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Fitter Knitters! Tips to Keep Stitching

By Kathleen Zinck, Physiotherapist

Ever worked on a knitting project too long? How can you avoid an injury? The best thing is to develop good habits before an issue starts. Many of us are starting or have already started Christmas projects, and the time crunch can lead one to knitting more hours than they normally would. Here are some basic tips to keep you stitching:

1. Good Posture

Sit in a sturdy, supportive chair. Use a rolled up medium-sized towel and place behind your low back to support and improve posture. If you don’t have arms on your chair, use pillows under your forearms to bring your arms up and project closer to eye level. Keep the chest elevated and avoid bending your neck far down. 

2. Take Breaks

Set a 30-45 min timer - when it goes off, walk around the room to help your circulation. Changing your activity and frequent breaks will keep you from developing repetitive strain injuries and give your body time to recover.

3. Stretch

When you do take a break, take a moment to complete the stretches we have recommended below. Take a deep breath to get oxygen into your body, ground yourself, and feed your muscles. Listen to your body! Take breaks when you feel fatigued or start to feel strained.

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From an article published by Rosee Woodland from:

These suggestions are made:

  • Make sure you needles, yarn, and patterns are positioned so that they cause the least amount of strain to your fingers, hand, wrist, neck and back.

  • Pay attention if your wrists and fingers are sore. Know your body to avoid repetitive stress injury (RSI).

  • Try new stitch patterns to give your fingers, arms, and wrists a rest from old patterns.

  • Watch for triggers with repetition of a particular stitch using the same needles. Circular needles can help because the weight of the knitting is carried on the wire rather than your hands.

  • When heavy lifting & carrying you knitting supplies, try a backpack to distribute the weight more evenly rather than a shoulder bag.

  • In cold weather, wear wrist and arm warmers (they can make a great difference).

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  • Stress & tension will lead your muscles to be tight. Try gentle massage, heat on tired muscles.

  • If you are inflamed in your hands or wrist, use 10-15 minutes of ice and speak to your doctor.

Knitting Benefits! In an article published by Dr. Lucie Brosseau & Dr. Guillaume Leonard, the research revealed:

  • Knitting made a big difference with people who have osteoarthritis of the hand.

  • Loosened up the joints much faster and for the rest of the day

  • Increased pain when they stopped knitting

  • Knitting increased coordination and also reduced pain

  • Knitting effects lasted throughout the day

  • Knitting is a meaningful exercise with a purpose

Lynn Redmond