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Old 09-23-2007, 08:41 PM   #1
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Do you tense up when you knit?
When I knit for long periods of time, my left shoulder tenses up and hurts like nobody's business. I have to take breaks because of this. I'm right handed, so if anything I'd expect my right side to hurt, but no.

Anyone else experience this? Any tips?
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
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Pay attention to how you hold your arms and shoulders. Relax, there's no need to be tense while knitting.

I had similar problems when I started. Relaxing helps a lot. take frequent breaks, move your arms and shoulders around, and just shake them out from time to time.

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Old 09-23-2007, 08:52 PM   #3
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Thanks! I've started trying to shift positions, etc. It usually happens when I have a bad needle/yarn pairing, like wooden needles with a sticky yarn, so I'm trying to get better about that.

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Old 09-23-2007, 08:52 PM   #4
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I had this problem too. Do you throw your yarn with your right hand or do you hold your working yarn in the left?

I used to knit english style and my shoulders would hurt quite a bit, to where I didn't want to knit anymore. My dad suggested I learn continental (which isn't too hard to pick up). There is less movement involved in the shoulders, and it works so much better for me.

If you don't know how to knit continental and would like some help learning how, Amy has wonderful video's on just about anything you might come across in your knitting here.

One thing I also did was to change the chair I sat in. I find if I am slouchy in my comfy couch I end up paying for it when I knit like that.

Hope this helps and your shoulder is feeling better soon!

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Old 09-23-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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Continental may be harder on the wrists though; it depends on the individual person. Sitting for long periods of time no matter what you're doing, or how you're doing it, will cause the muscles to tighten up. It's a good idea to get up every hour or so and moved around - stretch, wiggle around and shake out body parts.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
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I knit English -- I taught myself to knit and this seemed like the easiest one to learn. I tried shifting to continental a while back but it didn't go very smoothly. I wonder if I should try again. Also, I totally get what you mean about slouching in the couch -- that's exactly what I do.

There's so much wisdom on these boards!
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:59 PM   #7
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Sometimes and ironically it happens more often when I knit Continental than English. LOL I think for me, knitting English is a more methodical way and so instinctively I relax while Continental I tend to hold the needles a tad tighter.

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Old 09-23-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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I used to do that a lot. I just had to make sure that I paid attention to how I was sitting and knitting. After awhile I noticed that I didn't tense up so much. I still tend to tense up while I knit if I am using a new technique or knitting something that requires a lot of concentration (like lace) but now I know that i need to watch how I am knitting during those times so I am not so sore after knitting.
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #9
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I don't know if knitting continental style will make a difference, but it may be worth a try. I found these forums after googling tutorials for continental knitting. I never thought I would be able to learn to do it, but the video made it very easy to pick up. And I'm even purling continental style now. I'm working on Silvers Palindrome scarf and it's going great with my 'new' style of knitting.
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:20 PM   #10
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I knit in the continental style, and I have no problems while knitting, but as a result of knitting for long periods of time, I have some left shoulder blade pain, but it's not while I'm knitting, and it usually goes away pretty quickly.
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