Tag Archives: Tangled lace shawl

Knitter’s Elbow Tendinitis: The Progress is in the Details

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Dealing with elbow tendinitis as a knitter has been challenging to say the very least. My recovery progress has been going VERY slowly, so I’ve had to figure out some workarounds. Seeing how the knitting is likely 70% of the reason I’m in this mess, I needed to figure out the best way to deal with it because what I have realized is that I can’t continue to NOT knit.  I just can’t.  I’m driving myself (and likely, indirectly, my husband) bonkers.

I have gotten advice from an orthopedic doctor, 2 physical therapists, a massage therapist and a chiropractor. With all those opinions (some of them contradictory to each other), it’s been a little frustrating to figure out what should help me but I think I have settled on a few things to do to help my recovery progress while still being able to knit. *Disclaimer: If you are dealing with this, these may not be the right suggestions for you.  It is simply what I am finding to work for me.

1) GEAR UP:  When I’m going to knit, I’ve got to wear the supportive gear.  A tennis (golfer’s) elbow strap and a hand support glove.

2) GO SLOW: Physically slow down my knitting.  This is very hard for me because I can knit pretty fast and it takes some deliberate focus to slow down.  Slowing down makes me pay attention to how I’m holding my arms and helps keep my muscles somewhat relaxed.

3) SHORT TIME FRAMES:  I’m knitting for 10-15 minutes at a stretch. This has also been hard. I used to knit for several hours at a stretch.

4) SMALL AND BIG: I’m working on small projects with big needles.  I had been working on a stockinette project which I thought would be easy to do.  However, it was a blanket and the large number of stitches on the needle was making it heavy!  (Although, I did try a few rows on my Tangled shawl and even though it was US3 needles, I didn’t have a hard time I think because the yarn is so lightweight. And I only did a few rows.)

5) REST AND STRETCH: After my 10-15 minutes, stop!  STOP! Also hard for me – see #3 above. Stretch my arms/hands and then put on more gear – a wrist support that limits my wrist movement because wrist movement is what affects the elbows.

6) REST SOME MORE: I want to do another 10-15 minute knitting session way before I should, so I remind myself to rest some more.

7) YOGA: I’ve started doing yoga to get some additional stretching in, not just of my arms but everything else.  How I have been holding my upper body to adjust for the pain of resting my arms on things has made all kinds of other muscles tense up.  I have had A.M. and P.M. Yoga (click there to get it on Amazon) for years and just dug it back out of the cabinet.  It is a beginner video and I really like it.  And yoga is just so awesome in general.  I always feel so good after doing it.

And the result of all this?

In about five days, I’ve gotten 16 rows of a cowl done! While that is absolutely the best news – I’m actually getting some knitting done – I’m trying really hard not to think about the fact that I used to be able to knit something like this in one day.  Baby steps.

[That is the Diamond Tempest Cowl made with Cascade Baby Llama Chunky which is WONDERFULLY soft and nice to work with. I’ll be teaching a class in this at The Spinning Room in late May/early June.  While you don’t usually think of knitting with chunky yarn in the spring, it is a small project and a great head start on next fall/winter/holiday knitting.]

One last thing to tell you about — a product review of sorts because I love it so much.  This being winter (sort of — it’s going to be 68 degrees here today, 35 degrees tomorrow), my hands get very dry and that can make for snagging yarn.  So I’ve been using my lavender Lavishea Lotion Bar.

It absorbs quickly (good for when you are knitting and still good even if you don’t knit) and makes my hands so soft and it smells so wonderful. Not everyone loves lavender but it comes in other scents. It’s a little different because it comes in a bar form (not a bottle of lotion) but you get used to it quickly. And they even have a Lavishea Yarn Bar!  If you try it, I hope you love it like I do.

5 Patterns to Knit this Spring

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I’ve been trolling on the line lately — well, really just Ravelry, finding things that would be great to knit in the spring (and maybe teach at my local yarn shop The Spinning Room).  [By the way, “on the line” is my favorite mis-phrase from the movie The Internship with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.  So funny, and I use that phrase all. the. time.] It’s the time of year that I’m done with the cold weather and the snow — even though here in upstate New York it seems like all of winter happened just in the last week and a half — and I start looking for light and airy things to knit.  I have found 5 patterns that would be great.

1) Socks are always a good bet for knitting in the warmer weather.  Maybe you won’t wear wool socks in the coming months, but they are great to knit because they are small — don’t heat up your lap — and use lightweight yarn.  So my newest can’t-wait-to-knit socks are Vintage Fairy Lights by Helen Stewart.

Copyright Helen Stewart

I love her patterns and I also listen to her podcast called Curious Handmade.

2) Shawls are also great for spring — to knit and to wear. How about this Tangled Shawl?

Copyright Caro Sheridan

Full disclosure, I do not love the yellow, and that turned me off a bit. But then I saw the beautiful green one Kathy at The Spinning Room made and I knew I had to make one.  Mine is a pretty blue and just barely started:

I’m also teaching it as a class in the spring!  This would be a great item to wear on a chilly spring day.

3) Another small and light item to make in the spring are cowls in fingering weight yarn. Sping is still a good time of year to wear them as accessories inside, but also when it’s a little chilly under your lighter coats. I found this great Checks, Please! cowl by Debbi Stone:

Copyright Debbi Stone

It’s got a pretty pattern and I love the idea of using a gradient yarn.  Maybe I’ll use my Anne with an E yarn from Knitcircus:

4) Another great cowl pattern is the Knitting is my Yoga cowl by Elizabeth Sullivan:

Copyright Sweet Paprika Designs

Because who doesn’t like a (FREE!) easy pattern to knit while you are sitting outside in the spring having a picnic and relaxing?  This pattern was designed with relaxation in mind.  And it’s FREE.

5) Finally, a hat project with heavier yarn (worsted) but still small so you won’t pass out from heat exhaustion.  This Double Cable Ponytail / Messy Bun Hat by Lena Mathisson is perfect:

Copyright Lena Mathisson

And so practical! Buttons go up the back so you can change where your ponytail comes out.  Very clever.  This is on my list to make and teach in a class too.

There you go.  Five suggestions for springtime knitting, all of which are in my Ravelry queue and waiting for me to start! Let me know if you like them and if you will try them. (By the way, if you do the Pinterest thing, click on the side bar and you can follow me there.  I pin things I want to knit someday as well as lots of other stuff.)