Sunday, 6 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Brain Fog Blanket

If you've hung out at this blog for a while, you'll know that I suffer with something called M.E, and have done for 6 years now. Many people don't know very much about this illness (including doctors!), so that is why it was decided to create a week dedicated to spreading the word about this debilitating illness.

So what is M.E?

"Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) is an illness with many names. Within the NHS it is commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFS/M.E). Sometimes it is known as Myalgic Encephalopathy or diagnosed as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).

M.E is a long-term (chronic) fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems.

Many people with M.E experience persistent fatigue or pain. However, M.E is characterised by a range of additional symptoms."

The reason I began knitting, was because I needed a therapy of sorts to help me cope with the pain I am in (as I also suffer with Fibromyalgia) and to give me something to do (as I am no longer able to study for school, drive or get a job). Learning this amazing craft has not only given me a reason to wake up every morning, but it has brought me many friends and confidence (people ask me what I am doing and I am able to respond). 

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So, I decided that to raise awareness for M.E, I would design 10 M.E friendly patterns. One being released every day. The first of which, is the Brain Fog Blanket.

What is Brain Fog?

  • Reduced attention span
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Word-finding difficulties
  • Inability to plan or organise thoughts
  • Loss of concentration
When we suffer with any of the "brain fog" symptoms, it becomes very difficult to knit. That is why I wanted to design a pattern that means you can knit despite these difficult symptoms. So, the Brain Fog Blanket pattern was born. 

It is a simple 1 row pattern that you just repeat until the square is the desired size. Then cast off, and begin another! Once you have enough squares, you can start sewing them up to create your very own squishy blanket (I suggest waiting until you're having a good day before you start sewing up, or ask someone else to help you).

I have a bag of squares already, made from DK yarn I have hidden in my stash. 

You can download the pattern for free on Ravelry. If you don't have Ravelry, don't despair! Click here to download the PDF straight onto your computer.

I've provided the pattern for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity supporting young people (like myself) with M.E & CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry! Just by adding your Brain Fog Blanket project onto Ravelry you'll be spreading the word, so thank you :)

What would be really wonderful, if those with M.E (and those without) would knit one or two Brain Fog Blanket squares over the course of this week. Maybe blog about knitting them if you can, or simply adding them to your project page on Ravelry. This would bring so much awareness to this awful illness, and you'll also be on your way to creating a colourful blanket!

So tune in tomorrow for the release of the Candy Bobble Washcloth!

4 thoughts:

  1. You are not the first or even second person I have come across with ME AND Fybromyalgia. I wonder if it is common for one to make you prone to the other? I was once diagnosed with PVFS after a bought of the Flu. It was not pleasant and took me several months to get over it. If that is what you deal with on a daily and ongoing basis no wonder you need a simple brain fog blanket pattern. I'm in awe that you manage to blog let alone write patterns!

  2. What a great idea to write a pattern to raise awareness. I know quite a few people with ME and I know how debilitating it can be. I'll definitely try to have a go at knitting a square over the next week if I can. Thanks for sharing. Laura x

  3. @Stitched Together

    Yes, I've had Fibro for 10 years, M.E for 6. They do seem to go hand in hand, many people believe it is the same illness but in a spectrum. So CFS is focused mainly on fatigue while Fibro & M.E are on the pain side :)

    @Chaucer's Aunty

    Aw thank you, that means a lot!

  4. This such a great way to help raise awareness. I have Fibromyalgia and Sjogrens Syndrome so am well aware of brain fog and constant pain. Knitting has helped me so much and like you it has opened up a new world which has helped me cope. Kepp up the good work xx


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it! Hope you have a lovely, yarn filled day :D

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