Thursday night is always knitting night at Panera. I actually tried not to knit too much, since my hands were still hurting, but I took along a small, lightweight project and I worked only very slowly.
Thanks to Bea, however, I had other things to try out that helped save my hands a bit. Bea recently purchased a Nifty Swift and a yarn winder, and we spent a couple of hours learning how they work – and putting them to good use.
Both of us had our handpainted food color-dyed yarn to convert from skeins to balls, and I had a pair of skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock as well.
Both of us having been without these tools at all, we are well-versed in how to hand-wind a center-pull ball of yarn. But we’re also well aware of how long it takes to do that.
So we were amazed and delighted when, a mere two hours after starting, we had this:
The two on the left are Bea’s Peacock Feather colorway. In the middle is my Folkcat’s Fuchsias yarn. And on the right is the two skeins of CTH. We figure we’d have been half a week trying to wind these by hand.
As you can imagine, we were quite the floor show at Panera, with the swift spinning away and the balls of yarn growing larger and larger on the winder. And I tell you, the process is addictive – I could easily see a fiber artist going through everything in their stash, whether it needs winding or not, just because it’s so much fun to do!
The Hand Update
My hands still ache, though they may be getting a little better. There are still occasional twinges when I pick up something heavy, or grasp something large. The overall aching and numbness, though, aren’t quite as constant.
I think one of the culprits may have been an abrupt and intense workout knitting on size 11 needles to complete a Wearable Hug on Sunday and Monday. I read another blogger yesterday complaining how working a project on large needles aggravated her Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and I remembered that, in the midst of weeks of lace and sock sized work, I’d done that big piece. Gotta wonder, don’tcha, since the pain started the next day.
As it happens, I purchased a new pair of Thera-Gloves on Tuesday – but not until the day after I’d finished the Hug. I’ve been putting them to work since then, however, even when I haven’t been knitting. I think they’re helping. I’m also often popping a wrist warmer on the right hand (the one that’s most affected) to help heat the area for a while now and then. And I’m using the 99:99 plan to allow a little gentle knitting (read: not chunky), but in very limited daily doses.
I expect I’ll be back to normal soon enough. And I hope that all of you reading this will take the lesson to pay attention to what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and for how long. Use proper protective gear if necessary, take frequent breaks, do exercises and switch tasks so you’re not working the same body parts all the time while neglecting others.
Otherwise, you might have to endure an enforced vacation from your crafting, as I’m doing right now.