Knowing what to do when your passion for knitting begins to cause you pain can keep you knitting and purling. 


5 Best Tips For When Knitting Hurts

By Alice Seidel

If you are like me, when it comes to your knitting, you just can't leave it alone! No matter how busy my day, there are always a few hours that I leave open strictly for my knitting projects.

Notice, I didn't say "project"; as I have many knitted creations going all at the same time. Diversity is the spice of life, but it can also be the bane of knitters! So, what to do when not only your fingers hurt, but your back and neck as well?

Knitting is one of those crafts that is not only fun to do, but can, unfortunately, cause some less than desired effects.

A few of these include repetitive motion problems, improper sitting, arthritis, and the actual style of knitting you do, if you can believe that!

I know when I've been knitting for a long time, when I stop, my fingers can actually feel locked up, and my legs are stiff as boards.

So, what to do? First, if you have true medical conditions, ask your doctor what the best solutions for you might be; otherwise, here are five tips to follow when knitting hurts.

First, be aware of how you sit when you knit. It's easy to be too comfortable, serenely squished into your favorite chair without a worry in the world. Then, we tend to lean forward too much for our knitting; try remembering to sit up straight, or rest your arms on the arm-rests. That will force your body back slightly and help you when you are not even thinking about it.

Second, throw a little gymnastics in there! When you get to the end of a row, wiggle your fingers repeatedly, and stretch your fingers and hands as you finish a section or before changing colors. Make it a habit and it will become second-nature. Exercise done well, can make all the difference, and help to make you feel 20 years younger, take it from me!

Third, if you suffer from arthritis, try knitting with circular needles more than with straight needles, as circular needles tend to keep your work more in your lap and the weight of your work off your fingers and arms. Therapeutic gloves help to keep your joints warm, and lessen movement; the eight-hour arthritis wraps work wonders, too!

Fourth, knitting is very repetitive. It is definitely not boring, though, as you watch your projects taking shape. Many knitters find that continental knitting is more comfortable as the yarn is held in your right hand, as opposed to the English method of knitting, where the yarn is held in your left hand. Experiment for yourself as to which method is the easiest for you.

Fifth, as much as I hate to say it, give knitting a break! Arghhhhh....there, I said it! If you are truly addicted, then knit smaller projects, such as dishcloths, booties, baby blankets; and use lighter yarns rather than those bulky or chunky yarns. They can be quite hard to knit with sometimes. Then, besides knitting, try other activities that use fine motor skills, too.

I know as we age, our bodies change as well, but, where there is a will there is a way to knit.... ...even when it hurts!

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