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I have written many a post on how hobbies can help your soul and make you feel better and happier and one way to see if you would like to take up a new hobby is to buy a book and learn all about it.

In November I wrote a post on “5 Books on Hobbies for Happiness to Buy This Christmas”, This list included Puzzle Books, Embroidery, Calligraphy, Knitting and Sewing. Another post I wrote in August was “12 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem With a New Skill” This list included Blogging, Candle Making, Painting & Drawing, Birdwatching, Baking, Photography, Needlework, Knitting & Crochet, Reading, Scrapbooking, Hand Made Cards and Writing, all of which you could learn from a book or an online course.

Without my hobbies, I know for a fact that I would be quite miserable. Even on my worst days, I can go to another place by simply reading my book, blogging, or doing a bit of art. It takes me away from my pain into another world.

I have found another couple of books I thought I would add to my hobby lists which are about knitting and embroidery. It’s still not too late to get these from Santa then if we do have a lockdown situation in January you have something to enjoy.

The Sock Knitting Bible by Lynne Rowe is available from Amazon for £13.99

If you were inspired by Tom Daley’s poolside knitting triumphs then this is the book for you? It is the ultimate guide for knitters of all abilities from beginners to advanced techniques.

The Sock Knitting Bible will break down all the different techniques and show wannabe sock knitters that there is nothing to be scared of. Covering everything from casting on to colourwork and everything in between, knitters won’t find a better reference book for all their sock knitting needs. Whether you want to knit toe-up, cuff down or even two at a time socks, we’ve got it covered. Sock knitting is the perfect portable project too – once you know the basics you can dip in and out until they are flying off your needles!

There are a lot of sock pattern books out there but this is more than a pattern book – it covers all the different techniques and methods for sock knitting! There are step-by-step instructions for all the various sock knitting techniques so that instead of sounding like a foreign language making socks becomes your second language. There are also step-by-steps instructions for three basic socks so that you can follow them even if you are an absolute beginner and then start to choose your preferred method for sock making.

Author Lynne Rowe explains what kind of yarns are best suited to different styles of socks and shares her techniques for how to get the best finish. We also look at the different kinds of tools available for making socks so you can experiment with double pointed needles, the magic loop method and small circular needles as well as innovative new products such as flexible dpns until you find your own favourite method.

With this book you can put that beautiful skein of hand dyed yarn you couldn’t resist to good use by making the perfect pair of socks because in addition to the extensive techniques there are also 10 projects by some of the most exciting and talented sock designers, illustrating a number of the different knitting methods and styles. Here you will find stripes, fair isle, cables, lacy, sparkly and snuggly socks: a pattern for all your needs. It won’t be long before you are delighting your friends and family with your new found skills.

The embroidery book is called The Big Book of Hand-Embroidery Projects: 52 Patterns You’ll Love to Stitch by That Patchwork Place and is available on Amazon for £20.22

This book is perfect if you are new to embroidery or even if you are a pro as it has so many patterns you can try. Sit back and unwind as you surround yourself with the art (and fun!) of hand embroidery.

You’ll find 52 projects including tiny treasures, tea towels, small quilts and runners, bags and pouches, and even note cards–all designed to give your hands something beautiful to stitch while you kick back and relax.

Gather your favourite threads and flosses, scissors or snips, and a thimble, and prepare to embroider the evening away. Whether it’s been a while or you’ve never embroidered before, you’ll find all you need in this hefty volume packed with pretty projects from your favourite designers like Gail Pan, Robin Kingsley, Kathy Schmitz, Anni Downs, Lynette Anderson, and more.

Also, you’ll have all the information on tools, techniques, and stitches at your fingertips to set you up for success to make any of the featured designs. Put on the kettle, brew a cup of your favourite coffee or tea, and immerse yourself in hand embroidery with this treat for your stitching soul.

Whatever you decide might be a great little hobby for you I hope you can enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine.

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September 1st is the start of Pain Awareness month so I thought I would start it by writing a post on how you actually define pain.

According to the rule books pain in its simplest definition, is a signal from the nervous system that something is wrong in the body. Chronic pain is the persistent manifestation of this natural signal, and it can linger for weeks, months or years, and have any number of causes, from past injury to long-term illness to psychogenic pain-pain with no apparent physical cause.

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage.” In medical diagnosis, pain is regarded as a symptom of an underlying condition.

The British Pain Society write that often the cause of pain is obvious, a broken leg, or a bruise. But there are times when the source of pain is unseen, for example a slipped disc. Occasionally it is very difficult to find the exact cause of a person’s pain.

Health professionals use different terms for different types of pain.
•Short-term pain is called Acute Pain. An example is a sprained ankle.
•Long-term is called Persistent or Chronic Pain. Back trouble or arthritis are examples.
•Pain that comes and goes is called Recurrent or Intermittent Pain. A tooth ache could be one.

Wikipedia write that pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Most pain resolves once the noxious stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but it may persist despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body. Sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Many acute pains are like an alarm telling us something is wrong. Most minor ones are easy to treat; others may be a sign of something more serious. For example the pain of a broken leg will make us rest the leg until it heals. Here the pain is helping.

Regardless of how it originates, it’s widely documented that people with chronic pain suffer effects that are far more than physical. The mental and emotional side effects may be even more debilitating and can include stress, depression, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, anger, divorce, abandonment by family and friends, and even suicidal tendencies.

Above all, the main concept to understand about managing chronic pain and the stress that comes with it is that you do have control and you can help alleviate your suffering. Even if the pain persists, the suffering you feel because of it can be greatly diminished.

If someone asked you how you would define pain, what would you say?

Source : Wikipedia, British Pain Society,

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With Pain Awareness Month fast approaching, I thought I would kick off my first post about what comments someone in pain should totally ignore. We have all been there – you are feeling awful and in terrible pain and yet you get a comment that will make you feel as if your pain could not possibly be real. Some of the classic comments which you should totally ignore are –

  1. We all get more aches and pains as we get older.
  2. I think I have that, too.
  3. If you get more sleep, you will feel better.
  4. You look to well to be sick.
  5. At least it’s not life threatening.
  6. You just need to exercise more.
  7. It’s all in your head.
  8. You don’t look sick.
  9. Have you tried?
  10. Does that condition really exist?
  11. Tell me about it!
  12. I hope you will feel better soon.
  13. If you lose weight it might help.
  14. Are you better yet?
  15. You were obviously overdoing things then?
  16. If you focused on something else you would feel better.
  17. Everyone has bad days.
  18. You should stop doing…
  19. It could be worse.
  20. It can’t hurt that bad.