On stress, knitting and pain.

Lovelies I've had busy, stressful, glum couple of weeks. Nothing dire but just enough pressure to string me out a bit and surprisingly a big part of it seems to be because I've not been able to knit. I've got a chronic painful tendon issue in my arms that I've finally received the correct treatment for and part of that treatment was no repetitive hand or finger action for a couple of weeks. I really didn't realise how much not being able to knit would affect my ability to mentally wind down and it's kind of compounded. Stress, pain, no knitting, new stress, red wine..... Fortunately I've still been able to sew. Holy shit, I can't even begin to imagine how unhinged I'd be if I wasn't able sew or knit....

Many of you will be able to understand just how wonderfully meditative it is to knit, even simply. Anyway, my lovely arm Physio has written me a 'return to knitting' program (based on a musician's return to practice program - how hilarious yet awesome would it be to find a health practitioner who whips out a knitting rehab program specifically for creaky crafters?!) and my arms are definitely getting better which really is such an enormous relief. 



My aunt forwarded me this fascinating article a few weeks ago outlining the enormous positive mental health benefits linked to knitting, and it's well worth a read. Compassion fatigue, pain, stress, anxiety, eating disorders - so many issues helped by such a simple past-time. I imagine it's hard for non knitters to imagine how it can be so but I can believe it - and I've only been doing it a couple of years. 

In the meantime here are a few newly added gorgeous patterns in my Ravelry queue to share. I'm in the middle of number 4, the Annency Cowl, in a divine charcoal cashmere.... Triangles are SO hot right now!

  

Ravelry links - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

What's on your needles right now? Give me new patterns and designers to ogle and add to my infinite queue!

Happy weekend and happy health and fitness to all. 

Comments

  1. I feel your pain! (Yeah, literally, unfortunately. I got carpel tunnel 8 years ago and have never successfully returned to knitting... but only because I was an idiot who let it get that bad! Physio fixed me up good enough for everything else, eventually...) My friend just wrote a post about her similar situation: http://line4line.blogspot.ca/2015/02/loose-ends.html
    and I wrote a couple of posts a while back: https://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/when-crafting-hurts-repetitive-stress-injuries/ and https://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/when-crafting-hurts-how-do-you-make-it-better/
    Work hard towards getting better - it's worth it, and it can happen! Good luck! ;)

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    1. Thanks so much Gillian. I really appreciate those links. I'm wondering if part of my issue comes down to the fact that I have very weird technique - I think I'll have to retrain myself a little. I'm sure I'll come good, but like you I took way too long to get the right treatment. That's the most important thing - get it treated properly from the start!

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your hand/arm issues ... Hand knitting has all sorts of benefits for ones mental health and can also improve brain functioning (it did for me!!!)- there is a very nice article in The Knitter magazine no. 30 About the RSI Gillian mentions - there are women that hand knit for a living - I once met in a fair a group of 80-90 yrs old ladies that were doing it their entire life ... it was so fascinating looking at them work but I also noticed they were siting upright in their chairs, they took frequent breaks and just took few steps and stretched their arms and fingers while casually chatting with the people passing by. I hope you recover your knitting capabilities soon :-*
    BTW I'm loving so much your knitting queue !!!

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    1. Thanks lovely - I'll try to find the article and I think improve my technique when my splint is off.

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  3. I'm so glad to hear that things are starting to be on the mend, even if slowly. Here's hoping the recovery process will pick up speed, for your own sake and because that cowl is far too lovely to be on hiatus...Fascinating article, and full of "aha!" moments - thanks for sharing it :)
    I always like your Ravelry queues; you've got such a great eye for design. I've currently got Sombra (by Elanor King) on the needles; I'm loving the clever construction and colourwork. And this is the year I'm definitely tacking Brooklyn Tweed's Peabody - the yarn's ordered and is winging its way to me right now - can't wait!

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    1. Thanks Danielle - Sombrs looks amazing! It's so light (and trianglly!). And Peabody - I know you've been wanting to make that for ages. It's a shame we can't get Brooklyn Tweed in Australia (as far as I'm aware). I really wish the Bendigo Mills would make some 10 ply tweedy yarn!

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  4. Oh no, I hope you recover soon! and wrt my own latest knitting project I'm rather happy to hear that triangles are hot right now;; wink wink ;)

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    1. Thanks Carolyn - look forward to seeing your triangles!

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  5. Ugh, I'm so sorry about your RSI, chronic pain is the worst :( I'm glad you have a return to knitting plan sorted though, your physio sounds awesome. I'm really keen to try knitting some colourwork, because I am nothing if not overambitious, so I think I'll start off with something simple like this scarf...http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stitch-block-cowl

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    1. Thanks mate - I'm sure I'll get there, I just need to be patient! That cowl is amazing isn't it? It will be great practice for you. The only colourwork I've done was when I knitted a Kombi for the husband.... I don't think I blogged it though. It's a bit crap...

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  6. I hear your pain! I don't know what I would do if I couldn't knit. All the positive benefits of knitting is fascinating eh? I find that all sorts of good ideas pop into my head as soon as i sit down to knit. Hey thanks for mentioning ravelry, I just signed up :) btw I was just looking through your knitting posts and that lattice top has been on my to do list for the longest time! I'm glad you fixed it up.

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    1. Oh I just love going down the Ravelry rabbit hole. My queue is so long! I'm ridiculously proud still of my non-lattice lattice top! I don't wear it that much but it still means a lot to me.

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  7. Oh no. It's the worst when doing something you love hurts you. I have found that I get sore wrists from knitting for long stretches, but I try to change up my style to avoid doing the same motion too much. I'll knit continental style for a bit then switch to English and if I'm feeling super adventurous I'll do Portuguese. My tensions is completely out of wack, but my wrists aren't :)

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    1. I'm hugely impressed by knitters that can change style! I know I should at least get my yarn holding a bit more efficient - apparently I'm a 'thrower' which isn't necessarily wrong but is just a bit inefficient....

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  8. Oh man, your poor arms. That just sounds horrendous! I'm sorry you are suffering at the moment. It'd make it a whole lot better if you could craft to ease your pain. I'm sending you good vibes to get back in the knitting way again soon. Your physio sounds awesome and the program she has set will hopefully see you make some decent and timely progress. I'm sending huge hugs to you!

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    1. PS I was a thrower too and got tendonitis from time to time. I found it easy in the end to change to "flicking" (described on that Craft Sessions post about speeding up knitting). I so wish I was nearby so I could show my style because I never thought I'd want/be able to change and it's amazing how easy it was. And no pain!

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    2. Oh thanks lovely! Yes I'm determined to shake up my technique, but I'm waiting until I start a new project of lovely dull stocking stitch so I don't stuff up my tension! I'm so glad to know you found it easy - such a relief!

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  9. Poor you, that sounds horrid!! I lost my knitting mojo last year but it has just come back again and I totally know what you mean about how soothing it is. Nothing worse than not being able to do what you're in the mood for, hope you heal up very soon.

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