Knitting: Good for Your Health or Bad for Your Hands?

Knitting is a great way to pass the time and keep your mind active. As someone who knits you won’t get arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome directly from knitting, but it can be more difficult for those with those conditions. Here are tips for knitting if you have similar conditions, but keeping yourself busy at the same time.

Learning to Knit

Knitting is a fun craft activity where you use yarn and knitting needles to create items like sweaters, hats, scarves, and blankets. This can help pass time, if you aren’t able to go out for a while, and can improve your hand-eye. Once you’ve learned how to knit, you can do all sorts of things and swap patterns with friends, or find new ideas online.

Benefits of Knitting

Knitting different and more difficult patterns or items can give you a large sense of pride. Not only that, but learning how to knit in general can be difficult for most, so for you to have successfully mastered the art of knitting can make you feel very proud. For some, they see kitting as a form of meditation. With simple stitches over and over on most products, you can almost zone out while you’re working on your project.

Knitting can also help distract you from symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression. It can be therapeutic to have your mind focused on your knitting product instead of anything else. One more benefit to knitting, is that it actually prevents arthritis and tendinitis!

Is Knitting Bad on Your Hands?

When you’re knitting, it actually builds up cartilage in your fingers, making them stronger instead of wearing them down. It’s been successfully that if you already have arthritis or tendinitis, to soak your hands in some warm water before you begin knitting, and after you’re done for the day, and to use larger needles when working on your pieces.

It can become more difficult to knit if you have hand or tendon pain, but there are ways around it. New products have become available to those who can’t work with needles anymore. With these products, you can still knit most projects, sometimes even faster than if it were with needles. They are similar to weaving but do actually form knitted knots instead of a woven piece.

Knitting with RSI

RSI or Repetitive Stress Injury can show up when you’re knitting. Those with RSI will tend to have problems with their wrists, arms, backs, hands, knecks, or a combination of any or all of them. Problems will arise from poor posture, gripping the knitting needles to tight, or putting too much weight on your wrists with large projects, such as bigger blankets.

Preventing RSI is easier than treating RSI. The biggest thing to hand-eye it is to craft in moderation. Set yourself a timer, take a 10-minute break every half hour to 45 minutes, walk around, stretch, keep hydrated, and stop when you’re feeling tired. When knitting larger projects, use circular, fat, or large needles will make it easier for you to grip on the needles, and put less weight on your wrists and fingers. Sitting straight up, and keeping posture while you’re sitting for long periods of time. Keep your feet on the floor, and remember to take breaks. If you’re already experiencing problems with RSI, you can prop your arms up on pillows or armrests to help support your body, and distribute the weight of your project.

Get Your Knitting Supplies Ready!

Now that you know all about what to expect from knitting, and what it can and can’t cause as far as health problems go, it’s time to get yourself in craft mode. Head on over to the closest crafting store, or go online to your favorite craft store and get your yarn, needles, and any patterns that you want to do or learn. When you have all of your supplies, get knitting! No matter what you decide to make, it will for sure be beautiful and worth all the time and effort put into it.

If you don’t know how to knit, but want to learn, most craft stores have classes you can attend. If you can’t make it to classes, but still want to learn, you can find many tutorials online to fit any level of knitter you are!