Sit Up Straight

Here's the command center at Mary Scott Huff Hand Knitter Headquarters. I write books here, tend the blog, and do everything else technicious. What you can't tell from this photo is that my monitor is adjusted to its maximum height, but I still have to squish down in my seat for it to be at eye level when I work. Which messes up my hand and wrist alignment, in addition to my spine and neck.

And I've been using it like this for as long as I can remember.

Before/Wrong Monitor Height

On a recent visit, my friend Carson Demers pointed out that I was slouching in my seat when I work. That's what happens when your besty is Knitting's foremost expert on ergonomics. He further informed me that this arrangement was also creating excess glare and eyestrain. Who knew! Okay, Carson did. Lucky for me.

You can read about this subject, and so much more, in Carson's new book Knitting Comfortably. Get your copy immediately and learn to care for your body so you can knit forever without injury!

I decided to impress Carson next time he's over. And to fix my dumbass posture, of course. I took myself shopping for a monitor stand, to raise both my computer and my ergonomic standards.

Surprising nobody, I couldn't find a riser I thought was pretty and/or cheap enough. Unfazed, I ambled over to the big blue store where the lumber lives, and bought $17 worth of wood. I spent $12 for a piece of birch measuring 12" x 24", and $5 for another one that was 6" x 24". I batted my eyelashes at one of the lumber codgers there, who kindly cut my 6" x 24" piece neatly in half. Mischief managed, and I didn't even have to drag out my saw.

Back at home, I set up shop on the kitchen island. After a light sanding, I glued the short pieces to the outer edges of the top. Notice how the top is placed over the side pieces? This is so the sides bear the weight of the monitor, rather than the fasteners. To hold the sides in place while the glue dried, I drove some finish brads in, down from the top.

Then I patiently (not) waited for the glue to dry. After that there was a little more sanding, and the application of some stain I had leftover from when I built my desk.

Once the stain dried (more patience. Not.), I added four corner braces underneath. They may or may not have been necessary, but my monitor is a 27" all-in-one computer, which is pretty heavy. I'm sort of a belt-and-suspenders type where construction projects are concerned.

And then, because I am bound at a cellular level to decorate everything in the whole wide world, I added these cute nailheads to the edges of the stand. I could have covered my finish nails with putty to hide them, but since I knew I'd be adding the nailheads, I just placed them strategically to cover the brads. Tip: use a ruler to space them precisely.

After/Right Monitor Height

Here's the finished result. I think the nailheads look kinda steampunky and cool. As an added bonus, the space underneath the stand is wide enough to slide my keyboard under when I need room to draw or reference a knitting book. More desktop acreage is always welcome! The whole circus only took one afternoon and a few dollars. The hardest part was waiting for everything to dry. Pleased with myself much? Yup.

And now a challenge for you: Are you like me, and potentially hurting yourself with your computer setup? Well stop it. Make one of these for yourself and sit up straight. And even if your home office is perfect, do check out Carson's book for the benefit of his wisdom in all your fibery pursuits. I love you and I want you to be safe and healthy.