Thursday, February 21, 2013
Posted on 6:00 PM by Gwen Blakley Kinsler
Monday, February 18, 2013 It feels good to be back in the groove of blogging every Monday. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for my special surprise project that I will announce on March 1. Today I felt like I have it under control with even some time to spare to spend on artistic things and blogging! From the time I worked at the local hospital in the Adult Day Center as an activity specialist with elder dementia patients, I have wanted to write about the healthful benefits of crochet. I ran a weekly crochet group there and it was amazing to see the ladies bring back their crochet skills from the depths of their minds and enjoy doing it. They may have needed to be reminded each week that they could crochet, but put that hook in their hand and off they went! One lady in particular was so interesting. For a few weeks, I would get her started with the chain each week and as I was helping others, she would begin to put all her loops on the hook. Then she would ask me what to do next. I explained single crochet over and over to her until finally one day, it dawned on me that she must have done a lot of Tunisian crochet in her life and that is the skill she remembers. Understanding that, finally, I could encourage her to happily do what she was comfortable with: Tunisian crochet. I was also called upon by the physical therapy department to assist the therapist with a woman who had had a stroke and wanted to re-learn to crochet, a hobby she loved. We had purchased the Kroh's Crochet Aid for my department and it worked very well for this patient. It holds the yarn for anyone without the use of one hand and is a wonderful craft tool for people who have arthritis or MS. See more details on this product as www.dynamic-living.com My boss at the time encouraged me to write and article for a nursing magazine about crochet and its health benefits. I guess I was too busy at the time or didn't feel like I had enough scientific research to pull it off. Now, however, I feel like I have come full circle. Last week I started a new volunteer position which I created at the same hospital where I worked: Cancer and Crochet Support Group. It's a volunteer job and I will be guiding them on a crochet journey every other week. I was very pleased with our first session as the ladies (men are welcome) were all so positive and excited to be either learning crochet for the first time or just having someone to share their crochet time with. I had a range of skill levels from novice to experienced and I look forward to seeing where we go with this and how they want to use crochet to help them relax, enjoy and get their minds on to something besides cancer. On the personal front, we had an enjoyable weekend with just the right mix of relaxation and activity. On Saturday we enjoyed a Dim Sum brunch in Chinatown. Dim Sum is the Chinese version of Spanish Tapas and it means "touch the heart" according to our dear friend and hostess, Jennet, along with her husband, Owais. My favorite part besides the spicy beef, pot stickers, shrimp with caramelized walnuts, sauteed spinach, Chinese noodles and sesame balls, was the glass "Lazy Susan" which properly filled a table that seated twenty people! On Sunday, we went to our local library (our favorite place for free entertainment and intellectual stimulation) to hear Songs from the heart performed by Peter Oprisko
and his amazing piano accompanist. He had a lovely mellow voice and sang mostly songs requested by the audience. Many of the songs had "heart" in the title or were about love; very fitting for the Valentines Day week. This combo does 300 shows per year and that is a lot of singing!