Social Question

Mariah's avatar

Can you suggest a fairly inexpensive and physically undemanding hobby?

Asked by Mariah (24422points) October 24th, 2010

I’ll be getting surgery soon and have a lot of bedrest ahead of me. I’m a little worried about going crazy! I’m looking for ideas on how to spend my time when I’m not physically able to go anywhere.

I’m very much into crafting and would be open to suggestions on new crafts I could pick up. For instance, I’m trying to learn to crochet (although I’ve tried and failed several times before!). Also open to suggestions for fun, cheapish software I could play around with, and I have a Nintendo DS, so game recommendations on that would be useful too. Also taking recommendations on books that don’t require enormous amounts of concentration to get through (I imagine my attention span may not be at its height while I recover!). I’d be especially interested in those recommendations that are portable, as I have way too much hospitalization in my future.


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41 Answers

Nullo's avatar

Basket weaving.
I wish you a happy convalescence! May your troubles lessen your troubles!

Terry Pratchett has been proving himself a worthwhile addition to my own collection; you might consider some of his stuff.
You might also consider a Bible – the best-selling book in history.

chyna's avatar

::Hugs:: for you for under going your surgery. How about some puzzle books? Keeps your mind sharp, but not too demanding at first.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Make paper airplanes and fly them out of the window during chemistry class!
Try Solitaire or Sudoku.
And mad libs! Don’t forget mad libs

KhiaKarma's avatar

Making beaded or hemp necklaces. Then when you get out you can get a booth at the local market! Could be a chance to learn some new things. Fluther would be good too!

BarnacleBill's avatar

Altered art charms
Work on your family tree

janbb's avatar

Origami (the Japanese art of paper folding) is fun and inexpensive.

josie's avatar

Learn to play the guitar.

YARNLADY's avatar

Piano playing – the only expense is the portable piano, after that, it’s all free. I got mine, brand new, with one little crack in the case, at the Good Will Store for $99 and it works perfectly.

earthduzt's avatar

Here’s what you do…become an Aquarist, get a little aquarium (These are awesome) decorate and light it to taste put it in your room (excellent stress relief) watch the fish “flow and glide” through the water while listening to the slight sound of moving liquid…then if you have a laptop get a nice long role playing game (Like This), one that you can immerse yourself into the story line and just “get away” if need be. To break up the monotony have a couple books by your side, I’m not sure what you’re into as far as reading but you can escape into the pages of something good then grab something “crafty” to do…I personally like doing miniature can get the stuff at the craft store very inexpensive and its fun to do. I made one to look like miners back in the Gold Rush days…was neat. Anyways, just some ideas to get you through.

gailcalled's avatar

Do the old-fashioned jig-saw puzzles.
Learning to knit is easier than crocheting.
If you can sew two pieces of fabric together with a needle and thread, make a quilt.
Learn to play the ukulele, cheap and light but surprisingly pleasant.
Learn to paint with water colours.

roundsquare's avatar

Drawing. Music editing (I’m sure you can find free software for this). Any instrument.

As for books, I’d suggest John Grisham and Jeffery Archer for engaging books that don’t require a lot of thinking.

Maybe build a website about something you love…

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Learn to knit with the looms. It’s so easy, and soooo fun.

rooeytoo's avatar

I love sudoku and I have bacgammon on my laptop and play that a lot!

Crochet is good and once you get your fingers going, it is easy.

Lots of good suggestions here, I may try a couple of them myself!

tinytinytigers's avatar

for nintendo ds:
animal crossing
mario party

as for books, humor is always best for short attention spans:
dave barry
george carlin

Rarebear's avatar

You’re already a musician (looked at your formspring questions). It also depends on what kind of surgery you’re having and what you’ll be able to do. When I had surgery I spent my time practicing the banjo. Drove my wife nuts. What I would do is engross myself in a great book series that will take a long time to read.

Best of luck.

Iclamae's avatar

I was going to suggest knitting and crochet. I’m terrible at learning these from diagrams, so I look up videos online. is a great video source for knitting.
And I’ve found this to be helpful for crochet. Along with youtube searches.

There are so many things you can make with yarn and your local library is a great source for books with patterns. The internet too! I haven’t mastered crochet or knitting: I work one pattern at a time. I find a pattern I want to make and then learn all the techniques required for it and rough my way through. It usually takes a couple of tries to get the stitches right but it’s worth it in the end.

A sketchbook and pencil might be nice to have nearby, in case you fancy drawing or writing something.

For books, I’d recommend things by Donna Jo Napoli. She’s written a number of books with reworkings of our childhood fairy tales. They’re light, fun, and she gives an interesting version to explain why things happened the way they did.
“Crazy Jack”, “Beast”, “Zel”, “Spinners”, and “Sirena” are my favorites. She’s a young teen writer but I still love reading these stories as a 20something. These books are also usually available in public libraries.

For the DS, Professor Layton is good if you like puzzles.
Ninjatown is great if you like tower defense games (defend the exit from the invaders).

I hope you have a speedy recovery. :)

weeveeship's avatar

Chess. All you need is a board. You can play online or face-to-face.
For the DS: Pokemon (any version would do)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Litter your room with Origami.

rooeytoo's avatar

Origami is neat and that is a great site.

GQ and GA’s all around.

augustlan's avatar

In addition to the great suggestions you’ve already received, buy some crayons and/or colored pencils/markers and some cool coloring books.

autumnsunset's avatar

For interesting, yet easy reading, try the young adult book series Dear America. They are written in diary format and in a range of historical topics. I love to read and am a 37 year old wife and mother of 3, even though these are written for young adult, they are well worth reading.
As for crochet or knitting, I do both but find crochet to be easier once you get the hang of it. Definitely start with a basic square, using a large hook and crocheting loosely to get the hang of it.
The other thing I enjoy during times like this is looking through catalogs or magazines and cutting out articles or pictures and pasting in a notebook. I paste things that I would like to buy someday or that inspire me or things I would like to try making.
God bless you during your surgery and recovery.

autumnsunset's avatar

And yes, as Nullo said, reading the bible can not only give you something to read but can be very soothing and healing. If you don’t normally read the bible, start with the Psalms or John.

CMaz's avatar

Make a paper bag. Put it over your head.

Origami is fun too.

Austinlad's avatar

Write about your experience. Start it as a journal and see where that leads. Ad good luck with the surgery and recuperation. We’re pulling for ya.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Austinlad Great Idea.

I am surprised with all the suggestions of knitting and crochet, the supplies for that are pretty expensive.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@YARNLADY It’s under 10 bucks…

YARNLADY's avatar

@papayalily Could you show me a breakdown of that? It’s at least $3 per skein, and most projects take 3 or 4, plus the cost of the needles and pattern (or free online) Of course, the project I suggested has an initial cost of $100, then stops there. Knitting costs go on and on and on.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@YARNLADY This plus a skein of yarn. You don’t need a pattern for those, and for just a day where you’re laid up in bed it doesn’t have to be a whole project with several skeins, just something fun to keep you occupied. Paint supplies are also expensive, but for someone who just wants to try it one weekend you don’t buy tons of oil paints and nice canvases and premium brushes, you buy them a step up from water colors and let them try their hand first.

YARNLADY's avatar

@papayalily you don’t buy tons of oil paints and nice canvases and premium brushes ha, ha, so true. The knitting loom looks interesting.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@YARNLADY I think knitting can become extremely expensive if you do it a lot, and insist on quality. But just starting out, it’s one of the cheaper hobbies.

Nullo's avatar

Photo manipulation.

gailcalled's avatar

Personally,I would like to learn how to play chess and perhaps try, again, to learn some classical Greek.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gailcalled – you are so ethereal, I would probably read Danielle Steele and play chinese checkers, hehehe. (Just kidding about Danielle!)

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: And this from the artist who painted that chi-chi red beret on Milo? Maybe I would learn Photoshop.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gailcalled , hehehe touche (I don’t know how to put that thingy on – I should study that!).

Nullo's avatar

@gailcalled If you would like to learn chess, Yahoo Games will let you play against other people in real time.

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: Isn’t this and this
your handiwork? Milo uses it as his facebook photo, which has attracted lots of attention, including Hollywood and a modeling agency.

@Nullo: If, and I hope that is never, I have to convalesce from surgery, I will consider it. Thanks

rooeytoo's avatar

@gail – Milo looks quite dashing in his red beret! Did you see my dingo’s graduation from obedience school portrait, I think she looks pretty good too, hehehe

You know we are soon going to get modded for this conversation!

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: Maybe @Mariah would enjoy learning this skill. (Please PM me posthaste dingo’s graduation portrait.)

autumnsunset's avatar

Online games are a wonderful option if you have a laptop or a desktop near where you will be convalescing. is a great gamesite with tons of game options. And I agree, for beginner crochet all you need is one skein of inexpensive yarn (a great choice is Sugar and Cream) and one hook. Dishcloths or baby hats are a great beginner project. You can get both for under $10.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Try being a Philadel, uh, a Phianthrop, uh – collect stamps.

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