February 24th, 2012
|When your work with your hands as much as knitters and crocheters do it’s important to remember not to strain or overwork your body.
Knitting and crochet should be hobbies that help you relax and relieve stress. There are several ways to reduce stress on your hands and body, and these simple tips will help you avoid injury and treat existing symptoms.*
|Pay attention to how you are sitting.
Sit down as though you were about to begin crafting. Is your back supported? Is there enough light to see well, and enough room to move your elbows and arms freely as you work? You may be straining your hands to try and compensate for one of these other issues. Examine the places you craft for simple fixes you can make to add light, support and space.
|Remember to take breaks while you craft.
While it can be tempting to power through a few more rows when you are tired, listen to your body and put your project on pause. Breaks should vary the motion of what you are doing; try doing small, rewarding activities during your break like taking a short walk, watering houseplants or playing with a family pet.
|Massage and stretch your hands.
This is a wonderful (and relaxing) way to rejuvenate your fingers, wrists and palms. Try different methods and go easy on yourself; only rub or stretch your hands to a point that feels comfortable. There are some great hand stretch suggestions on LiveStrong.org (click here).
|Choose ergonomic tools.
If you’ve only ever tried straight knitting needles or metal crochet hooks, it might be time to try something new. Many knitters prefer using circular needles when possible because of the bounce-back of the cord that connects them, and crocheters are raving about this ergonomic crochet hook set that fits in the palm of your hand.
|Wear stress relief gloves.
Wearing these stress relief gloves allows the muscles of your hand to relax while you work. These gloves have been specially designed with crafters in mind, so they are completely fingerless and stand up to long-term use.
There are many ways to improve your crafting life and alleviate stress on your body while you work. How have you made your crafting more comfortable? Share your tips to help others in the comments section below.
*If you are experiencing recurring or intense pain, please follow the recommendations of your physician for treatment.