Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy Hands

I've been working on making a pair of socks this month as part of a Knit-A-Long (KAL) on Ravelry. I'm enjoying it a lot, but my hands are not. I have Carpal Tunnel in my right hand, and it has definitely been flaring lately with all the knitting I've been doing. However, I don't feel like I can stop because I have to finish my entire pair of socks by July 31st to be eligible for the contest portion of the KAL. If it's possible to win something that I can't afford to buy - especially when I had no start-up cost for this particular project (I already had the yarn I'm using, and the needles, and I checked the book out of the library for free, so this truly feels like a freebie project) - I'm going to do everything I can to qualify.
One thing that has surprised me though - even though I have flares every night that I knit (the severity depends on how much I've knit that day), the flares are not as bad as I had expected them to be, and my hand has yet to flare while I'm knitting (which is something I've struggled with in the past). I had expected to have the opposite problem due to how much smaller the needles are than what I typically use. These are teeny tiny needles (and for the next pair I'll use smaller ones yet); I need a pretty cramped grip just to hold them, which usually leads to flaring. The only thing I can come up with is that the project is so much lighter in weight than what I'm used to that my grip isn't as tight as it usually would be to hold the project up while working it. Also with my awareness of the problem, I am forcing myself to take breaks at least once an hour. Watching a recorded program on the DVR while knitting helps - every time there is a commercial I let go of the knitting to fast-forward back to the show, giving my hands a quick break multiple times in an hour long program.
Partially finished first sock

Next month I am planning to attempt TWO pairs of socks. One pair will be for my sister Laura and will be in shades of brown (her choice - she's already purchased the yarn). The other pair will be for me and will be in either blues or greens, maybe both depending on what I can find/afford. Double the chances in the contest, but also double the amount of knitting required and double the amount of stress on my hand.