This past week I have been very busy knitting EVERYTHING. As you can imagine, this can take a real toll, and so I wanted to take a moment today to talk about taking care of and protecting our most precious tool - our hands. Early in the week, with deadlines looming, I noticed I was knitting "thru the pain," and knew I had better start paying attention to that twinge of discomfort pinging in my thumb. Even though I didn't want to, I set my knitting down, did some stretches and a hand massage, and left my knitting for the next day. Taking this brief time out, allowed my hands the necessary time they needed to rest so that I didn't end up with a worse problem. In the past, I made the mistake of ignoring the warning signals - and paid the price dearly. Listen to your body, take short breaks now, so that your hands don't end up on the sidelines for a number of weeks (or worse months!)
I have been an avid knitter for many, many years, but before knitting became my job, my hands were still the force behind my livelihood. My twenties were spent baking as a pastry chef, with a brief stint as a hairdresser thrown in. I love to use my hands, and they have treated me well over the years. After a few injuries, I have learned to take good care of them, so I can continue doing what I love!
I am sure I am not the only one out there guilty of hours of marathon knitting whenever my life allows. You may have had your own experiences in the past of "over-doing" it, and ending up with very sore hands (or worse, a serious injury.)
Let me stop and say here - I am not a doctor. Everything contained in this post is what I, personally, have found helpful, and is my own opinion. If you are concerned you may have injured your hands, please see a specialist!
My top three tips for keeping your hands happy and crafty are:
1. Take breaks!! It is so easy to slip into the knitting zone (especially if you have a great Netflix series or audio book going ;). Your hands will fair much better in the long run if you take a break at least every 30 minutes. It doesn't have to be long, but just something to break up the repetitive movements. A few minutes, and you can pick up and keep going! If you tend to get lost in the meditation of knitting, try setting a little timer on your phone as a helpful reminder!
2. Moisturize! Especially in these colder winter months, are hands get so dry. Give them some love with a good moisturizer. And better yet, throw in a quick hand massage at the same time! My current favorite that I keep in my project bag is Love and Leche Lotion Bars. I have tried all kinds of different hand products, and I really love this one for a number of reasons. For one - it's adorable, I love the stamped bee on the bar, or even better the hearts they stamped for Valentine's Day! The scents are delicious, while being very mild. I love my essential oils, but I don't always want to impose them on the entire cafe I happen to be knitting at! Most importantly - this lotion doesn't interfere with my knitting. I have tried so many moisturizers that leave my hands greasy or wet feeling, which is not ideal when you are trying to work with fiber and slippery needles. These bars feel decadent as your rub them between your hands, and then leave a moisture that is easy to work into your skin, leaving your hands soft and ready to knit. I actually love my bar so much I wanted to share with you a quote from the companies site:
What a great treat to have in my bag - from a family run business that cares. To read more about the benefits of these bars, and to get your own you can head HERE. I am lucky enough that my LYS sells these - yours might too!
3. Stretch! Below are some of my favorite stretches to do during my breaks.
I hope this post helps to inspire you to take care your precious five-fingered assets. If you have any tips you want to share on you how take care of your hands- please leave them in the comments!!
Congratulations to Nikki - the winner of last week's giveaway!!