Knitting in Moderation

Knitting in moderation?  Is that possible for an avid knitter?  When the physical therapist asked me if there was one repetitive action that I engaged in using my shoulder and neck muscles I knew I was in trouble!  But, before I talk about what happens to your body when you are an obsessive knitter, let me show you some pretties…….

Rivolo by Anne Henson (KnitSpot)

Yarn:  OPULENCE (The Woolen Rabbit)

This yarn was a joy to work with!  It is soft and cushy and will feel wonderful wrapped around my neck this Fall!

The length of this scarf is more of the length of a muffler than a scarf.  It worked out fine with me because that was the length I was looking for.  Of course, it could have been knit to a longer length and there was plenty of the OPULENCE to do so.

The color of the yarn is called ‘Indian Paintbrush’ and I bought it to remind me of the beautiful Indian Paintbrush wildflowers that bloom here in Colorado.  The yarn color is not nearly as brilliant as our high altitude wildflowers but that is okay…I will still think of them when they are long faded and autumn has come.

Knit in Moderation!

The last 2-1/2 months have been rough for me physically.  I’ve been going to the physical therapist twice a week and have spent much of my summer on pain pills.  Apparently, my condition took years to develop and then one day came when the muscles in my shoulders and neck said enough!  They clenched up in spasms and would not relax causing excruciating pain.  I didn’t know I was headed until it was too late.  Please take the time to stretch your neck to the side and at a 45 degree angle periodically as you knit!

I will never again knit for hours on end as I have done daily for the past six years.  It has been difficult to suddenly let go of something I love as much as I love knitting.  I know many of you understand exactly what I mean.  My physical therapist asked, “Are you filling orders or something?  Why would you knit so much?”   I told him the list of beautiful things never ends and before you finish one item you are itching to start another!

The good news is that I am getting better.  The progress is slow and the progress is painful but it is just that -progress.  I am able to knit for a little bit every day but I must use extreme moderation.  So, please take the time to stretch every 15 minutes and try to watch your posture as you knit…….don’t hunch your shoulders because when you do those muscles are contracted.

Oh….and yes……there is life outside of knitting.  My house is cleaner and I’ve remembered how much I enjoy reading.  I just finished a great book called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It plopped me right back into the sixties and the small southern town my cousin lived in.  I had a tough time putting it down.  I laughed frequently as I read The Help, I sighed and I cried.

16 Comments on “Knitting in Moderation

  1. I listened to The Help on cd. I grieved when it was over. I loved that book. It was even better actually hearing the narrators do each person’s voice. It has to be one of my all time favorite books.

  2. I have found nearly complete relief from pain with trigger point therapy massage. I highly recommend that you look into it. A great place to start is “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” available on Amazon. Good luck and be well. I really enjoy your blog.

  3. Rebecca ~ I was *wondering* where you went ! I’m so sorry to hear about your body rebelling against the knitting. Surely you will retrain your knitting posture. I very much appreciate your advice for stretching, and maybe taking breaks every half hour sounds like a good idea. You’d really just sit and knit for 6 hours in one sitting? I find it difficult to do anything for that stretch of time. But hey, your scarf is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, as to be expected.

    I am still working on my nieces’ (two of them) Autumn Sweaters, which I will need to finish soon, then I’m starting a sweater from “British Knits”, a pullover gansey style (I still don’t know the difference between a gansey and the others) for my step-daughter. I have a timeline in mind, and I WILL be stretching , thanks to your advice. Love, Jen

  4. Glad you’re on the mend. 🙂

    Thanks for the yarn and book recommendations… both have been on my list for a while.

    … off to stretch!! Your entry was a good reminder for me.

  5. Oh Rebecca……I am sorry to hear about your problem but so glad you are in therapy. I hope you will soon be back to normal. Beautiful scarf too!

  6. I know I shouldn’t knit for hours, but I guess I’m just like you on the obsessive knitting. So many pretties to make!

    I keep thinking I should set a timer and stop for a break every 15-20 minutes, but I never seem to make myself do it. It breaks the rhythm, and with big lace projects, I might not even get through a whole row in that time!

    But thanks for the reminder that I should. I will make an effort.

    I have “The Help” audiobook on hold at the library, but there are still 17 people ahead of me, so it will probably be a couple of months.

  7. As you well know – I completely understand. Since my shoulder surgery 2 years ago, knitting has become a small part of my life instead of the main activity – I actually am happy that my shoulder told me I needed to stop – a wonderful messenger that has opened up my life – yes my house is cleaner/ I am spending more time with my children and husband and I LOVE to read (The Help was SOOO good!)/sew/spin/walk…
    Hope you continue to recover 🙂

  8. My apologies! I was so excited to see you had read The Help that I forgot to say I’m glad you are doing better. 🙂

  9. I’m sorry you have been through this difficult time, and am glad you are healing. I hope you find the best balance for you.

  10. I feel your pain — not quite to that extent, but I know I need to pay attention. Thankfully, I have been doing other things this summer (if only housecleaning was one of them…). I’m happy to hear that you’re making progress!! Keep it up!

  11. Gorgeous scarf & glad that you are feeling better. I do understand how you feel as I am doing the same – sitting for hours knitting. Take care.

  12. Lovely scarf and such a nice reminder of a beautiful flower.

    I just read The Help last month. Loved it! Hope you are able to heal quickly. Ouch!

  13. Rebecca, I’m so sorry that you have been in so much pain. I’m glad the PT is helping.

    I had rotator cuff surgery on May 28th and have been in PT until last week, so I have cut back on knitting. I did finish Alice Starmore’s Cape Cod, but no pictures yet.

    Your scarf is beautiful.

  14. Your scarf is lovely Rebecca. Sorry to hear what you are going through. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  15. Sorry to hear about your health problem but glad that you are getting better.

    The scarf is lovely – I have some of this yarn in the stash for a shawl, and really should look into using it soon!

    I listened to the Help on audio tape and loved it – amazing booK!

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