Thursday, August 15, 2013

Too much tatting?

I truly love to tat and spend as much free time as possible tatting.  But I have found that too much tatting can cause aches and pains.  My main complaint is my left arm and elbow.  When I reach out and try to grab something (like my son's hand), my elbow hurts, almost like tennis elbow.  A nurse friend of mine said she thinks it's a repetitive motion injury from moving the fingers in my left hand to flip the stitches when tatting.  Does anyone else out in blog-land suffer from this?  Does anyone have a cure?  Should I take up knitting or crochet to strengthen other muscles in my hands and arms?  Tatting is the only needlework I do.  My arm gets better when I take a couple days off from tatting.  I've also found that swimming the breast stroke with just my arms (no kicking) helps keep the ache away.  If anyone can give me a magic bullet to tat pain free, I would be able to produce more treasures like this:
Design my Jane McLellan, thread Rainbow-licious byTatilicious 
And this:
Doily X by Jan Stawasz, thread Aunt Lydia ecru and Lizbeth Garnet, both size 20

These are two projects that I've previously posted as WIPS that are now complete.


  1. Your Jan S. Doily X is gorgeous! What beautiful color combination!

    You know, my left elbow has been giving me some grief lately and I've been tatting up a storm, hmmm, I wonder...

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one with tatting elbow. My started bothering me the first of the year. I was working with alot of heavier thread and thought that might have something to do with it. If you find a cute, tell us about it.

  3. Too bad this great thread is discontinued! Glad you got some. I am still waiting for mine in the mail. You can thank Liyarra for introducing us to it!

    Yes, I had that pain a few years back and it lasted for about four months! Awful. Continuous pain in my arm and elbow. I wore a tensor bandage ( for tennis elbow) and took Advil but never got it checked, because I was sure it was the tatting. I slowed down the tatting and sure enough, it got better.

    I suggest you do not let it get too bad before you give it a rest as it can last for months...
    Fox : )

  4. Lovely thread, love the bookmark, and your doily is beautiful.
    Thank you for the comment on my blog, I have been ill for while its taken since last September to get the NHS to find out what was wrong, at one point I waited 16weeks to see the wrong man, but he had an idea what it was. In the end I got a surgeon who sorted me out and operated. In the last two years I have had three and a minor op. I hope that there won't be any more and I can finally get well.
    Have a nice day

    1. I'm so glad they figured out what it was and fixed the problem. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.

  5. This may sound odd, but I have to ask if you do know how to crochet at all. If you don't then this may not help. I use the 'crochet hold' when I tat, and fortunately realized early on that it didn't make any difference to forming the knots. The crochet hold means you hold the forefinger up and pinch the thumb and middle finger. I was learning to tat the traditional way and I ended up with such a sore upper arm that I stopped tatting for a few months. Then I discovered I could tat by holding my thread as I do when I crochet, and I solved my arm problem! Much more natural for me! 8 years later I got the same injury on my right arm due to using the mouse on my computer! I had to put the mouse in a different location! So repetition can cause injuries! Do try to limit your time for tatting, although I know it's frustrating!