This page is supposed to tell you all about who I am and what I do.
I can tell you quite easily who I am – I am a 39 year old woman, who lives in the East Midlands region of the UK, with a loving partner and a grumpy cat. I grew up in North Yorkshire, which is a very beautiful place, filled with lots of the people I love, many of which are still living there. But I went away to university and stayed there, in a place I have grown to love.
But as for what I do – for a very long time, I wouldn’t have known how to fill this page up, because I don’t work, I have no children and I certainly don’t do any housework!
I had to give up work in 2001 because of ill health, and when I got worse, instead of better, I really didn’t know who I was. I felt that I had no purpose, because I didn’t fit into any of the traditional concepts of “useful member of society”.
Slowly over the following years I started to look at things that could fill my empty seeming days. I searched for ways to stimulate my brain and occupy my hands. I started to explore my long denied creativity (before illness I worked in the Financial Services industry). I became interested in ways that I could make things that were beautiful but also useful. I really wanted make something that had a purpose. The purpose part of my creativity was very important to me, and that is why I began to explore “crafts”. I started to make things, and when I acknowledged to myself that the things that I made had a place in the world, I came to realise that I was somebody. I finally knew that I had a purpose and an identity, I had become The CraftyCripple.
The identity of The CraftyCripple became fully fledged when I joined the on line knitting community, Ravelry. I decided on my name because I acknowledge my disability, and refuse to make it more comfortable for able-bodied folk, by calling it something less scary like “differently-abled”. I am in constant excruciating pain, which puts me flat on my back for big chunks of each day. I am doped up to the eyeballs with pain killers, which still don’t make it all go away. I am “crippled” by my condition. I chose to put that right out in the front where everyone can see it, because if you met me, you wouldn’t know I was ill, because it doesn’t show. I wanted to choose a name that reflects the limitations my body has set me, but that also proclaims my ability to create.
If you are curious about what my physical problems are, I have written a blog post about my medical condition. If you have a strong stomach you can check it out. But remember, you have been warned – there are photos!
In Spring 2011, I had surgery that made me a little less crippled, at least for now. I wanted to design more and use the part of my brain that had been freed up from saying “OW! it hurts!” over and over again. This freed part of my brain also suggested that if I want more people to look at my designs I really shouldn’t hit them over the head with my illness. This is especially true if I want them to look at the design, rather than the name. I decided to change my design and blog name to Stitched Together. This decision was blogged about here. I’m still The CraftyCripple, but I am also Stitched Together now too!
If you ever want to talk to me about me or my medical condition, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to talk about my designs then I recommend emailing me at email@example.com.
All of my online locations can be found here: About.me