papercraft · Sewing

What To Do When You Can’t Crochet

Right now I am really frustrated; my arm is painful again so I’m going to see a friend who will hopefully be able to sort it for me. However, it means that I’m on a self imposed knitting and crochet ban to give it a rest and hopefully not make it worse. I’ve found this really tricky as there are projects I need to finish, however I’ve tried to see it as an opportunity to try different crafts that are less repetitive.

First of all, I decided to try out a honeycomb papercraft bauble. I used a mixture of several different online tutorials as i watched a few before trying it so I knew what to do and then just got on with it. I had some double sided festive papers in my stash and had just enough to make 12 circles using a medium sized die. The tutorials called for glue dots, but the only ones I had were the size of a 1p coin so not really suited to a smaller and delicate project. I tried double sided tape, which worked ok, and also wet glue. The only downside of wet glue was the drying time, but I pegged the bauble together to hold the glued pieces in place whilst they dried and it also worked well. I think smaller glue dots would be a good investment if I were to make more as the tiny pieces of double sided tape were a pain to repeat 24 times and the wet glue had the potential to leave a clumsy finish where the excess squeezed out. I used organza ribbon to make the hanging loop and included a jingle bell too, just for fun (and also because I didn’t have any fancy beads like the people who made the tutorial videos!)


I had also been getting itchy fingers when it came to sewing; a lot of my sewing is purely practical (and really dull, like shortening curtains, hence why it never makes it to my blog!) I quite fancied making a WIP bag using some fabrics from my stash, and I knew there must be a tutorial out there. (I’m being really hopeful here that my arm will get better and that there will be more WIPs!) I usedΒ this tutorialΒ and honestly it was superb. The instructions were amazingly clear, and there were so many tips along the way that I managed to do it all with no unpicking at all. It’s even reversible! The only thing I’m disappointed with is that I pinned the seams in line but managed to mess up the sewing (not enough to make me want to rip the seams out!) and they aren’t perfect. I enjoyed working on the topstitching too, even though it’s a bit wobbly in places. It was an enjoyable project for a sewing amateur like me, and has a drawstring closure so I didn’t have to learn about bag construction and zips all in one go. I went for a pink grosgrain ribbon for the drawstring as I thought it made a lovely contrast with the black, and was grippy enough to hold the bag closed unlike a satin ribbon.


It’s bigger than it looks inside-I think the drawstring being closed makes it look shorter. It’s the perfect size for a single ball/skein project, fingers crossed that my arm is better soon and that I get to use it. (I am genuinely worried, but have every faith in my friend and her skills.)

Are there any crafts you like to do as a change from your ‘usual’ one? Which crafts would you like to learn?

56 thoughts on “What To Do When You Can’t Crochet

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your arm. Is it from over use doing knitting and crochet? If so it will get better. There are exercises you can do too aid mobility of your arm. Hopefully resting your arm will do the trick. Having struggled with arm and shoulder problems myself I try to have several different craft/art WIP’s that I can alternate so that I use different muscle groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often have to do this..turn to other crafts and set aside my crochet or knitting projects due to neck and arm pain. I hope you’re feeling better and able to get back to your projects soon.

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  3. I have some arm pain at times from crocheting, not as much with knitting though. When I have these episodes I try not to strain the arm/hand/wrist, and I usually try to just “relax”.. which is stupid cause for me fiber crafts is the relaxing bit! I watch Gilmore Girls and wait. The longest I’ve waited was 4 weeks 😦 Hope it gets better soon and it will recover just fine, I am sure of it! I can recommend paper crafts (Project life f.ex) ❀

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  4. Thanks for sharing the bag tutorial. I’ve been looking for one, actually, because I wanted to make one without shoulder straps and a drawstring on the inside of the seams. I did a tutorial with the drawstring on the outside and shoulder straps for carrying around, but now I want a small bag just to keep at home to sit on an end table I can just grab, open, and knit a sock for 15 minutes here and there. I like this one because there aren’t any handles and finishing it off is quick. This coming weekend I’ll have my home-only project bag! Yay! I hope your arm gets better soon!

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  5. Hope you are back knitting and crocheting soon.
    In the mean time your sewing is fabulous – great job.
    You follow my blog so you know I flit from one craft to another! and I don’t blog everything especially the mending.

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  6. I hope your arm feels better soon πŸ™‚
    I like my zentangle and card-making as a break from yarn, although zentangle can cause its own issues with the repetitive pen strokes. I’d love to learn how to sew things like your WIP bag, I can do basic hand-sewn repairs but I’m utterly hopeless with a sewing machine or making something from scratch!

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  7. Very nice! The bag is lovely, the pink really works. One thing I love about those baubles is that you get both sides of the paper, and thus, both colours. One day, I’d like to make my own clothes, and maybe phase that into cosplay, but for now I like my little projects. Hope you can get back to knitting and crocheting soon! 😊

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  8. I hope your arm is better soon. It must be so frustrating being out of action. I daren’t try any more crafts aside from my ‘usual’ ones …papercraft, knitting, home decor, decoupage, and now crochet. I have a sewing machine but it’s still in the box. I don’t have the space or the time for it but seeing your bag has planted a little seed in my mind that there may be some simple sewing projects I could try my hand at……… πŸ˜‰


    1. Thank you! I like simple projects for sewing. I’m still working on sewing in straight lines! I’m going to attempt a few minutes of crochet later on, as advised by my friend who massaged my poorly arm for me. Fingers crossed!


  9. LOVE the bag. Well done you clever thing.
    But sorry to hear about your arm. Blimey moses that must be painful. Can I urge you to go and see your doctor, and get him to refer you, urgently for some physiotherapy. Or … if monies would allow, go and see a private physio, as you’ll get far better treatment and as often as you need it in order to get the problem sorted out. It’s probably not as expensive as it sounds and, by the sound of that arm, you need it to be sorted out.

    Please take care Mrs.C. You MUST rest the arm.
    Sending love and squidges ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I am lucky that one of my friends does massage (including sports massage) for a living and she kindly worked on my arm earlier today. She said I’d done a ‘proper job’ of it but worked on it for an hour and it’s definitely improved. X

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  10. I hope your arm gets better soon. I did something to my shoulder once but I felt it in my arm because of something to do with where the nerves go. I went to the GP and she sent me to a physio (on NHS) who was brilliant and it’s gone away completely. I recommend you do the same. I like the paper craft and bag you’ve made πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you, following a massage from my friend it is far less tender, I just need to avoid straining it too much now. (I’m lucky to have friends who have such useful skills!)


  11. i LOVE the bag! I don’t have much experience with a sewing machine but a friend is going to teach me. I want to make a p.e bag for my daughter to take to school so if it looks half as good as your I’ll be happy! the bauble looks really cute! remember growing up my mum having decorations like that on the tree but they were plastic!

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  12. So sorry to learn about your arm Mrs C.. and can quite sympathise after my stint at knitting and the weight of my last project i was pleased to cast off the needles.. πŸ˜€ Love your WIP bag, and just the thing to keep everything together..
    I am sure with some rest it will be fine.. Have you tried any Arnica gel on it I find it very useful for joint pain and muscle aches and bruises..
    Hope you and the children have a wonderful Halloween..
    Much Love
    Sue πŸ™‚

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