After Christmas Report post #9: Need some suggestions plz

Need some help finding ANY craft my MIL can do one handed.

She suffered from a stroke this past summer and now sits in a wheelchair in that room all day when not in therapy. She comes from a long line of farmers and prior to her stroke hardly ever sat down. Its mind numbing and im thinking if I can find something for her to do, it would ease things for her, and keep her mind working, both very important things in my opinion. She has use of one hand and the other, she can, with much effort only lift it up and down a little bit. So another bonus to finding something for her to do would be that she would try to use her left hand/arm more.

Any suggestions would be appriciated.

Thank you,

That must be very difficult for all of you. :hug: I’m not sure what would be good. Drawing or painting seems like a good one handed thing to do if she’d like to do that. It won’t work her other hand though. :think:

How about rugs? You know, the kind of rug hooking projects you can purchase from! My MIL and FIL made dozens of them in their very elder years! It should be do-able with her disability.

And BLESS YOU for making the inquiry! :hug:

Jigsaw puzzles?

Labelling old family photos to be put in an album for future generations?

I know people who have had stokes. It sometimes takes a long time to get better.

Please tell your MIL to keep trying and don’t give up hope because recovery is possible.

All the best. :hug:

What about a knitting loom? Could she do that? My DH’s grandmother is like that. I don’t know what she would do if she couldn’t putter around. I’m so sorry. It’s really kind of you to try to keep her occupied.

She could weave the yarn thru her left fingers to gauge & crochet with her right. She would have to try to use her hand somewhat but that’s what you want her to do.
My Great Grandmother had a series of strokes that left her paralyzed. Before that, she never sat with idle hands. We would see her move just the tips of her fingers as if trying to work & it broke my heart.
Help her get some way to do something to feel productive. It will make all the difference in her attitude.
(((HUGS))) for being so caring. Verna

Since she lived on a farm and worked most of her life, I would suggest something that would also make her feel useful. She’s probably very used to doing for others before herself, so that would help with the mental aspect of her recovery.

The main reason I’ve taken such a long sabbatical was that I’ve had frozen shoulder for over two years now. I could knit but only with some extreme “discomfort”. Before that I had a tendon injury in my hand that took years to rehabilitate. Now that things are “thawing out” I can knit as much as I want and I’m catching up on a lot of old projects.

I like to knit blankets to send to soldiers and I also donate many items that my daughter had grown up too much for to the local homeless shelter, because it does get cold in Texas. If she sews, she could do a quilt with one hand and some assistance. Look for a Quilting Bee in your area. There are tons of things that she can do that will keep her active and help her recovery.

I appriciate all the suggestions and I have tested out a few of them.

I dusted off my knifty knitter and tried to do a couple of rounds one handed: I was able to do the rounds fine with my left hand laying on the loom for weight. It was slow going but it can be done. Im gonna show her that. I happen to know(from a little birdie) that her grandson wants a knifty knitter hat. I made one years ago for his father and he keeps stealing it. So that might intice her to make one for him. My husband is NOT crafty and neither is my MIL so I thought if I had someone who had the same skill level try it, it would be a better test. He did it and had to put his hand on it for weight as well and had no problems with it. I think that this is a good one to try.

I think a puzzle is a good one too. that will definatly keep her mind goin. Gonna take that suggestion too.

But as with all things, you have to be interested to learn something new. I hope I can make her interested.

I will be leaving tonight to go visit for Christmas. She is in a nursing/therapy home and they will be bringing her home for Christmas Day. All of the family will be there all day. If shes not too worn out, I can sit with her then and show her this, I may have to wait for another day. I hope not, I live 600mi away from her. Im gonna try to get her young grandaughter interested in it too in case grandma needs someone to knifty knit with and maybe they can help each other. Im giving her the set and some yarn, so there should be enough for the both of them.

Wish me luck!!
And God Bless All of you for your kind words and suggestions.


Ok took the knifty knitter and some yarn with me to visit my MIL and saw my niece first and she likes it. One down, one to go…LOL

Worked with my MIL, and in a nutshell, shes interested! :cheering:

The Details:
I had her make the knot and i showed her how to wrap the posts.
She put her left hand on the loom for weight, and did well with wrapping with her right. when she got to the point when she was done wrapping what she could, and needed to turn the loom to access more posts, I made her lift her arm/hand and turn the loom at the same time. This seemed to be difficult for her to accomplish mentally and physically.

I gotta tell ya, its everything i can do right now not to cry in front of her. Simple tasks like this are difficult for her to comprehend how to do. This is the woman who “raised 3 kids and a husband”(thats what she always told me…LOL) and its hard for me to see her having issues with turning a wheel the right way.

Anyway…she kept turning the loom the wrong way and would then be confused as to why the yarn was where it was. This is something I worked with her on and she began to understand a little. When she got the loom turned the right way, she kept wanting to wrap the post the yarn was hanging from. Which was the last post worked. I explained that to her, and she didnt do it as much, but still did it. Now I need to figure out how help her keep the wraps from comming undone when she turns the loom. That was a frustration for her.

She got around the loom twice and I showed her how to make the stitch. She was able to do that but when she turned the loom, she would go back to the post she had already worked and pull that stitch over. I originally told her to take the bottom strand and pull it over the top strand and post(with demonstration). She kept wanting to go counter clockwise instead of clockwise. After telling her to look for 2 strands on the post, was when it clicked better for her and she was then able to go the right direction. But I noticed another problem. When she wrapped the posts, the tension was not the same for both wraps and on some posts the top wrap would fall over the bottom wrap and when she would get to one of those, she would pull the one on the bottom over, causing that stitch to be dropped. I dont know what to do about that problem just yet. And I didnt say anything to her about trying to make sure that wraps were in the right position. I felt that she was trying to comprehend enough, and I would deal with this issue some other time, and so I just fixed all the posts that were twisted. (suggestions?)

She got all the way around the first row and complained of sorness in her right shoulder and wanted to stop, but wanted to try some more another time.

This one row took my MIL approximatly 2 hours to finish. But I think it was excellent time spent. For a variety of reasons.

My husband, who was in the room watching the whole time, pulled me aside later that day and said this to me…(the condensed version)
“I think this ring thing is an excellent activity for mom. Its making her work her left hand and arm, and her right. She is also being forced to think and comprehend things which she hasnt been able to do very well since the stroke. Would you mind working with her some more on this?”

Nuff said…im on it.

ok so now i need to figure out how to help her on:

  1. not letting the wraps come undone when she turns the loom.
  2. making sure the 2 wraps are in the right position, OR, helping her understand when they arent in the right position, and how to fix it.

I think those are the most pressing issues right now…and she complained of not being able to see. She now can only see out of her right eye. I think the position of the loom and some better, more direct light will ease that issue.

If, those of you who have been following along, can see of anything else im not seeing, or have any suggestions, please feel free to speak up. I would especially like to hear from some PT.

God Bless

be the best help to you. On the Ravelry site there’s a group of Loom knitters. They would be a great resource.:cheering:
How wonderful you are to go to so much effort to help her in this endeavor. It’s easy to leave the rehab to the “experts” but it’s so beneficial when it’s someone who loves you doing the helping.
I’ll bet your husband is very proud of you.:muah:


What a gift of a daughter-in-law you are, to do that for your MIL!!

I watched a video on loom knitting once, where the instructor worked the second or third to last stitch on the round before starting at the first stitch. This meant that only 1 or 2 loops could fall off (much, much less frustrating, even for someone who doesn’t have the challenges that your MIL has.)

Here is a link that demonstrates that technique:

Best of luck to you both. Yours is a very special relationship.