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I learned a very valuable lesson this evening that I imagine most of you are already aware. I found a pattern for a knitting bag that I thought was really cute and wanted to make. It is made with very bulky yarn and large needles. As I was working up the gauge I began to notice how cumbersome this knitting was and that my hands were starting to ache. I guess I won't be making this bag. :(
 

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Don't give up so fast. Your hands will get stronger and you will get used to the bulky yarn.
I knitted felted clogs and when I started out my hands would ache from the strain. It didn't take long to get used to it and I ended up making 4 pairs!
 

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I was about to begin a new thread when I read your post on a similar problem I have had. Now, instead of being sensible and giving up what I was doing, I soldiered on. I now have 'trigger thumb' and it is very painful, very awkward, and very very slow to mend. It is due to overuse and, with me, it occurred due to my spinning enthusiasm. Just a beginner, I could feel the pain almost immediately. Teacher said, no, it can't be happening. So, I thought I was being a bit of a whimp so continued (besides I was greatly enjoying spinning and was in the throes of creative enthusiasm). Never again. I will remember to spin for no longer than 30 minutes or so and have big breaks between.

That is, if my thumb ever gets right. I have been with a swollen thumb, with great pain, for months now. Going to doctor again tomorrow.

Well done on giving those mega needles and wool a miss, I say. Not worth the potential damage, that's for sure.
 

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For me, it just is not pleasurable to use the big needles and I find it very cumbersome... hard to get a nice flow going.... but somes seem to love it.... Just not my thing. (Though I do have one UFO with a bulky yarn that I love.... just not super huge needles eing used.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think that's what I got out of this little exercise. I knit for the enjoyment and relaxation of it and when it started to be a strain it was no longer fun. For me if it stops being fun then it's time for me to stop.

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
 

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larlie said:
I was about to begin a new thread when I read your post on a similar problem I have had. Now, instead of being sensible and giving up what I was doing, I soldiered on. I now have 'trigger thumb' and it is very painful, very awkward, and very very slow to mend. It is due to overuse and, with me, it occurred due to my spinning enthusiasm. Just a beginner, I could feel the pain almost immediately. Teacher said, no, it can't be happening. So, I thought I was being a bit of a whimp so continued (besides I was greatly enjoying spinning and was in the throes of creative enthusiasm). Never again. I will remember to spin for no longer than 30 minutes or so and have big breaks between.

That is, if my thumb ever gets right. I have been with a swollen thumb, with great pain, for months now. Going to doctor again tomorrow.

Well done on giving those mega needles and wool a miss, I say. Not worth the potential damage, that's for sure.
I had trigger thumb 2 years ago ... ended up having surgery to correct it since my thumb locked up and I couldn't move it ... it was definitely worth having done or I wouldn't be able to do my knitting today!!
 

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larlie said:
Ouch. I was hoping it would mend itself. Pleased you are fine again though. I miss my wool, big time - knitting, spinning etc.
Its a quick easy surgery ... and I figured out how to knit while my hand was all bound up in bandages ... haha. If it is an option for you I would definitely recommend it. Good Luck!!
 

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My hands don't like large needles either. I don't like to use larger than a 10 and seldom do that.

I've had three trigger surgeries, both thumbs and, ahem, the left message finger.

A friend says that using very small needles made her hands hurt. But it was her first, and only, time and she may have been a bit tense.
 

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Hmm ... Might this then be why the older members of our knitting group tend to use finer weight yarns and smaller diameter needles than the younger?

I haven't done anything with the larger needles or bulky yarn in years - for no particular reason. My aches only seem come from my poor handling of a crochet hook; need to switch to 'knife-hold' to do much crochet these days. :(
 

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Jessica-Jean said:
Hmm ... Might this then be why the older members of our knitting group tend to use finer weight yarns and smaller diameter needles than the younger?

I haven't done anything with the larger needles or bulky yarn in years - for no particular reason. My aches only seem come from my poor handling of a crochet hook; need to switch to 'knife-hold' to do much crochet these days. :(
Didn't know I 'knife-held' until I read your post and checked how I held my crochet hooks and right knitting needles.
 

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M1GNON said:
I think that's what I got out of this little exercise. I knit for the enjoyment and relaxation of it and when it started to be a strain it was no longer fun. For me if it stops being fun then it's time for me to stop.

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
I feel that is true of anything we do; I am recovering from a very painful back exercise, and my physio has said it is OK to go back to various exercise classes etc. that I enjoy, but to STOP the moment I feel the slightest twinge...it is my body telling me I must not put any more pressure on it. Fortunately none of it has stopped me knitting

:lol:
 

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A few years ago I sliced my left pinky really well necessitating a couple of surgeries and a TON of physical therapy. My hand surgeon said that knitting is actually excellent therapy PROVIDED you mix it up a bit.

I have always knit the "English" throw method but have now taught myself the Portuguese method (thanks to Andrea Wong) as well. So now I start a project with one or the other method and stick to that method throughout so my gauge doesn't shift all over the place.

I intend to take a class on continental style at my LYS whenever I come up for air from taking care of my aging father in law. I'll add that to my repertoire also.

Now if only Andrea could come up with a toe-up sock that you knit inside out so that you purl it Portuguese style...!

N
 

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We need to remind ourselves that anytime we use our body, any part of it, we are using joints and soft tissue. So there will always be an ergonomic issue to resolve. Most of the time we pay no mind to this. But what I have learned about my own body, including my hands, is that how I hold the needles or hooks, the type of yarn even being used, the weight of it all is critical to my comfort. How I sit in a chair when working is also an issue. These are things often discussed here on KP

So if you are in discomfort you have to evaluate where you are carrying stress in your body, not just your hands. Then look to other styles of working/sitting that will be healthier for you.

Then there is the nutritional problem--yes even with knitting. If you tend to inflammatory conditions, the problem can show up in your hands. You may need to look at your diet. I know, no one wants to be told their eating is the cause of muscular or joint problems. Unfortunately, this is how our body works. Things like sugars, refined grains/flours, processed foods, too many chemicals in our foods and homes, not enough green and red vegetables all work against our health.

So I would not completely give up but would take a hard look at myself to see what things are out of whack that need some correction. This problem could be the key that puts you on a healthier track as well as enables you to do the knitting you want to do.
 

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I did the 11th hour throw on the huge needles. I didn't do a lot of rows at one time which was ok because it was working up so fast.
I do have hand RA arthritis so I never knit for long periods anymore. I got through the throw.

You do need to listen to your body.

Good Luck. SEA
 
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