There’s a special kind of magic that happens when you ply your needle on project. The stitches and threads that you use add color and texture to your piece, but it’s your hands that are the unsung heroes of your artistry. Without your hands, you simply could not stitch. And so, today we’re going to chat about hand care…
Hand Care When You Have Arthritis
Let’s face it… arthritis can be a significant hurdle to working on your needlepoint projects. In fact, the pain and stiffness that hinder the fluid movements needed to stitch can be downright disheartening. But I have good news for you… there are adjustments you can make and aids you can use to make your stitching time more comfortable AND enjoyable!
Consider using ergonomic tools that are easier on the joints. Some examples include these handy (teehee – I couldn’t resist! 😉 ) gadgets…
- Gingher Featherweight Thread Snips make snipping threads easy peasy.
- Handeze Therapeutic Craft Gloves hug your hands and wrists, providing support and comfort.
- Lacis Corjac Tack Kit makes it easier to attach your canvases to stretcher bars – and to remove the tacks when you’ve finished stitching.
- A good needle threader makes threading your tapestry needles SO much easier.
- A needlepoint stand frees up both of your hands so that you can keep one hand on top of your canvas and one hand below while stitching – and that means you’re not putting all of the strain on just one hand.
Pacing yourself is key, too. If possible, spread your stitching time throughout the day. Remember to take regular breaks to avoid overstraining your hands.
Finally, heat can be a soothing balm for arthritis pain. Soaking your hands in warm water before starting your needlework can help loosen your joints and reduce stiffness.
And speaking of reducing stiffness, let’s chat a little about hand care exercises that anyone can do!
Hand Exercises for Needlepointers
Regular hand exercises can improve dexterity, flexibility, and strength – all of which are beneficial for any stitcher. 😉
Here are a few simple ones that you might want to try as part of your daily hand care regimen.
- Finger Lifts: Lay your hand flat on a table. Starting with your thumb, lift each finger smoothly off the table one at a time. Repeat this 10 times for each finger.
- Finger Bends: Hold your hand up straight. Bend your fingers at the middle joints and straighten them back up. Repeat 10 times.
- Wrist Flex: Extend one arm in front of you with the palm down. With your other hand, gently press down on the extended hand to stretch your wrist and forearm. Repeat with the other hand.
IMPORTANT: These exercises should never cause pain. If they do, stop immediately and consult a health professional.
And here’s a tip for you that can help prevent hand fatigue: use leather (or rubber) fingertip thimbles. These little gems increase traction without the need to tightly pinch your needle.
Pampering your hands is part of a good hand care plan, too, so let’s take a closer look at some terrific hand care products. 🙂
Hand Creams for Stitchers
Choosing the right hand cream is crucial for needlepointers. Your hand cream should nourish and protect your hands without leaving a residue that could stain your work. Here are three of my all-time favorites.
- SEAMS Couturiers Hand Cream: A non-greasy formula that helps mend, moisturize, soften, soothe and protect, even skin tone and condition nails – fast! Created by a seamstress for seamstresses, this ahhh-mazing lotion absorbs quickly and completely!
- Udderly Smooth Cream: Developed by a pharmacist in the midwest, this non-greasy formula hand cream has been loved by needle artists for years. When you use Udderly Smooth, your skin will be delightfully soft and those silk threads will glide through your fingers like butter!
- O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream: Another non-greasy, hypoallergenic hand cream, this product creates a protective barrier on your skin’s surface and helps repair extremely dry, cracked hands.
Remember to apply hand cream after washing your hands, before you go to bed, and any time your hands feel dry. If you’re about to work on your needlepoint, give the cream at least 8 – 10 minutes to fully absorb into your skin.
Do you have any favorite hand care tips that you think others might benefit from knowing? Please share them down below… 🙂
Alrighty, that’s all for now, my friend!
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a splendiferous week and I’ll see you again next time.
Until then, happy stitching!