Friday, November 09, 2007

Ergonomic Knitting (for Jean)

Jean left a comment on one of my knitting posts -- the one where I complained about RSI-type pain in my hands -- asking if there are any ways to avoid this. I've now done some research, and here's what I've come up with:

Here's a good column about RSI in knitting, and the prevention thereof.

This blog entry talks about the same topic, and offers some helpful hand stretches for knitters.

I've seen some sources that recommend the continental style of knitting, where the yarn is controlled with the left hand rather than the right, as faster, more efficient and more ergonomic than the right-handed method most Americans use. (I've also spoken to several experienced knitters who've tried continental and don't like it.) I haven't had much luck with this from reading online instructions, so when I have a bit of time, I need to watch this video about continental knitting.

In the meantime, I'm being careful to take plenty of breaks, not to knit for too long at a time, and to change positions and stretch when I feel sore. These measures seem to be helping.

In other news, my mother's home from the rehab place -- yay! -- and this morning, I checked out several more apartment buildings for my father. I found one I like a lot, one that's good in some ways but about which I also have reservations, and one I had a bad gut feeling about. But there are a lot more on the list for me to check out; this is going to be a long-term project.


  1. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Thank you, Susan! The stretches are great.

    And I'm very glad to hear that your mother is home and that you're finding some good options for your father as well.


  2. Susan, glad to hear your mom is back home again. Thanks for the update.


  3. I'm sorry knitting is giving you hand pain. Part of that, I think, is being a new knitter -- you'll likely loosen up as you knit more.

    As for continental, I LOVE IT. I learned that way on purpose precisely because my right wrist is prone to repetitive stress injuries. It helped, though, that I'd crocheted for years and I simply hold the yarn the same way for both. It was awkward at first, but now feels completely natural.

  4. Great to hear about your mom!

    I'm going to show the continental knitting video to my mom, who hasn't been able to knit since we kids were all tiny, because of carpal tunnel. It would be really neat if she could do it again!

  5. I have heard somewhere about a knitting style from Portugal that is different from English and Continental styles. I don't remember where and haven't had a chance to look up anything.


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