Hey!! I hope everyone is well and happy today? If not, it’s fine. Tomorrow is another day after all, and you’re all aware how much MS can differ day to day!
Well, it’s been a while since I have visited the MS Society Site. I did use the site an awful lot when I was first diagnosed and trying to make sense of the sudden and complete change of my life. I like to think I am something of an ‘MS Veteran’ now though. It’s almost 20 years since my first relapse (I’m 43 now). I was undiagnosed for 5 years however (my GP at the time was a bit of a dinosaur). But, I’m here and I’m fine and I can even go whole days sometimes without it popping into my head!
Whatever though, that’s just a bit of my background! I was hoping I could get some feedback from you and from the Leeds Branch too.
I’ve had a really tough couple of years with PIP and stuff. My political views and opinions on the DWP as a whole are very vocal so I shan’t share on here! As it is, due to the amount of time I took as sick leave from work over the last two years (since DLA changed to PIP), I ultimately lost my job earlier this year. I was ‘officially’ made redundant, but I did have it confirmed by my manager that my attendance was to blame. To be honest, I no longer really care!
As it was, I had an influx of unexpected cash and because I had been placed on garden leave for three months, I was also in receipt of a regular salary for a long time. Basically, I was being paid to decorate my house!!
The usual happened and I panicked and started to apply for everything! First interview, I rocked up and walked in and almost turned tail and walked back out again!! Not a tattoo or piercing in sight so it was very obvious I was wasting my time and theirs!
So what did I do? I decided to set up on my own! My website is up and running, as it my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. My physical shop opens in January so I will be my own boss and doing what I love doing!
Okay, long intro. Back to the purpose of this post… if you’re wondering what my business is, it’s all things vintage with a bit of a twist. I make novelty items and turn them into gift sets using something ‘vintage’ or adding a little twist to the norm. I knit basically! But I also design my own knitting patterns, adjust vintage patterns to suit today’s trends, design my own kits, knit wedding flowers, etc. etc. etc. But best of all (for me at least!) I will be giving knitting lessons. My mum taught me when I was 4 and I’ve knit all the way through the ‘unpopular’ era. It’s now becoming really fashionable again, and people are picking the needles up more and more.
Knitting also has plenty of health benefits. It keeps your mind healthy in a way similar to those ‘brain training’ games. This in turn can delay dementia as we age. As it keeps your hands moving in a certain way too, this also keeps them supple and again, keeps arthritis in your hands at bay due to the repetitive nature of what you are doing with your hands.
And this is the biggie for me. Depression is rife in people with MS, me included. Knitting is a calm and relaxing process in which your mind is kept busy. Studies have shown that it relieves stress, tension, but best of all, it can help with depression too. And I wholeheartedly agree with those experts!
Now, I know the MS Society Leeds Branch organises a meetup every so often. Therefore, I’d really like your opinion on whether or not you’d be interested in some kind of knitting group with lessons? Depending on what the general thoughts are, there may be a small fee for lessons which will cover equipment etc., but rest assured, I would keep this to the absolute minimum. It would be my intention to do this as a regular ongoing thing where people can come and go, but also to give you the chance to learn how to knit and to keep the lessons going long enough for you to complete a project you have chosen yourself. I can advise on yarn, needle size, experience etc.
Unfortunately, I would have to state that due to geographical locations, this would only be applicable to people in the Leeds area. But I do offer a service where you can purchase a course of knitting lessons which would be conducted via Skype or Facebook and could be individual or group lessons.
I really would value your opinions on this and if there is enough interest, I will then speak to MS Society Leeds and see if and when something can be arranged.
Much love, Rach xx