It is easy to get carried away when cross-stitching. Just like reading a book and telling yourself one more page while you’re falling asleep, you might look at the clock and realize you’ve been stitching continuously for several hours. When you’re “in the zone”, it may become difficult to cross-stitch without injury.
The problem with cross-stitching for long hours is that it can cause strain on your hands, shoulders and neck, not to mention eye strain. There are a few precautions you can take so you can keep doing your favorite hobby without hurting your body.
Take a Break!
Yes I know, time flies by when you’re doing your favorite hobby. When working on big pieces with several colors, you might lose track of time as you see your picture taking shape. However, the repetitive strain on your arm can start leading to pain after a while. It is important to take a break and do something else every hour or so.
Set an alarm or a countdown watch to an hour and stitch. It’s not a race against time but it will be useful to keep you aware of how long you’ve been at it.
Keep your Thread Length Short
Remember when we said you should cut an arm’s length of the thread you’ll be stitching with? If the thread is too long, you’ll be exerting a lot of pressure on your entire arm when doing your stitches. It may seem like a workout but by putting in long hours, eventually the pain might inconvenience you to continue.
Get a Hand Brace to manage Wrist Pain
Are you starting to feel some pain in your wrists? There are hand braces you can buy and wear that will help reduce the strain on your wrist. They won’t remove the pain but they sure will limit it. Amazon has various types of braces and finger splints depending on your needs and pain levels.
Watch your Seating Posture
Sit down the way you would usually do when stitching. Are you slouching? How do you rest your legs? Do you often change your seating posture while stitching? Are you really comfortable in the way you sit? Observe yourself and think of all the ways to improve your posture. Make sure the circulation isn’t cut off from your legs and that your shoulders and neck aren’t slouched forward.
Reduce Eye Strain with Good Lighting
When stitching, you may not realize that the sun has been setting or that the natural light of the room is dimming with that passing cloud. As you try and focus more on those little holes, you might be causing yourself eye strain without realizing it. It is important to make sure the room you’re stitching in has proper lighting. Can you read the pattern clearly without squinting? Can you tell the difference between all the shades of colors?
You can also purchase ott-lite lamps that would recreate the natural daylight in your room and relieve eye strain.
See a doctor!
If the pain is getting too severe and intervening with your stitching, go visit a doctor immediately. While the pain may be hard to deal with, it can still be alleviated. However, if you keep straining your already sore joints, you might cause irreparable damage. We don’t want you to no longer be able to cross-stitch anymore! So take good care of yourself and call your doctor as soon as possible if the pain increases.
Take good care of yourself while cross-stitching! What are the things you do to avoid injuries when stitching for a long time?