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View Full Version : Starting to think circular knitting is not for me


ad2knit
08-17-2013, 01:33 AM
at least with circular needles anyway!

so the last time you all heard from me (aside from the owl pattern post) I had told you my finger pain was back - and i think that had started due to using metal fixed circulars - although im not 100% certain. so after a month or so of not knitting my fingers felt great and i picked up my plastic straights and continued finishing this blanket (which i am now beginning to hate cos its taking forever) and my hands and fingers felt fine. THEN I placed an order for knit pro (i believe thats knitters pride in US/Canada) 4mm Spectra needle tips and a 60 cm cable and started knitting my swatch for my project that i want to knit. After a few rows of knitting with those needles my hands begin to hurt. So i do the sensible thing and stop and rest and stretch and take a break for a long period. Start up again. Ah the pain returns. and its still there after 2 days and ive not knitted!

So i've come to the conclusion that a) knitting could possibly not be for me b) circular knitting could possibly not be for me or c) i need to try another material if acrylic or metal circular needles arent doing me any good.

What do you all think? Any advice out there?

GrumpyGramma
08-17-2013, 02:16 AM
Did you see the video in this thread: Stretches to relieve hand pain/numbness (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114113&highlight=carpal)

The plastic needles I have do have some give to them that the others don't, maybe that's the difference?

salmonmac
08-17-2013, 04:53 AM
There are so many things in so many patterns that you can make with straight needles, why not switch to using them? If you enjoy knitting it's worth using patterns for straights (of which there are plenty). Even blankets and afghans can be made in sections so that you don't need large numbers of sts on the needles at once. There's almost always more than one way to work in knitting.

ad2knit
08-17-2013, 08:11 AM
There are so many things in so many patterns that you can make with straight needles, why not switch to using them? If you enjoy knitting it's worth using patterns for straights (of which there are plenty). Even blankets and afghans can be made in sections so that you don't need large numbers of sts on the needles at once. There's almost always more than one way to work in knitting.

But..surely you can't knit with straights if you're doing a seamless knit project?

GrumpyGramma
08-17-2013, 10:53 AM
Seaming isn't so bad if it means you can make the things you want. It is surprising what can be done on straight needles. Knitting in The Round Straight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPGXNoG0fjA)

Jan in CA
08-17-2013, 12:50 PM
It could be the needle material or it could be the way you hold the needles when knitting with circulars. Some people say that wood needles are gentler on the hands.

That said..it would be hard to do some seamless projects with straights. So if you decide straights are for you then you may have to avoid some patterns, but you can often find a similar one that's done flat and seamed. Things like sweaters, toys, hats, blankets.... All have seamed versions.

GrumpyGramma
08-17-2013, 01:21 PM
Specta needles are acrylic, correct? I found I did not like acrylic needles at all, they seemed sticky, now that I knit looser they might be better. Does your gauge with a given needle size come close to that given on the yarn label? I'm wondering if you are still knitting tighter than you need to. Maybe if circs are the problem somehow using dpn to knit in the round would work. When knitting in the round I often use a smaller tip for the left needle since that makes it easier to work the stitches with the right needle. There was a thread I saw recently about vintage circs made of nylon. Perhaps you could track one of them down and give it a try. I don't recall if there is an underlying medical problem. I mostly gave up crocheting because knitting is so much easier on my hands, even when I feel like I'm struggling to get the stitches for some reason. I really hope you can figure something out to your satisfaction, I'd hate to give up knitting.

ad2knit
08-17-2013, 06:36 PM
Im gonna see if I can exchange these needles for the Symphonie Cubics Rose ones.....unless anyone else can suggest a material/brand

ABC's Mom
08-18-2013, 09:22 AM
It may not be the needles that are giving you fits.
I took a class last weekend to learn continental style knitting. I used straight needles, bamboo, that I've used many times before without problems.
This time, however, after just a 3 hour class, with probably not more than an hour of actual knitting, my hands were killing me!
Conclusion, I was so intent on learning the new way of knitting that I was gripping the needles with an iron fist, hence the sore hands and wrists!!
I can usually knit for many hours using whatever needles I happen to pick up without any problems.

claireweber
08-18-2013, 11:59 AM
I am wondering if the length on the fixed circulars may be an issue as far as finger and hand positioning are concerned. I have found that the interchangeable needles are longer in length than the fixed circular. I have a chiaogoo interchangeable set of needles and a cable both of which I was able to purchase separately, avoiding the cost of buying an entire set. You could try purchasing a set when you are ready or perhaps someone you know has a pair or interchangeables you could try using.

When you are healed you might consider finishing your blanket and then start tackling this problem again. Which part of your fingers/hand are affected?

I'm sorry you are having to go through this, not only the pain but the frustration.

sissyv
08-25-2013, 02:12 AM
I guess it depends on what you are making- I knit a lot of blankets and instead of circulars I have a wooden tip set with plastic ends- they are straight but hold lots of stitches and they work great instead of circs for straight projects with lots of stitches. I too have pain when I knit and I have huge knots in my shoulders because of poor posture while I knit and a lot of hand/ finger pain. I have come to the conclusion that its secondary because it relaxes me and I push through because I like the end result. Voltaren Emulgel is wonderful stuff!

claireweber
08-25-2013, 11:40 AM
In case anyone is wondering:

Voltaren Emulgel (http://www.amazon.com/Voltaren-Emulgel-Reduces-Swelling-Grams/dp/B00503MPD2)

Jan in CA
08-25-2013, 12:25 PM
In case anyone is wondering:

Voltaren Emulgel (http://www.amazon.com/Voltaren-Emulgel-Reduces-Swelling-Grams/dp/B00503MPD2)

Just because you can buy this on the internet doesn't mean it's safe for you. It's in a class of drugs called NSAIDs and should be discussed with your doctor before you buy/use it as it could cause interractions with other medications.

http://www.rxlist.com/voltaren-gel-drug.htm

GrumpyGramma
08-25-2013, 04:52 PM
In case anyone is wondering:

Voltaren Emulgel (http://www.amazon.com/Voltaren-Emulgel-Reduces-Swelling-Grams/dp/B00503MPD2)

Thanks for the link. I'd looked it up and found it was a topical NSAID but didn't think to post it here. Voltaren Emulgel sounds like a wizard in Harry Potter!

Because I was curious about what it really does for me I stopped taking coconut oil for 4 or 5 days and started feeling pain in my thighs from riding my "shopping car" which is an adult tricycle and great for local shopping. I started taking the CO again and voila! back to no pain.

claireweber
08-25-2013, 10:21 PM
Because I was curious about what it really does for me I stopped taking coconut oil for 4 or 5 days and started feeling pain in my thighs from riding my "shopping car" which is an adult tricycle and great for local shopping. I started taking the CO again and voila! back to no pain.

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

So I'm guessing coconut oil has anti-inflammatory qualities? DH likes to use it for cooking, and it is one of the ingredients I use when making granola.

I use fish oil, turmeric and serrapeptase (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2003/sep2003_report_aas_01.htm) to ward off inflammation.

Anything that is ingested carries a potential for risk, food and natural supplements included. DH stopped using fish oil due to a number of studies showing possible risk for prostate cancer, along with an undesirable impact on his immune system.

Jan in CA
08-25-2013, 10:48 PM
I take coconut oil every day. I put it in my coffee inthe morning.

GrumpyGramma
08-25-2013, 11:26 PM
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

So I'm guessing coconut oil has anti-inflammatory qualities? DH likes to use it for cooking, and it is one of the ingredients I use when making granola.

I use fish oil, turmeric and serrapeptase (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2003/sep2003_report_aas_01.htm) to ward off inflammation.

Anything that is ingested carries a potential for risk, food and natural supplements included. DH stopped using fish oil due to a number of studies showing possible risk for prostate cancer, along with an undesirable impact on his immune system.


Virgin coconut oil is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties. I think it's possible to find a claim that it's good for anything that might ail you. There is probably a counter-claim for each one. I can only say from personal experience that it seems to help me. I take about 1 1/2 tsp. in coffee in the morning. That's a guesstimate measure, I don't measure it carefully and exactly. I also use turmeric and MSM.

claireweber
08-25-2013, 11:47 PM
Wow! In coffee, I've never heard of such a thing, going to have to try that. Does it impart much of a flavor? If so, how would you describe it?

GrumpyGramma
08-26-2013, 12:01 AM
I wouldn't say it's got much flavor at all. Getting used to oily coffee was the only tricky part.

jinxnit55
08-26-2013, 01:56 AM
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

So I'm guessing coconut oil has anti-inflammatory qualities? DH likes to use it for cooking, and it is one of the ingredients I use when making granola.

I use fish oil, turmeric and serrapeptase (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2003/sep2003_report_aas_01.htm) to ward off inflammation.

Anything that is ingested carries a potential for risk, food and natural supplements included. DH stopped using fish oil due to a number of studies showing possible risk for prostate cancer, along with an undesirable impact on his immune system.

The most recent study, by Brasky, et al, was a very poorly designed study. It was retrospective and the control group was flawed. It was a very controversial study among us in the medical community and was essentially laughed at by urologists.

The media is constantly trumpeting alarming "findings" and misleading the public. It drives us doctors crazy! Once a misleading headline comes out (because today's journalistic standards are so low, they probably don't have anybody do any fact checking, or even have people who can tell whether a study is well-designed or not) then we have to do damage control and try to get people back on their medicines or supplements.

Fish oil in reasonable amounts, that would be 1000-2000 mg daily, has been shown to help prevent dementia, help with inflammation, and may help prevent heart disease. Heart disease, hands down, is the largest killer of Americans today. It kills FAR more people than prostate cancer!

The best thing your DH can do is discuss it with his doctor, not Dr. Google:) and see what he/she says. If his doctor is well-informed, he will tell DH what to do that would be best for him. I have my DH take fish oil every day!

Sorry to get on my soapbox, but the media does a lot of damage with their overzealous reporting on poorly designed studies.

jinxnit55
08-26-2013, 02:06 AM
Just because you can buy this on the internet doesn't mean it's safe for you. It's in a class of drugs called NSAIDs and should be discussed with your doctor before you buy/use it as it could cause interractions with other medications.

http://www.rxlist.com/voltaren-gel-drug.htm

You are right, Jan! The link for this on Amazon is interesting, it must be a weaker version of the prescription Voltaren gel (which IS wonderful stuff, I agree, but still a drug that can cause side effects).

Jan in CA
08-26-2013, 12:24 PM
I don't like coconutty coffee so I use the expeller pressed type. There is no flavor. You can use a frother to mix the oily I to the coffee, but I don't mind the oil on top. It makes your lips super soft! :lol: I use about 1 tablespoon a day.

@Jinxknit- I've heard that the Voltaren is good for knees, but my arthritis is in my spine/neck. Plus I'm being treated for BP so I'm cautious. I'll as my doc, but I'm afraid I don't have much faith in them most of the time. :/

jinxnit55
08-26-2013, 09:20 PM
I don't like coconutty coffee so I use the expeller pressed type. There is no flavor. You can use a frother to mix the oily I to the coffee, but I don't mind the oil on top. It makes your lips super soft! :lol: I use about 1 tablespoon a day.

@Jinxknit- I've heard that the Voltaren is good for knees, but my arthritis is in my spine/neck. Plus I'm being treated for BP so I'm cautious. I'll as my doc, but I'm afraid I don't have much faith in them most of the time. :/

Jan, I use it in my neck and upper shoulders (traps), but only if I'm having a really bad day. It works well for any arthritic part, and it doesn't smell awful. But my copay even w/ insurance was $50. It was a 100 gram tube and I've had it for a year, it's about half used up. I love ibuprofen but it makes me bruise like crazy; also tough on stomach and kidneys. Between good posture, ergonomic remodel at work, stretching/yoga, Voltaren and Cymbalta I'm a much happier camper.

ABC's Mom
08-27-2013, 09:50 AM
Jan, I use it in my neck and upper shoulders (traps), but only if I'm having a really bad day. It works well for any arthritic part, and it doesn't smell awful. But my copay even w/ insurance was $50. It was a 100 gram tube and I've had it for a year, it's about half used up. I love ibuprofen but it makes me bruise like crazy; also tough on stomach and kidneys. Between good posture, ergonomic remodel at work, stretching/yoga, Voltaren and Cymbalta I'm a much happier camper.

Amen to the kidney part!! As a well seasoned dialysis nurse we all avoid NSAIDS if we can due to the damage it does to the kidneys. I do admit taking them once in awhile for headaches, or currently for the pain I'm having with a new crown. But never more than once a day and only if I have to. Really want to keep the old kidneys working as they should.

jinxnit55
08-29-2013, 08:57 PM
Amen to the kidney part!! As a well seasoned dialysis nurse we all avoid NSAIDS if we can due to the damage it does to the kidneys. I do admit taking them once in awhile for headaches, or currently for the pain I'm having with a new crown. But never more than once a day and only if I have to. Really want to keep the old kidneys working as they should.

Yeah, people don't realize what NSAIDs can do to their kidneys (or their stomachs).

claireweber
08-29-2013, 09:14 PM
In my younger days, I used to use Ibuprofen monthly for a period of two to three days. At the time my PCP had told me that up to 1800 units per day were safe, @Jinx, I am curious, do you know what the possible issues could be with this?

GrumpyGramma
08-29-2013, 09:36 PM
Sometimes I think I'm really, really lucky that I can't take most drugs. Ibuprofen makes me higher than a kite. I occasionally take aspirin, acetaminophen doesn't seem to do anything for me so I skip it. I know someone who developed kidney cancer, they removed her kidney then 4 yrs later found it had metastasized throughout her body. I suspect her use of arthritis medications and NSAIDs were a contributing factor. She and her son have both had spinal fusion surgery and were told not to take ibuprofen because it inhibits bone growth but aspirin was OK.

jinxnit55
08-30-2013, 09:04 PM
In my younger days, I used to use Ibuprofen monthly for a period of two to three days. At the time my PCP had told me that up to 1800 units per day were safe, @Jinx, I am curious, do you know what the possible issues could be with this?

If you've had labwork since that shows normal kidney function then you wouldn't have anything to worry about. You'd generally have to take 2400 mg a day for quite some time, a couple of months, say, drink a lot of alcohol with it, get dehydrated, etc., but it CAN damage kidneys over time.

Case in point: I had a patient with pretty severe endometriosis who took 800 mg ibuprofen 3 x a day for a couple of years. She wound up getting a hysterectomy, but, by the time I began seeing her she had mild kidney failure and had to be very careful to keep her blood pressure low, watch salt, and drink plenty of fluids.

ArtLady1981
09-02-2013, 04:55 PM
My guess would be your tension level, that is to say...you're nervous, and you're holding those circs with a tense grip.

But in the end...knit with whatever type of needle best suits you.

If you must knit something in-the-round using circs...try other methods of knitting with circs in-the-round. I personally use the two-circs method of knitting in-the-round on small diameter things. I'm much less tense. I switch to a single 24" circ as soon as possible.

I use one 24" Harmony circ and one 24" Nickel-plated for my two circs. The NP hold the first half of the stitches, the Harmony holds the last half of the stitches. No confusion where the round begins and ends.

claireweber
09-17-2013, 02:42 PM
Hello ad2knit - This arrived in my mailbox today, thought you might be interested.

19 Patterns for Straight Knitting Needles (http://openinboxexperiment.com/19-patterns-for-straight-knitting-needles/102807)

claireweber
09-22-2013, 07:47 PM
ad2 I keep thinking of you and wondering if there is a solution to your dilemma. When you are working with circulars, you typically keep a lot of stitches on the needles and the cable, depending on the length. I was wondering if you might try knitting with two circulars and if they were long enough, you could adjust the stitches in a way that does not hurt your hands and fingers. Just a thought.....

ad2knit
10-03-2013, 09:14 AM
ad2 I keep thinking of you and wondering if there is a solution to your dilemma. When you are working with circulars, you typically keep a lot of stitches on the needles and the cable, depending on the length. I was wondering if you might try knitting with two circulars and if they were long enough, you could adjust the stitches in a way that does not hurt your hands and fingers. Just a thought.....

hi! long time since i was on here...so an update to this post...i exchanged the spectra flair acrylic tips for the cubics rose.....tried them out for 5 mins yesterday - only knit two rows and my hands started to feel tingly! So...maybe circulars are not for me after all....and i'm best to stick with straights. Shame really...I've seen so many nice patterns which are seamless and it would make my life slightly easier if I made my first garment seam free..never mind...i'll put the yarn I bought for the dress i wanted to make to some use i'm sure...

Jan in CA
10-03-2013, 11:07 AM
That's too bad. I have to say again though that it's got to be the way you are holding circs or the length of the needles. Do you hold them the same as straights? What length are the tips (needle portion)?

ad2knit
10-04-2013, 11:15 PM
That's too bad. I have to say again though that it's got to be the way you are holding circs or the length of the needles. Do you hold them the same as straights? What length are the tips (needle portion)?


Hi Jan. yes I hold them the same way I do my straights. Think the needle tips are 4
inches long....l think.

DogCatMom
10-09-2013, 07:40 PM
4 inches is *very* short. Most circs (at least, four sets of mine from four different manufacturers) are

5 inches (Chiao Goo, #5 x 60"/150cm long)
5 inches (Addi Turbo lace, #1/2.25mm x 24"/60cm long)
5 inches (Hiya Hiya, #2.5/3mm x 47"/120 cm long)
5.25 inches (Susan Bates, #7/4.5 mm x 32"/81 cm long)

Looking through my circs, I noticed that the 16" and other short lengths had very short stalks (3.5" or so). They're pretty much unusable, IMHO.