Repetitve Stress Injuries Due to NeedleworkWritten by Katrina Renouf
Doing a lot of needlework can cause repetitive stress injury (RSI), especially when combined with large amount of typing that many people do nowadays. It is caused when same movement is done repeatedly. Sports medicine physicians categorize levels of injuries based on symptoms and impact on wrist’s performance. This grading helps guide treatment and rehabilitation process. Grade 1 is when there is no pain while stitching, but there is some discomfort afterward (either immediately or during evening or following days). Grade 2 is when there is some discomfort while stitching but it doesn’t interfere with performance. Grade 3 is when there’s discomfort while stitching and it does interferes with performance. And finally, grade 4 is when discomfort is so intense that stitching cannot be performed at all. Of course, none of us want to reach this level!!!
There are various treatments for your wrist, depending on grade of injury. Grade 1 can be treated by stitching 25% less, and that’s all that's required. Stitching can be gradually increased as symptoms allow, but be careful not to push it too much and cause a reinjury. Grade 2 injuries can be cared for by reducing duration of your stitching by 50%. In addition to ice and stretches, consider using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Physical therapy is not absolutely necessary at this point, but can be considered. When pain is gone, therapist should teach an endurance program and strengthening exercises. Grade 3 is treated by “active" rest” where stitcher should stop stitching completely but is allowed to move affected part for daily activities. Physical therapy is needed to speed and end to discomfort, as well as to strengthen, increase endurance, and restore coordination. In addition to oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, a corticosteroid injection may be considered at this time. Grade 4 injuries are treated with complete rest of affected part, usually involving use of a sling or splint (even casting is considered in severe cases). All of above options can also be used. If there is no improvement, or condition recurs despite adequate treatment, then surgical intervention may be required.
Using Beads in Cross StitchWritten by Katrina Renouf
Many people like to add embellishments to their cross stitch, and a great way to do this is with beads. In many situations, it’s also another way to avoid doing dreaded French knot!
Beads usually cover one space instead of a cross stitch. I would suggest sewing beads after their surrounding cross stitching is complete because they need to be well secured, and lie on top of cross stitches. For regular and small size beads, use one strand of floss or for heavier beads you can use two strands. There is also black or white "Nymo" beading thread, and there is "invisible" YLI thread which can be used for beading. If you can’t find these, use a color of thread that is either close to color of bead, or similar to background, so that thread doesn’t detract from bead.
The size of needle usually depends on size of bead. With seed beads use a fine pointed needle such as a quilting needle, appliqué needle or beading needle. The hole in most beads is too small to be used with a regular cross stitch needle. Beading needles are long and flexible with very narrow eyes. You can also use a regular hand sewing needle in a pinch, because they’re only ones thin enough for beads to fit over. All of these needles are more difficult to thread though, you will probably need a needle threader.