This post is sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation.
Today, we are really excited to be spreading awareness about arthritis, an important topic that is near and dear to our hearts. Many people don’t realize that one in four Americans live with arthritis, and that includes nearly 300,000 children.
Rachel’s grandmother Ann lived with crippling arthritis. As she got older, her hands were so affected that they stayed folded over, making everyday tasks like holding a fork impossible. Ann was incredibly creative and had a passion for making her entire life but as arthritis affected her more and more, she taught her skills to Rachel, her twin sister, and their cousins. This way, the making would continue on but through their hands instead.
Sewing and baking became skills that they practiced under their grandmother’s guidance and continue to do today. Now, Rachel’s mother Patricia also lives with arthritis and it’s something she often worries about since arthritis can strike at any age. As an avid knitter, she too is constantly creating despite the everyday challenges that arthritis presents.
We are truly honored to be partnering with the Arthritis Foundation, who is leading the fight for the arthritis community! Through life-changing information and resources, access to the very best care, advancements in science, and community connections they’re helping people who live with arthritis conquer everyday battles and ultimately find a cure.
If like us, you have a family member or dear friend who lives with arthritis, you know how truly valuable it is to have a like-minded community ready to help in any way they can. The Live Yes! Arthritis Network provides personalized support to adults living with all types of arthritis and parents/guardians of children living with arthritis. The network fosters connection both in-person and online to empower people to live their best life.
The Arthritis Foundation’s Live Yes! INSIGHTS is going to change the future of arthritis forever! They’re asking those affected by arthritis to take a 10-minute assessment to share their overall arthritis experience. By answering questions about their symptoms, pain levels, and how arthritis affects their function and mobility, the Arthritis Foundation will better understand what people experience on a daily basis.
This data will then show decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis and pave the way for change by breaking down barriers to care, accelerating research and creating resources that will make a difference in people’s lives. 81% of Americans have or know someone with arthritis so this assessment really will make a big impact across the country!
Patricia took the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment to help make a difference in the lives of people with arthritis – and you can help too! Take or share the assessment to help the Arthritis Foundation get the valuable information they need in order to change the future of those living with arthritis.
In honor of Patricia’s love for knitting, today we’re making these tube knit pretzels! Tube knitting, sometimes called French knitting or spool knitting, can seem a little daunting at first but once you get going, the technique is very simple! It’s a great craft for both kids and adults and can be customized to suit different skill levels but also to accommodate challenges presented by arthritis.
Most crafts stores will have plastic or wooden knitting spools available, often in a variety of different sizes. We opted for the narrowed one here with four pegs but you’ll also notice that you can actually craft your own spool as well! This is a great option for several reasons: if you’re not able to find a knitting spool at your craft store, you can just make one instead, but also if younger kids or people with arthritis are having trouble with the typically smaller store-bought spools, you can make one instead to suit your needs.
To make the spool, all you need is a paper roll, popsicle sticks, glue, and tape. Essentially what you’ll do is hot glue the four popsicle sticks to the outside of the paper roll, spacing them evenly. You can then cover the spool with tape if you like – we find that this helps prevent the yarn from getting caught around the spool.
Using the paper roll as is will give you a slightly looser rope, so to make a tighter knit rope like the store-bought spools make, we suggest cutting a snip down the entire length of the paper roll and re-rolling it so that the hole is narrower. You can adjust this and experiment until you’re happy with how the rope looks – another thing to consider is that different yarns will also give different results!
Watch the video below to see all the techniques you need!
what you need:
- French knitting spool (store-bought or homemade)
- French knitting needle (or chopstick)
- Hot glue gun
Feed the end of the yarn down the center of the spool so that the tail hangs out the bottom. Then use the yarn to wrap around each peg once, as shown above, making sure the yarn is at the base of each peg. Next use the yarn to wrap around the outside of all four pegs, making a sort of square shape when you hold the yarn taught. Each peg should now have two rows of yarn on it.
Using the needle or chopstick, carefully pick up the bottom piece of yarn on one of the pegs and pull it over the top of the peg and the strand of yarn above it. Repeat this for each of the pegs so that they now each just have one strand of yarn around them.
To continue this process, wrap the yarn around the four pegs forming the square again, and repeat step 2, pulling each bottom strand of yarn over the other. Repeat this process until the rope is about 9” long.
To remove the rope from the spool, use the needle to lift one loop over to the neighboring peg so that one peg now has no yarn, and another has two. Similar to before, lift the lower yarn strand over the peg and the other yarn so that only one strand remains on the peg. Now use the needle to move this yarn over to the neighboring peg on the other side. Again lift the lower yarn over top, and repeat this until there is only one loop left on one last peg. Then just remove the loop from the peg and pull the yarn taught.
Use scissors to trim the excess yarn tails. If the ends of the rope aren’t as tidy as you’d like, you can use a dab of hot glue to help secure them a little bit.
Fold the rope into a pretzel shape and hot glue to secure. Cut a piece of string long enough to fit over your head and tie the ends in a knot. Hot glue the knot to the back of the pretzel.
Repeat and make lots of colorful pretzel necklaces!
And don’t forget to take the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, or send it to a loved one who lives with arthritis! By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change.