how to fight back when things suck

I've been trying not to whine about it too much on-line, but since the last week of this April I've been having problems with my shoulders and upper back (hence the long gap between blog posts, amongst other things). Since I'm not very good at just lying down and watching TV, I got bored very quickly, despite the pain. As soon as things started getting better, I was looking for ways to make stuff without disobeying my chiropractor and sabotaging the healing process, but which would help me from getting stir-crazy as well.

The main problem is in my left shoulder, which is the "power source" when I'm knitting, so that's been out until recently. I crochet right-handed, though, and I knew I could do that whilst reclining to support my neck and head, so I tried that.

I've been learning all sorts of things.

The first thing was that I need to learn to adjust crochet patterns the way I do knitting patterns. I made this lace cardigan:

There was something out of whack about the original sleeve length. I have longer-than-normal arms, but the original arm length went well past my knuckles (and yes, I was getting the right gauge). I took out two rounds of shells — almost three inches —to fix that. The waist/peplum is in the wrong place (see how the bottom three rows of shells run in the opposite direction?), but since I plan to wear is just buttoned at the bust, that's okay. The button, incidentally, replaces the ribbon closures called for in the pattern. It's still girly and less of a pain to take on and off.

I wanted a non-jacket that would let me look pulled together when it was wiltingly hot outside, and I think this fits the bill nicely. The yarn, incidentally, is Patons Grace mercerised cotton fingering weight, and since most of the stitches are trebles it worked up quickly.

I also learned a form of bead crochet:

My mum gave me the multicoloured pendant bead a while ago, and I had this idea of putting it on a spiral rope for a while though. For some reason I have a hard time stitching spiral ropes. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with the stitching part, but this loop crochet method works up faster and is easier to work. It's hard to see in the photo because the seed beads are black, but the results are similar to a Russian spiral. Each loop has four size 11 seed beads and one 4mm coloured bead. I arranged thing so that the blue and green beads alternated in one spiral path, and the red and orange beads in another. The pendant had its loop and fringe added while it was still separate from the main necklace rope, and the peyote stitch loop has to be that big to accommodate the pendant.

This is one case where I really like having the pendant at the front, although of course it could be worn "backwards" with just the rope part showing in front and the pendant hanging down the back, too.

I'm really inspired by this beaded crochet stitch. I've even got two more things on the go using the same stitch — all to be made in a reclining posture, of course.