‘Knitters cramp’ aka Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

For a good few months now I have woken in the night, sometimes for many consecutive nights with completely numb arms and hands. Having worked for many years as a Palliative care nurse I automatically assumed I had developed a serious and degenerative neurological condition but was talked down by my husband. Once calm and rational again I thought back and linked my symptoms to times when I had significant projects on the go – like now!

What I have been experiencing is Repetitive strain Injury (RSI):

Knitters with RSIs tend to have problems in their wrists, backs, hands, necks, or any combination. Their problems can be caused by sitting for long periods using poor posture, gripping the needles too tightly or putting too much weight on the wrists with a large project.

via Knitting Safety: Repetitive Stress Injuries.

This article explains the condition and gives advice on how to manage it. However it also advises the knitter, in some instances, to stop knitting completely (boo hoo), until  the symptoms resolve. This is far too drastic for me, although if I had my sensible head on I would abstain for a while because I am suffering a lot at the moment due to  knitting deadlines. However I think I have another option to add

In a quest to delay my body looking more like my mum’s than my daughter’s I recently started Pilates. It’s not working for my boobs or my tummy but I noticed that the only night in the last 10 that I have not woken in the early hours paralysed, was after my 7pm Pilates session.

We do numerous exercises but I think the one which has been particularly useful, especially for my type of RSI (very stiff and tense shoulders, arms and neck), is what my instructor calls ‘corn circles’. This is largely an extreme stretch, which is very controlled and works through the full shoulder range, and when done right, feels amazing .

Pilates generally is great for posture and I would advise anyone who knits regularly, and can take time to do a class, to consider it. It is really excellent. It’s better to be taught because its amazing how you can think you’re doing it right when you’re not, but there are on-line guides, DVDs and books if you really can attend a class.

I’m going to start doing my corn circles most nights, especially when  I’m having mega knitting sessions and will post if I have anything to report back.

If you have found other ways of relieving the symptoms I would be very keen to hear, anything that can keep us knitting is worth a comment, don’t you think?

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Not enough wool on the ball -arrrrrrgh !

This post demonstrates exactly what happens when producers ? provide less than the documented weight on the packaging in your ball of wool – which they are allowed to do in law, as mentioned in my previous blog ‘Did you know?’.

I am in the process of designing another product for my range and foolishly forgot to weigh the balls before I started, to make sure I would have pretty much equal quantities which is what I needed.

I’m really pleased with the design but ran out of  ‘duck egg’ halfway through the last blue stripe, and had to start another ball (same dye lot luckily).

This is what was left of the ‘clay’ colour. It weighs 7 grams from a ’50 gram’ ball.

What I can’t say is whether the ‘duck egg’ was underweight or the ‘clay’ was generously overweight, without having the pre-knitted weight.  It may come down to a ‘glass half empty, glass half full’ mentality.

Unfortunately having had a difficult evening with teenagers I am very much feeling glass half empty hence, arrrrrrgh!

The bottom line is I can’t use these lovely wrist warmers for a 2 ball kit, so will tinker with my design a bit and probably sell these in my shop on etsy.com which I will call ‘camping cosies’ wrist warmers, possibly -or I might keep them because they’re fab.

Moral of this story and note to self – if you think the number of balls you’re using may be ‘cutting it fine’, weigh it first. Also remember that if you have got lighter balls (of wool) you might struggle to get the same dye lot, so it might be prudent to check with your supplier to see if they will hold one back, or buy an extra ball if your supplier will accept a return if unused.

What do you think or have you had a similar experience?

Knitting brazenly in Exeter

Following the excitement of seeing the Olympic Torch so closely, now up and out we decided to go to Exeter for some retail therapy. Exeter was making a day of it and had loads of street acts performing, the weather was great and there were loads of people milling around.

We turned a corner and found this lovely lady ‘Sarah Trickett’ brazenly knitting outside a coffee shop in the sun. Fantastic!

She very kindly let me take a picture, much to my children’s horror!, and proudly informed me that she had made some bunting which was decorating her house on the torch route.

Knitted bunting just adds to that Britannia retro feel and will be perfect to be reused for the up and coming Jubilee – don’t you think?

Olympic torch comes to Kingsbridge

Not exactly knitting related but equally as important – The Olympic Torch came to Kingsbridge, Devon at approximately 09.48 (official scheduled time)!

I’d intended to go and take Adam and the kids but had resigned myself to the fact that it might not happen, but luckily last nights hen party, cocktails and 9 G+Ts didn’t prevent us from getting down there.

And how lucky were we? We stood right in the spot where the torch-bearer got off the bus. He stood by us looking so hyped and anxious and suddenly I felt very emotional and uncharacteristically patriotic! He remained by us, we heard the instructions he was given by an official about his leg of the run and then we actually saw the flame being passed to our mans torch. We feel very lucky and so glad we made the effort.

The atmosphere was electric and it was so ace to see everyone chatting, out making an effort to be social – really fab. I got chatting to loads of people and even managed to get knitting into quite a few discussions!

Wish I’d tried to get tickets now! Enjoy it if you go x

Did you know?

I love finding out new things and reading around for my hobby, and am always surprised what I come across. Although I’m starting my own knitting business I by no means know everything, not even loads, actually only what I’ve needed to learn. It’s sort of – you don’t know what you don’t know, until you need to know it! I hate that. Know what I mean? So I thought I might look at a few things every now and again and hopefully it will happen less often!!!

Fact No. 1 – …. Yarn manufactures are allowed by law to be within + or – 10% of what is stated on the ball band, these weights can vary from ball to ball within the same style and color of the yarn.

via the knitting buzz: Fun Facts.

– this has baffled me quite often especially when I’ve knitted the same pattern numerous times – creature of habit.

Fact No.2 – The number of Knitting groups increased by 20% during 2005

via UK Hand Knitting Association.  

This is quite a phenomenal statistic, can anyone explain how (if this is accurate) this may have happened because it’s massive – do you think it’s a typo?

Please add some of your own if you have some, happy blogging x