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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Switching overlockers- arthritis is impacting my ease of threading ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Switching overlockers- arthritis is impacting my ease of threading
iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 3/2/13 5:18 AM

So I've decided to switch my back up overlocker to something I can more easily thread. I've had arthritis flare up in my hands in several joints and wrist, that has made it increasingly difficult to thread the Janome 644D that I use as my back up machine. Its so depressing. Dr says its just wear and tear and not much can be done exept to look at the design of things I use and how I use my hands, to reduce strain and pain particularly during flare ups. Which ironically is often in winter, when I seem to want to sew knits the most. I'm not what you could call old and I have plans to sew for decades.
Even with tweezers, some of those thread guides on that model are small and tight, awkward to difficult for me to manage now. So I decided maybe it was time to do something about it...to find an easier to thread model.
Anyone else found this happened?
What did you do? Did you replace your machine with an easier to thread model?

So after some research, I've ordered a Bernette 610D for my replacement, because the front of the overlocker swivels out of the way to one side, to give complete access to the thread guides, with unfettered access for my hands to move around to thread it more freely. When I tested it out, I was surprised how much easier threading was with less machine in the way of my hands for threading. Really surprised. No need to tightly bunch up my hands tightly to reach thread points when threading. I really couldn't look at expensive jet air threading models which cost more than my main machine I use all the time. Good to leave myself somewhere to head 20 years from now perhaps? I'm hoping this switch helps for decades to come. I wondered if this has happened to anyone else and what you found worked out well for you? Have you found anything that works well to reduce what feels on some days like a debilitating condition that sucks the joy out of something you love to do?
-- Edited on 3/2/13 6:13 AM --

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

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Date: 3/2/13 7:49 AM

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with arthritis. It can be so painful. I had to give up my career because of carpal tunnel and have had to adjust to what I can and can't do. Have you looked into taking ginger or trying any of the anti-inflammatory diets?

I was going to suggest one of the Babylocks with air-threading. When looking for sergers, I tested one, but opted for a beefier Juki, although the threading was a nice feature. I have an older White 2000ATS which is wonderful for threading -- has the same opening up and so easy to thread. Someone else is making this model -- think the brand starts with an R. I hope your Bernette does the trick for you.
-- Edited on 3/2/13 7:52 AM --

solveg
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Date: 3/2/13 9:05 AM

Yes, wouldn't air threading be ideal for you?

lgrande
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In reply to iSewQuiltArt <<
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Date: 3/2/13 9:11 AM

I have arthritis in my thumb joints as well as fingers that aren't nearly as nimble as they used to be and I take all the help I can get with my Jet-Air serger and automatic threading sewing machine. I simply cannot get my fingers to work in tiny spaces or at odd angles. I love that my machines give me so much assistance.

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Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

marymary86
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Date: 3/2/13 11:20 AM

slightly off-topic but my doctor took me off all grains. I noticed my hands ached whenever I cheated.

Since I love to sew and knit, I quit cheating.

It may be worth looking into if the pain is keeping your from doing the things you love. You can start with googling "anti inflammatory diet" and/or ask questions here to get you started.

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Mary


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Date: 3/2/13 11:43 AM

The burning is unbearable and I am with you that it takes away something that I just love to do. I hope you find some relief and share it here. Rose

iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 3/3/13 4:11 AM

Gosh girls you all have such good ideas- thankyou so much.
I think the thing about jet air threading is that because I do have one overlocker I still love, and can thread easily enough, and that is my main machine, I didn't want to spend much to replace my back up machine if there was another option available right now. We are looking at buying a house sometime this year...so it is hard to justify a jet air model along with other things we are planning also. I did consider it briefly but hubby is keen for a back up to not be a huge investment right now.
Maybe depending on how things are down the track, I may have no alternative but jet air threading for loopers, but I thought if I can get away from not having to go there yet that would be good. And the 610 had a good RRP price anyway, and then was reduced on sale by another $150 less. If I can get some years out of it before I am forced to make the switch to jet air for now its probably the best option for me just because of timing.
I'm glad to hear those models work out well for those of you with arthritis though, its reassuring to know I have somewhere to go!

I think on the very worst of days the trick is to manage the joints and avoid doing things that irritate them further. But keeping them moving apart from the day or two when they're at their worst really tight, shiny, swollen and angry stage eems to help, just in ways that don't stress the joints. I think sewing and manipulating fabric and using some tools to sew, like using a sewing machine rather than a lot of hand sewing, is helpful for this. Heat seems to help after an attack as well.

I am already an avid drinker of ginger and ginger/ lemon infusion "teas" every day (well most days, they are all fruit and no actual tea leaves) and I do love fresh ginger in food. I am not convinced things like tomato don't make things worse when my hands get angry. Just occasionally I noticed when I had tomato soup in winter during an attack things seemed uncomfortable, but I didn't know what to blame most! I want to next time things flare up, try cabbage leaves over the joints. Smelly I know, but the relief from inflammation and discomfort cabbage offered me when I was a new Mother feeding babies was amazing, so I wonder if it might have the same effect on inflammed soft tissue around joints? I think it is worth a try at least, as there's nothing to lose. There is some sort of natural anti inflammatory property of fresh cabbage leaves nurses have reported for decades.
My Dad has tried sprinkling gelatine over his breakfast cereal and swears it helps. I don't eat breakfast cereals nor milk (lactose intolerant, and have to watch which types of grains are in my food for other reasons) I wonder if eating Jelly would help, or if I could get the Gelatine over other foods to eat and try.
He also tried Glucosamine supplements which he was recomended to ease knee problems and other joint issues, apparently it helps maintain joint lubrication. This might help others?
He ended up having one knee replacement a few years ago and the other is soon in a couple of months.
So we will see... anyone wanna join me in trying out the cabbage trick and see how you find it?
We're coming into autumn with cooler days and nights so it won't be long until I can give it a go. Wouldn't it be GREAT if we could find a nice, simple and inexpensive way to manage those hot and angry days so we can get back to the creative fabric fun, faster?

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

lgrande
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Date: 3/3/13 8:19 AM

I am an advocate of glucosamine. I take two every day (Kirkland brand) and also two Aleve (Kirkland brand). Amazingly, that keeps my arthritic thumbs well under control almost all the time. It also helps my knees.
I do get a flare-up once in a while but it's rare now.
Now if I could just get my fingers to work better and do what they're told I'd be in heaven.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

Michelle T

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Date: 3/3/13 10:30 AM

Have you ever tried to tie the new thread tot he old one? Many people do that to avoid having to rethread from scratch.

You can draw the thread all the way through to the needle this way.

Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my Dad's family. My grandmother had to give up golfing when her hands got too bad. She took up weaving and spinning. She found that working with raw fleece helped to keep her hands limber. On really bad days she baked bread from scratch and kneaded it for a long time until her fingers got limber.

As rheumatoid arthritis is a auto immune disease and I already have another autoimmune disease, I worry about it developing in me. My cousin got it in her hands very quickly after getting a very bad infection in her finger. One year her hands were okay, the next they were all swollen and gnarly.

I know several people who get good results with Gluclosomine for osteoarthritis.

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Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

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Date: 3/3/13 10:42 AM

Speaking of cabbage, our family has been juicing all sorts of fruits and vegetables with great results. There is so much nutrition in freshly juiced produce that can't be found in bottled juices. I became interested in cabbage juice because it is said to be great for calming intestinal inflammation -- don't know if it would carry over into the joints.

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