Saturday, December 02, 2017

Reducing Knitter's Hand Pain

I've been plunking along on the Atwood cardigan since spring, two rows in the morning, two rows at night. It makes for slow going on garment knitting, but more than that and my right index finger shouts at me in pain. I struggled to finish the right front and wondered if it was the difficult rick-rack stitch the cardigan used, so I put it down and knitted Mom's slipper socks. Much better!

Rick Rack Stitch, July 2017
Rick Rack stitch, November 2017
Once the slippers were done, I started on the sleeve. I swatched several rib stitches similar to the rick-rack stitch and found that the mistake rib stitch looked close enough to be an acceptable alternative. I asked DH if he'd be okay with the fronts and back in rick-rack stitch and the sleeves in mistake rib stitch and he said it would fine. Back in the saddle!

Mistake Rib Stitch, December 2017
But then my thumb started to give me trouble. Please don't tell me I have to give up knitting?! I was excited to read Carson Dermer's book Knitting Comfortably, The Ergonomics of Hand Knitting. The author suggested using square needles instead of round, so I bought a set from Amazon.

Wowie Zow! I've never been so impressed with how much difference the right tool for the job can make. I'm knitting like a pup again. No more counting rows, with my eye on the clock to make sure I don't overdo.

I will still have to tackle the rick-rack stitch on the second front, but I'm hopeful that the cubic needles with help with that too.

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