Finished Objects 2011, Knit Without Ceasing, Physical Therapy, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical Therapy

Today I saw the physical therapist to get some help with range of motion issues in a couple of major joints that have been affected by rheumatoid arthritis. We talked about knitting, and how much I love it, and how I try to strike a balance between knitting enough to keep my hands flexible but not so much as to bother my shoulder. I've got to use, but not overuse, my joints. The same principle applies to all physical activity, and we're working together to figure out what will be therapeutic for me. Step one is a series of yoga-type stretches. Step two is using that elliptical machine we have upstairs. And step three is realizing that knitting counts as helpful, too. 

So the socks I finished tonight? Are physical therapy. And to keep myself knitting, I'm going to try and record my finished knitting here.

I've been a pretty big failure at that kind of record-keeping in the past. 

Finished Objects 2011 002 But who knows? This may be the year. It's just that you (and I) may have to settle for quick phone camera shots such as the one here. 

This is a pair of socks for #1 Son. The yarn never made it to the stash, I think I cast on as soon as I got the yarn home from the store. It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the colorway Marias Falls, which is deep blue with purple, warm brown, chocolate & dark green. It's meant to be used on big needles, for a bulky sock, but I ended up using size 1 needles and getting a dense, tight, soft sock. #1 Son tried on the first sock when he was here in October, and it's taken a ridiculous amount of time to get around to finishing the second one. These still need blocking, but at least they are off the needles!

I enjoyed working with the yarn, but the proof is in the wearing. 

I have three other projects on the needles (at least I hope it's only three), and my goal is to finish two of those before I pick up anything else. The third is a sweater for LP. I started it quite a while ago and need to assess whether it will still fit and suit her, probably more the latter than the former. 

Tomorrow I start the stretching…more on that when I have something to report.


4 thoughts on “Physical Therapy”

  1. Songbird,
    I’ve read for quite while but think this is my first comment.
    While I don’t have RA I do have osteoarthritis in many joints and I am a knitter. I agree that balance is everything and if something takes a while longer to finish than i expected, well, so be it.. I have pain in very many joints and my fingers are misshapen with lumps and bumps. I always use double pointed needles for socks as I find that having to stop to change needles provides a tiny rest in which i flex my hand. I’m not fond of magic loop or two on circulars etc. Usually use 3 needles for stitches and knit with fourth.
    I also find posture is important. Before I left my home (and 40 year marriage) I had a great outdoor table in a sheltered position. It was a good height to rest my work on. I now live with eldest son and his wife and their table is a different height. When I try to rest knitting on table and knit too, the pressure moves up my arm to shoulder. I have to make myself relax, breath well, sit back and lower shoulders and consciously relax them. I do this often.
    I have different projets on the go with different sized needles to give my hands a change.
    I find the Knitpicks, Knitpro down here, needles are great and I love the Harmony wood ones. Bamboo is also good for my hands. Your size 6 is 4 mm down here. I can’t use anything more than 7 mm without trouble brewing.
    I try not to be a yarn snob, but acrylic hurts my hands. I did half a dozen small penguins in acrylic for a friend who is a chaplain in St John Ambulance and wrecked my fingers for a fortnight after. They use the penguins instead of trauma teddies. Natural fibres with elasticity are much better.
    Those socks look great but I must say I’ve never blocked any and I’ve made a few hundred socks. I did once steam iron a pair to flatten the stocking stitch for a photo.
    All the best as you find what works for you in physio and exercise and knitting and drugs.
    Sydney Australia.

  2. I love the Mtn Colors Bearfoot yarn and the colorways. I have to admit I’ve never blocked socks – I’m too anxious to wear them! I look forward to seeing your knitted projects!

  3. There you go… knitting as physical therapy! It is all about the balance I suppose, as it is with most all of life. Hoping the stretching and PT helps my friend. :c) Gentle hugs.

Comments are closed.