Friday, July 16, 2010

Healthy Hands

Holding Hands
(courtesy of

Or not!  Over the past few years, arthritis has crept into my joints--not too bad, but it is an annoyance.  Thankfully knitting and crocheting keep my digits limber.  Unfortunately I hurt my hand a few days ago.  While trying to open a stuck window (curse the rain and humidity), I strained the muscles in my left hand.   Consequently, the crafting has diminished.  Last night, I tried knitting and that wasn't too bad (thankfully I throw with my right hand).  The crocheting I had to limit 'cuz I use my left hand a lot more.

Through blogs and forums, I've often come across posts by crafters re: pain in their hands (usually its about carpal tunnel syndrome). The incident got me thinking about how to avoid strain and pain in my most precious crafting tools: my hands.  Taking lots of breaks is advice I see a lot, but I don't knit or crochet for hours at a time either. 
Thumbs Up
(courtesy of

Recently Interweave Knits' Daily Newsletter posted a few suggestions re: hand exercises.  I did try them out since they were easy to do.  If you think about it, your hands do have to stay limber and relaxed to work well.  I'd also add stretches for arms, neck and shoulders.  Sometimes being in the same position can cause muscle stiffening--at least for me.

On the Ravelry forums, a knitter suggested a visit to the Knitting Guru (love the name and the big Buddha too).  The guru offers various exercises for knitters so they can avoid pain and discomfort.  Good tips I think.
Happy Hand
(courtesy of

Recently, I've seen a plethora of special gloves designed specifically to alleviate the pains and strains suffered by crafters.  About a month, Berroco yarns had a contest for the Handeze glove.  And Mary Maxim had a pair of crafter's gloves in their online and paper catalogues.  Guess they are becoming popular.  Wonder if they work?

Just wonderin': how do you do to keep your hands healthy?

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