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Sewing Aids for Impaired Abilities

There will likely be a time when you seek some sewing aids in order to continue your embroidery hobby, whether the obstacle comes from facing the challenges of aging or recovering from an injury.

Stitching is a wonderful, relaxing therapy, so please don't give up! As the saying goes, "Where there's a will, there's a way."

Here's a list of some of the most useful tools on the market and how they can help with embroidery for seniors or the disabled.

Trouble Seeing

The most common complaint I hear is that people have trouble seeing for counted work on evenweave such as cross stitch. There are a couple of solutions.

I described the clip on magnifier and special lighting on the page about sewing aids and cross stitch supplies. You can also try moving to a lower count size so that the squares and holes are larger. Obviously, the pattern designs will not be as detailed, but they can still be very beautiful. I've seen cross stitch kits on as low as 7 and 8 count aida cloth.

Another alternative is to try a different embroidery method!

Punch needle is easier to see. Needlepoint can be easier with larger yarns or you can try huck weaving with yarn on monks cloth. Explore this website for ideas using the menu bar on the left.

If you do machine embroidery, you can buy a safety cover for the needle to avoid accidentally stabbing your hand. Even blind people can use sewing machines!

Hand Pain

Whether from arthritis, carpel tunnel, or something else, this is also a common problem that keeps people away from needlework.

A standing frame such as the Quilter's Wonder Hoop and Floor Stand or a lap frame with a large, easy to grip edge can take away the problem. The Baby Z Lap Frame With Clamp is a lap frame that can clamp to a table for embroidery or quilting. Take a look at the Round-About Punch Needle Frame which is a special swivel hoop designed for punch needle.

Another alternative is to try stitching items on plastic canvas which is available in clear or a variety of colors. It doesn't flop around, so you can press it flat against your lap as you pull the yarn.

For those with severe handicaps or grip problems, take a piece of wide ribbon and attach it as a handle along one side. Slide the holding hand into the loop, and it won't fall down or try to jump away as you stitch.

More Help

Take a look at the sewing aids and advice for doing embroidery with children. And remember that sewing and embroidery is as much about the journey of making the project as it is about having the finished piece. Enjoy the process!

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