Sore Hands?

MasonM's picture

Has anyone else had a problem with cramping and/or general soreness in their hands when first starting out? I know I have a touch of arthritis, but not serious. After knitting for a while I have to stop and take a break as my hands hurt like crazy. Am I doing something wrong or does it just take a while to get the muscles used to the new activity?

On an unrelated side note, I wish I had discovered knitting last year when I was laid up from a car wreck. I was down for 14 months from a fractured pelvis and knitting sure would have been a great way to pass the time. Kicking myself for not having thought of it then. I blame the narcotics.

Knitting, although great

Knitting, although great therapy for arthritis, can lead to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) as well if you knit for long periods at a time. Make sure that you’re doing some hand-stretching and rest for a bit as well.

A very good exercise to do

A very good exercise to do quickly while knitting:
Spread your fingers on both hands and place them together tip-to-tip (sort of like "here's the church") and push them against each other--isometric-- for a minute. Relax and repeat about 3 times. Then relax and give a good shake to both hands at the wrist. I try to do this about every half hour if I am knitting for a few hours at a time.
Matt

kiwiknitter's picture

I find this is the best

I find this is the best excercise I do to keep my fingers and wrists from fatigue. I try to remember to do it even when I'm not knitting, such as while waiting for the bus, etc.

My knitting is totally tubular!

MasonM's picture

Thanks. I agree. That's what

Thanks. I agree. That's what I've been doing to work out the stiffness.

I making an effort to loosen my grip and it's helped a lot.

Mason

Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

MasonM's picture

Thanks guys. You're all

Thanks guys. You're all right. I was gripping them too tightly trying to focus on working the stitches. I need to relax (which is why I took up knitting in the first place).

Mason

Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

Andy's picture

Give your hands a rest, too.

Give your hands a rest, too. If they get too sore, there'll be no knitting at all. Shudder at the thought!

JPaul's picture

I'm just going to reiterate

I'm just going to reiterate what Bill said.
Make sure you aren't "gripping" the needles as opposed to "holding" them. When I knit, I pretty much hold the needles with just my thumb and middle finger. My ring finger and pinky sort of stabalize and guide and my index finger throws the yarn and guides the tips of the needles and helps to move the stitches along the needle.

You also might want to try knitting with circular needles instead of straight needles. (I'd recommend a 24" or 27" circular needle for multipurpose flat knitting). The needle portion is shorter and doesn't stick out past your elbow like straight needles, so the weight of the needle is easier to support, and when your knitting, the weight of the work is supported between your hands, not out past your wrists. Circular needles are good for more than just circular knitting.

kiwiknitter's picture

I agree with Bill. I find

I agree with Bill. I find if my hands are sore that I'm holding the needles too tightly and need to relax. Often, concurrently, my stitches are looking a bit strained as well!

My knitting is totally tubular!

grandcarriage's picture

There are a number of

There are a number of stretches recommended to ward off carpal tunnel. I shake my hands out on a regular basis.

Bill's picture

Mason... it might be that

Mason...
it might be that you're holding everything too tight... try to relax a bit... probably in time...you won't hurt so much...
I have arthritis in my hands... but knitting doesn't bother it...

MasonM's picture

Thanks Bill. I thought that

Thanks Bill.

I thought that might have something to do with it. I'm was trying to hold things a bit looser but kept dropping stitches LOL. I'll have to work on that.

Mason

Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste