Have you ever experienced pain while knitting? Because of the repetitive motions that you make when knitting, you could start to suffer from Repetitive Strain Injuries, or RSI, in your shoulders, arms, wrists, or hands.
The good news is that there are tools you can use that is ergonomic and may help these injuries from occurring while you’re knitting. There are also some different knitting methods that you can use.
In this article we’ll be looking at ergonomic knitting needles, other tools, and lighting that can be used to create the perfect knitting spot where you can work away to your heart’s content. (If you do have an injury already, be sure to see your health care practitioner and stop knitting for a few days to let your body heal.)
Ergonomic knitting needles
Although not as easy to create as ergonomic crochet hooks – where a handle is added to the crochet hook – there are some ergonomic knitting needles now available.
Prym Ergonomics knitting needles
The first of these ergonomic knitting needles that we’re going to look at, is the Prym ergonomics. Available as straight knitting needles, circular needles, and double-pointed knitting needles, they are definitely a style to try if you struggle with something like arthritis.
The main ergonomic feature of the Prym Ergonomics is ergonomic points that more easily “grip” yarn to make knitting easier and the needles more comfortable to hold. Prym Ergonomics’s circular knitting needles also have a cable that is non-twisting.
Knitters that use these Prym needles have also noted that they aren’t as flexible as some plastic knitting needles are, which can be a great boon, especially if you’re not a very tight knitter. The needles are still light in your hands, though. This is also something to keep in mind if you feel that metal knitting needles are too heavy to comfortably work with.
Because these Prym knitting needles are not your typical plastic needles, it’s worth giving them a try even if you’re not a fan of plastic needles in general.
The Prym Ergonomics knitting needles are sold separately, which makes trying a pair without spending a fortune much easier.
Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina knitting needles
Now for another knitting needle that is something completely different than what you’re most likely used to – cuboid-shaped knitting needles. These ingenious chrome-plated brass knitting needles by Knitter’s Pride is great if you struggle to hold traditional round needles. The cubic shape is much easier to hold if you struggle with arthritis, for example.
Because these Nova Cubics are precision-made from metal, you are also assured of a satin-smooth finish that your yarn won’t catch on.
Like the Prym knitting needles, the Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina knitting needles are available as straight needles, double-pointed needles, and circular needles and can be bought separately or in a set.
Other ergonomic knitting tools
Compression gloves/quilter’s gloves
Called quilter’s gloves, compression gloves, and sometimes just crafting gloves, these thin gloves don’t impair your movement, but do help with arthritis pain, carpal tunnel, and hand swelling. They can also help you to keep your hands warm when the weather is colder and help with pain in that way.
Make sure when you buy the gloves that you buy the correct size and not ones that are too big (which means they won’t give any pressure at all) or too small (which means that they will be much too tight and uncomfortable).
Here are a few brands that you can choose from:
Yarn needles and needle threaders
Although you don’t use them nearly as much, having yarn needles that are suitable and a breeze to work with can take a lot of strain off your eyes. If you’re always struggling to find the eye of a needle – or find a needle with an eye large enough for yarn – look no further than the Knitter’s Pride Wool Needles set.
This set of three needles don’t have your everyday eyes, but an “eye” consisting of a loop that is large enough to use with yarns of different weights. Perfectly designed for weaving in yarn ends on your work; these Knitter’s Pride needles are a must-have for knitters. They are also a lot easier to work with at night – or in instances when the light is less than optimal. These needles are also a lot easier to thread if you don’t have a very steady hand.
If you’re working with tapestry needles, however (for example if you’re working with lace weight yarn) threading your needle is done a lot easier by using a threader. And just look at this beautiful needle threader by Clover.
Ergonomic cushions and pillows
Because the vast majority of us are sitting down when we are knitting, it’s important to note what your posture is doing while you are knitting. For example, are you sitting up straight, or are you hunched over your work?
To ensure that you don’t get any injuries from sitting in an incorrect posture for too long, you can make use of ergonomic cushions, like this one by ComfiLife or this one by Restorology for your back.
You can also try different methods of knitting if you find that a specific method makes existing pain – like that from arthritis or fibromyalgia – worse. In this article we demonstrate various methods of knitting that you can learn and use.
Sitting in a comfortable and ergonomic position is not only important to keep injuries from occurring, but also to help with injuries that you may already have.
Set an alarm or timer on your phone to ensure that you get up and stretch at least every forty minutes. This stretching time is also the perfect time to do your hand exercises to keep injuries from occurring.
Lastly we’ll have a look at the lighting that you need when you’re knitting. Although good daylight is the best to knit by, you can also make use of daylight light bulbs to get the same effect in the evening.
Ensure that your workspace is well-lit to keep from getting eye strain or working in a hunched position as you try to see what you’re doing or try to read the pattern that you’re busy with. And while many of us can knit on feeling alone, good light on your knitting graphs is a must to keep you from making mistakes you have to try and fix later!
Do you have any other tips to keep you knitting without getting RSI or other injuries? Let us know!