Helpful Hints

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Teaching someone to do latch hooking

Having leisure skills is important to everyone but, we believe, even more important to low vision patients.† Vision loss often reduces the patientís ability to do many things.† Our goal is to increase the range of possible activities and for one patient it was teaching her how to do latch hooking.

There are two basic components in latch hooking; following the pattern guide and hooking the yarn into the canvas.† Both steps can be made easier for low vision patients by using adaptive techniques.

Using the pattern guide requires the combination of effective lighting and magnification so that the pattern can be seen to be followed.† It is often helpful to enlarge the pattern using a copier to make it even easier to see.† The next step is making the actual latch hooking easier.† We use a contrasting square of paper (black on one side; white on the other) to be placed under the canvas.† This increases visibility of the various colors stamped on the canvas and increases visibility of the holes in the canvas.† We also use a guide strip of contrasting color paper placed above the row of canvas being worked on to highlight that row of holes.† Then, we use a highlighter pen to mark the pattern guide as each hole/ row was completed.

Using these techniques, our patient learned how to do latch hooking which improved the quality of her life.† More importantly, she learned that the tools of effective lighting and using contrast can make doing many tasks easier.