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ad2knit
03-27-2013, 08:31 AM
Hey everyone Im new here so thought Id say hi. I am a sort of beginner knitter and I am from the UK. Hi :-)

Ok so, like, I have a problem. I am currently trying to knot a baby blanket for my BFFs baby due in May. She has a baby shower in 2 weeks and I thought the blanket would be an awesome gift for the shower. Now I have a small problem in that I am getting pain in my hands. it started off in my right index finger but thar seemed to have eased and somehow has travelled to my left hand. um....advice please? I do stretches before/after knitting. The only rhing I can think of is this may have happened because of knitting too long and I hadnt realised yikes. Since it started (monday) I havent picked up ny needles and am just resting my hands. Can anyone advise on what I can do. I love knitting and I dont want to stop cos its theraputic and fun and I also need to finish this blanket. Help?

Edited to add I have been putting Ibuprofen gel on but not sure how this would help :/

Antares
03-27-2013, 08:43 AM
Hello from across the pond and welcome to KH.

Yeah, it kinda sounds like you might have overdone it. Can you tell that the pain has subsided any since you've stopped knitting for a while?

Often soreness will go away after a few days; however, if the pain hasn't lessened any, you might want to high thee to a doctor to make sure there's nothing wrong there!

When I push myself too hard either typing or knitting and/or crocheting (or any combination of those), my wrists and hands get really sore. I often hold them under a pulsing blast of water in the shower, moving it up and down my wrists and on the palms of my hands. That helps a lot, as does massage--especially if you can get someone else to do the massaging. Other than that, it requires taking a long break to let it heal and then not going at the knitting/typing/crocheting quite so hard--especially without lots of breaks in between sessions.

It's sure frustrating, I know. Perhaps you can give your friend the blanket still on the needles (so she can see it) and then finish it at a more leisurely pace.

Paulaque
03-27-2013, 10:58 AM
I think giving her the gift on the needles, and then finishing it is an excellent idea, this also shows that you put a lot of time and effort into the process of making the gift instead of buying something commercial. I love this idea!

GrumpyGramma
03-27-2013, 11:16 AM
Hi, there. I'm sorry you're suffering for your art. My hands hurt more when I knitted tighter and my arms got sore too. If your stitches are tight then you have to work harder to knit them and it puts more stress on your hands. You can try knitting looser. For a long time just trying to knit English (I'm a Continental knitter, I hold the yarn in my left hand) made my hands hurt and I'd really tense up all over. I find that washing a sinkful of dishes in water about as hot as I can stand helps my hands. The movements and motions I use to do the dishes while my hands are in the water makes a big difference, probably something like Antares in the shower.

Yeah, don't stress over finishing by the shower. She's your BFF and will love that you're making something for her baby. She won't want you in horrible pain just to be done by the shower.

One more thing: BREATHE. When I get focused and involved in something like learning knitting stitches and patterns I do forget to breathe, do you?

Antares
03-27-2013, 12:08 PM
One more thing: BREATHE. When I get focused and involved in something like learning knitting stitches and patterns I do forget to breathe, do you?

I breathe just fine when knitting, but I do find myself tensing up. I'm constantly having to tell myself: "Shoulders DOWN." I don't know why I scrunch up shoulders all the time, but it sure makes knitting much more stressful than it ought to be.

Great advice, GG. I'll have to try washing dishes in really hot water: It doesn't waste as much water, and it's more productive than just standing in the shower!

GrumpyGramma
03-27-2013, 12:17 PM
I breathe just fine when knitting, but I do find myself tensing up. I'm constantly having to tell myself: "Shoulders DOWN." I don't know why I scrunch up shoulders all the time, but it sure makes knitting much more stressful than it ought to be.

Great advice, GG. I'll have to try washing dishes in really hot water: It doesn't waste as much water, and it's more productive than just standing in the shower!

The so-called DW in my apt. isn't a DW so I'm constantly having to wash things by hand. IMO a DW isn't necessary for me, if I did dishes for a lot of people it would be different, and I'd really rather do them by hand. Besides, for those who can handle the dishes and stand at the sink (some people can't) it really can be therapeutic. I think a lot of our labor-saving devices aren't all they're cracked up to be. I can finish the dishes by hand much faster than messing around with the DW that then has to be unloaded and that part I really dislike so much I go knit instead. Years ago when I had a sprained thumb I realized how much the hot water in the kitchen sink helped it. I try to get my hands in hot water and move them around every day or so. I still waste water standing in the shower. It just feels so good.

butlersabroad
03-27-2013, 12:22 PM
Is the blanket large yet? You'd be surprised how much some things weigh on the needles once you get halfway through them. Perhaps if you can find a way to knit so you're not holding up the blanket with your hands/needles that might help.

Welcome too btw from another across the ponder but living on the "wrong" side of the pond these days!! :rofl:

Paulaque
03-27-2013, 12:47 PM
I agree, butlersabroad, I used to hold the knitting up, and my arms would get higher and higher the more rows I did, then one day it got too much, so I dropped it in my lap, it was like dropping a bowling ball! Since then I have come up with my own unique way of sitting, holding my arms, everything so that it is the most comfortable.

Jan in CA
03-27-2013, 01:18 PM
Welcome to Knitting Help!

Do you also work where you have to use a computer all day? That can add to the pain especially for a beginner.

First... What size needles and what yarn weight (worsted, fingering, etc)? What pattern? I agree that knitting too tight can cause unnecessary pain. So you need to match needle size to the gauge unless otherwise called for in a pattern.

Give your hands a break every half hour or so and don't overdo it. Warm water helps as mentioned.

Re: Dishwasher...couldn't live without mine. I have enough dishes so when there is only two of us I only do it twice a week or less. There are 4 of us here for a few months so it's getting run every 2-3 days. In my case I save water by using a short cycle and can wash a lot of dishes. I still have plenty of hand washing every day, too.

salmonmac
03-27-2013, 01:50 PM
Hi and welcome to KH!
Lots of suggestions and good questions about the pattern, yarn and needles. I'm just wondering if you're using circular needles for this baby blanket? They take the strain off your hands and wrists to some extent.

ad2knit
03-27-2013, 01:50 PM
hey everyone, thanks for the replies.

just so you know i'm knitting 3 inch blocks for the blanket so I can't exactly show her the blanket on a needle. Yes i'm going to go and do the dreaded seaming up blocks thing when its over. I did try and pick and knit so i wouldn't have to do all this seaming business but i made a mess somehow doing it and i thought i was kind of ruining the blanket so i just decided to knit the blocks individually.

I am using 4mm acrylic needles (or are they plastic :/) and I'm using baby Aran wool. The pattern I am using is this one http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/patchwork-garter-baby-throw

Oh please follow my blog: http://adknitaholic.blogspot.co.uk Its not much at the moment but hopefully it will be, at some stage.

salmonmac
03-27-2013, 05:46 PM
Ok, thanks for the link and the information on needles. So the weight of the blanket isn't the problem. It may just be subconscious anxiety about finishing on time and perhaps more hours knitting than you're used to. Taking a rest from knitting and coming back with only limited time with the needles may help.

ad2knit
03-27-2013, 07:39 PM
Ok, thanks for the link and the information on needles. So the weight of the blanket isn't the problem. It may just be subconscious anxiety about finishing on time and perhaps more hours knitting than you're used to. Taking a rest from knitting and coming back with only limited time with the needles may help.

Yes that is probably what it is lol - that or I'm just very into the knitting. once you start you cant stop type of thing lol! I should probably have like a timer on me set to buzz to tell me to stop or something after like 5 mins of knitting or something. Oh i'm going to be upset it won't be finished on time :( I don't want to show up to the shower empty handed.....although i know she'll get the blanket eventually but its something different than getting a baby grow or something like that isn't it? :( Hey ho.

Thanks for all your comments everyone. Anything else i can do? do you think wearing wrist braces would also help or anything?

ad2knit
03-27-2013, 07:43 PM
I breathe just fine when knitting, but I do find myself tensing up. I'm constantly having to tell myself: "Shoulders DOWN." I don't know why I scrunch up shoulders all the time, but it sure makes knitting much more stressful than it ought to be.

Great advice, GG. I'll have to try washing dishes in really hot water: It doesn't waste as much water, and it's more productive than just standing in the shower!

This is where the resting on a pillow while knitting helps me, I make sure my shoulders are kept down whilst I'm knitting. Otherwise soreness on my arms happen yikes.

GrumpyGramma
03-27-2013, 09:29 PM
I'm working on knitting backwards (something new for me) and I noticed my hands and wrists were complaining. I have to pay attention to how I'm holding the needles, doing something new I find I'm trying to get a death grip on them like I did when I first started knitting. So, I'm thinking that you might see if you can loosen your grip on the needles and pay attention to how you're moving your hands, wrists, arms as you knit. Just a thought based on my current new experience.

jinxnit55
03-27-2013, 10:15 PM
I am a relatively new knitter and at first my hands were KILLING me! Partly because I was tensing up and anxious about what I was trying, and also because I get obsessive and wouldn't stop to take a break. I use a computer at work, too so there's your double whammy.

I started some stretches, made myself take breaks more often, and once I got more comfortable with what I was doing, it seemed to ease up. Also, I got some good quality needles so the yarn slid over them, and I wasn't having to force anything.

I was lamenting about this to a friend who also knits, and she said, "Awwhh, just suck it up; your hands will get used to it," which also sort of turned out to be true. All of the above seemed to coalesce into being able to do it without too much pain (over a month or so). However, if the pain HADN'T gone away, I would've taken a break and just READ obsessively about knitting. I also ordered a video about stretches for carpal tunnel syndrome, but I never had to use it! HTH

salmonmac
03-28-2013, 05:29 AM
Well, we all understand about knitting just one more row or 10 or 12. I'd say the timer is a good idea unless it makes you tense up and knit faster because of the time constraint. You could try knitting one block or half a block or some number of rows at each sitting.
Antares' idea is a good one. Take a small sample of the blanket, maybe 4 squares sewn together, to the shower to give an idea of what this lovely blanket will look like.

AngelaR
03-28-2013, 08:53 AM
I also think it's a mix between knitting too tightly and anxiety over time constraints on the project. Have a cup of tea, take a deep breath and relax. Knitting is supposed to be fun! I'm sure a bit of relaxation will do you no end of good. :thumbsup:

ad2knit
03-28-2013, 02:56 PM
This morning i woke up and got dressed and everything and I thought "ah no pain, perfect. I'll get back to the blanket and work on it SLOWLY and WITH BREAKS. I've knitted 3 rows and had like 3 breaks each time...but my index fingers are hurting a little again...so perhaps i need to take a little bit of a longer break before i start knitting again. grrrr!

Ive tried knitting continental cos i read somewhere its easier on the hands but as easy as it is, for some reason i'm tensing up trying to do it and also my knitting is rather loose knitting continental..so think i'm going to continue knitting english until the blanket is done. I'd hate for my squares to look odd - what a rubbish present it would turn out to be otherwise.

I wonder if wearing a wrist brace or something like that would help? What do you all think?

GrumpyGramma
03-28-2013, 03:07 PM
I'm a Continental knitter and for me it is easier. English style is just hard - for me. BUT - and this is important - one way is not better than the other. If trying to knit Continental makes things worse, don't worry about it and stick with what works for you. Maybe some English style knitters will have some good insights for you and I'll keep reading because maybe I'll pick up some good hints for me.

Antares
03-28-2013, 04:08 PM
Antares' idea is a good one. Take a small sample of the blanket, maybe 4 squares sewn together, to the shower to give an idea of what this lovely blanket will look like.

Wait! You mean take the squares to the BABY shower and not to the shower in the bathroom! Gave me a start there (as in, what the heck did I type this time?)! :eyes:

And Ad2knit, I've not tried hand braces. You might get some and see if they help. Since everyone is different, you're the only who can decide if they will benefit you.

barbarajo
03-28-2013, 07:50 PM
Welcome to knitting help! You've reminded me of the baby blanket I had to end recently for my daughter who just had her baby a few days ago. It was more like an afghan[to me] than a blanket, 2 strands and had to use circular needles. I thought: sure I can do this, it's only knit stitches. Wrong! I had to stop & rest my hands & fingers as well as my shoulders quite often, I had 5 or 6 colors to use and when I began to make mistakes the anger grew so I had to finally end it! She took it the way it was minus the last color and loves it, mistakes & all. Good lesson learned, don't take on more than you're capable of and be sure to rest in between! Love all the advise about the hot water, sounds so soothing!

Paulaque
03-28-2013, 07:54 PM
This morning i woke up and got dressed and everything and I thought "ah no pain, perfect. I'll get back to the blanket and work on it SLOWLY and WITH BREAKS. I've knitted 3 rows and had like 3 breaks each time...but my index fingers are hurting a little again...so perhaps i need to take a little bit of a longer break before i start knitting again. grrrr!

Ive tried knitting continental cos i read somewhere its easier on the hands but as easy as it is, for some reason i'm tensing up trying to do it and also my knitting is rather loose knitting continental..so think i'm going to continue knitting english until the blanket is done. I'd hate for my squares to look odd - what a rubbish present it would turn out to be otherwise.

I wonder if wearing a wrist brace or something like that would help? What do you all think?
I wear isotoner theraputic gloves (you can get them on ebay, and lionbrand.com sells pretty much the same thing). They have really helped, but I don't know if that would be too much :( I have psoriatic and osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, so there are days when I don't knit at all.

GrumpyGramma
03-28-2013, 09:09 PM
Welcome to knitting help! You've reminded me of the baby blanket I had to end recently for my daughter who just had her baby a few days ago. It was more like an afghan[to me] than a blanket, 2 strands and had to use circular needles. I thought: sure I can do this, it's only knit stitches. Wrong! I had to stop & rest my hands & fingers as well as my shoulders quite often, I had 5 or 6 colors to use and when I began to make mistakes the anger grew so I had to finally end it! She took it the way it was minus the last color and loves it, mistakes & all. Good lesson learned, don't take on more than you're capable of and be sure to rest in between! Love all the advise about the hot water, sounds so soothing!


You didn't point out the most important lesson here: She took it the way it was minus the last color and loves it, mistakes & all.

We always try to do our best and would love to achieve perfection. Some come mighty darned close to perfection, I'm not there yet and maybe never will be. The people I knit for love having hand made things, they consider them to be special gifts. Thank you for reminding me of this.

ad2knit
03-29-2013, 11:48 AM
I just iced my hurty finger cos everyone recommends icing it and I have to say...it hasnt helped ME! Well I guess I need a rather long break no knitting during the Easter break then booo hoo hoooo