Some time ago I noted my left thumb aching . . .especially after knitting.

While it cleared up after stopping knitting, it bothered me.

First of all, who wants to give up knitting?  And second, I didn’t want it to be anything
serious . . .like a repetitive stress injury.

I noticed it when I was more stressed than usual. My caregiving activities were at an all-time high, among other things . . .

Because I wanted to know if I could fix it by changing what I was doing, I started closely watching how I knit.

I first noted the discomfort while knitting a 1×1 ribbing.  At the time I knit quite a bit of ribbing including hats and socks.

Why knit ribbing?  Well three reasons actually.

  • Ribbing makes a nice elastic stitch.
  • Caregiving responsibilities were cutting into knitting time.  So I didn’t have extra time to take extensive measurements and fittings.  I wanted articles that would fit without a lot of adjustments.
  • A pattern that’s the same every row is easier to drop in a hurry and pick up again when interruptions come . . .cutting down on the ripping and reworking.

Changing the knitting instructions to accomodate pain
How do I knit?

I carry the yarn in her left hand.  Well, sort of.

Actually I don’t wind it between my fingers. When switching from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, I use my left thumb to wrap the yarn around the needle to form the purl stitch.

When relearning how to carry the yarn wasn’t working, it was time to search for another
option . . .

What about knitting instructions that allow you to carry the yarn behind your work for both knit and purl stitches?

Like you do in Norwegian purling.

You can check it out in this video . . .

Can’t see the video?  Just click here for a different viewer.

Learning a new way to purl was easier than trying to relearn holding the yarn in my hand differently.

If you haven’t tried the Norwegian purl stitch, you might want to.  It’s nice to have a couple of alternative ways to purl.  You may find it FUN to switch back and forth.

Using Norwegian purling relieved the thumb pain.

An added benefit . . .I stopped avoiding the purl stitch.

Are you avoiding a certain stitch?

If you want to do the stitch, you might try a different method of knitting.

And guess what . . .?

You might just find it FUN!

Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,


“The Knitting Dr.”

The Knitting Yarn

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