11:33 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  12. Thank you from Australia . The thought that so many people in the US are thinking and getting active is such a relief to those of us who are worried about yhe state of the world . Good on you and do get the voltaren gel it’s very good as is ice oacks left on for 20 mins at a time and even a resting sling if you really need to rest it .

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