Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great RSI article in Vogue Knitting Winter 03/04

I'm continuing with my continental knitting experiment to relieve pressure on my left arm. One hour of continental knitting in the morning and two hours of knitting at night maybe once or twice a week while watching TV. Thank goodness I have other activities at night to keep me away from knitting (band practice and my "spiritual" meetings!) Also going out to dinner with Steve (I'll always pass up knitting for that!)

I continued my reading of old VKs and found a great (and long!) article on Repetitive Syndrome injuries in the Winter 2003/2004. It goes into great detail about many remedies (including switching to continental knitting or vice versa), physical therapy, yoga and abstinence. The big message of this article is that if you don't do something about your injury and continue the repetitive motion, you can permanently damage your arm/wrist. That's a sobering thought. I'll try to include some more tidbits from the article as I don't have it with me right now.

I can feel my arm getting better because I'm sleeping better. My elbow was hurting a lot earlier in the week but today I'm feeling ok.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Current Remedy for Insanity: Continental Knitting!

Ok, so I resigned myself to finding other activities besides knitting and decided to look through my old Vogue Knittings (starting with 1983!). While I was perusing a late 80's version, I came across an Elizabeth Zimmerman article on the difference between continental and american knitting. The most I could get out of the article (she was being her usual obtuse self) was that american was throwing and continental had more two handed action. When I got back to my computer I did a google search for "continental knitting" and found this tutorial on youtube:

Continental Knitting Demo

I watched the whole thing carefully and then when I got home from work, I tried it. It was slow going at first but I worked a couple of rows in the round on the Simple Pleasures Hat from purlbee that I started about two weeks ago. Nothing horrible happened and my arm seems to be getting slightly better. I guess the bottom line is I still need to learn a little moderation (and go to physical therapy) but I'm going to see if I can finish the hat just doing continental: Thankfully the hat is mostly k2, p2 rib and stockinette. I'm hoping I can relieve a little pressure on my arm and also learn something new! Another VK article I read was an early interview with Norah Gaughan and she said she knits continental, too. Cool.

PS, I'll post this to my ravelry site, but I substituted Misti Alpaca Lace 2-ply for the cashmere in the SP hat. I had to use three strands to get the right gauge for the ribbing.

Take care, Sue

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Sorrow of a Knitting Injury

Boo HOO!! I have finally succumbed to the reality that my knitting injury is so bad that I can't even knit for a little while, knit with bigger needles, crochet instead of knit, knit in the round, nothing, nada, stop, really stop ... I can't knit, my arm hurts so bad just sitting still. So the reality also hits me how much I think about knitting. I was just in the post office and a lady in front of me was wearing a lovely handknit vest in my favorite color (camel) garter stitch edgings with a flattering rounded cabled front with a wood toggle at the breast. AGH! I didn't even care that it looked like she used a cheap acrylic bulky, I was insanely jealous. Boo hoo!! (see my own recent camel cabled version of cheap acrylic bulky!)

So what now? Do I plan future knitting projects for when my arm recovers? Do I read back issues of Vogue Knitting? I feel like this is comparable to sitting outside a bar after rehab. Do I search for a new obsession?

Well before I start anything I need to get an assessment of how bad my injury is. I've signed up for physical therapy. Until I get my prognosis I won't start giving away my stash.