Posted by: jinniver | January 27, 2009

Injured in the line of duty

Karma’s a…well, you know.

needle injury (1)

This isn’t the first time I’ve suffered a fiber-arts-related injury. Nor is this the first time it was a result of a quick karmic comeback.  It’s not even the first time it happened because I made fun of someone in NASCAR hurting themselves.  Last time, I snickered at a pit crew member who hurt his knee while jumping up and down to celebrate a successful pit stop.  Less than 24 hours later, I tweaked a wrist overstressed by too much knitting.

This time, I was chuckling at NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, who managed to cut a finger badly enough to require surgery. While that might not sound funny, it’s a little funny when you know that last off-season Johnson broke his wrist falling out of a golf cart.  Actually, if we’re being exact–Jimmie wasn’t, in initial interviews–falling off of a golf cart while roof surfing. Basically, it sounds like the guy needs much better off-season supervision.

Apparently, laughing at a guy who requires surgery earns one a more rapid visit from the karma fairy, because only a few hours after posting Johnson’s story to my NASCAR groups in Ravelry–complete with snide comment–I was trying to stop the bleeding.

I’ve been working on my needle case for a couple days now, and I’m liking how the pansies are coming. I didn’t like the colors that the pattern book called for, so I’ve chosen my own and they’re working well. Pushing the blunt needle through the denim fabric and the occasional several layers of embroidery floss has been tough, especially when I’m doing it from behind and am trying to aim the needle through the holes in the waste canvas without being able to see what I was doing.

denim pansy needle case (2)

So when I found myself unable to get the needle through when pushing from the front–which was a first–I just assumed I was running into the same obstructions.  I should have looked–the obstruction was my left ring finger.

needle injury (2)

Hindsight, and all that.

A little background, since most readers are probably wondering how the heck I didn’t feel a needle poking me until it was embedded:  tapestry needles are blunt, as I said earlier, so poking yourself with one doesn’t really hurt (unless you force it through a body part…which takes a fair amount of force, thanks to said bluntness).  And right now, I’ve got reduced sensation in both hands, thanks to my multiple sclerosis.  Fortunately, I’ve got relapsing/remitting MS, and the sensation is slowly coming back–I’m almost completely back to normal on the right hand, and the left hand only has reduced sensation from the tips to the second knuckle.  It really hasn’t caused me much trouble, although when it first developed I had to make sure I had a good grip on things.

So, that meant I couldn’t feel the needle when it was just poking me on the surface of my finger…but I was quite aware of it after shoving it about a half a centimeter deep into the side of my left ring finger, just under the nail.  Fortunately, the old stand-by treatment of “stick finger in mouth” got the bleeding to mostly stop, so I could put on a band-aid.  I was left blooded but unbowed…and ready to stitch through the pain (just the pain, not my finger).  At least now it’ll be harder to push the needle through denim, embroidery floss, band-aid, and finger, if I forget to keep my fingers clear next time.

denim pansy needle case (1)



  1. Having had one of those injuries myself, I can attest that they’re painful. I gave up waste canvas shortly thereafter…

  2. Apparently the sides of the fingers have fewer nerve endings than the pads – that’s why the blood donor centre now does finger-prick-iron-tests in the side of the finger.

    Hope you’re feeling all better.

  3. Ow, ow, ow!! I’ve done similar things, but with a sharper needle–embroidery and quilting. I think I’ll stick with spinning, knitting and weaving now….

  4. ow!!!

  5. Well….at least you didn’t get any blood on your project….

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