Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Knitter's Elbow

Knitter's elbow has struck. A stabbing pain in my right elbow in some positions and a slight twinge in my left elbow. I feel like an old lady with too many complaints. Especially when it's the ordinary stuff that hurts, like closing the car door or picking up the tea kettle to pour water.

My theory is too much K2P2 ribbing on the Watch Cap on a size 4 needle, along with a large amount of seed stitch on the Minimalist Cardigan, struggles on the Snap Cardigan with Malabrigo on what felt like too small a gauge, combined with more free time than usual to knit. At this point, you may be wondering why I like to knit, because it all sounds like too much slogging away without much payback. But I do love it: it's quiet, it has a beginning and an end (my biggest developmental is not anticipating the future, but in knitting I can see it and try it on and change it), it has color and texture, and it creates something beautiful that is useful and I can put on and be proud. And I love the feeling of fiber: the slight scratchiness of wool with its bounce and stretch, the light warmth of alpaca, the softness of silk.

Yoga to the rescue! I've been on a vacation from my yoga practice, which stretches my arms and strengthens my wrists and exercises my fingers in all sorts of gentle ways. I'm revising the new practice; after yesterday's try-out, I was beat. So I'm going to decrease the chanting to one repetition of Mantrapuspam (which is surprisingly tiring when you're doing two repetitions of a very long chant at full voice, and you have no idea if you're hitting the notes right, so the mind is working), done quietly instead of at full throttle, sit for a bit, and add in some gentle stretches for fingers, wrists, and shoulders.

Internet to the rescue! Good aspiring yoga therapist that I am, the light bulb went on this morning and I thought "huh, how about searching for "carpal tunnel and yoga"? Here's what I found: My Daily Yoga, and an excellent article about Repetitive Strain Injury and yoga. Go here for the article by Ellen Serber, a series of yoga postures to help alleviate the strain, and animated demonstrations of the poses. (Ellen also has a very wise disclaimer, which reminds us to see our doctor if there is significant pain. And I would add that if you are not a yoga teacher or a long-time student, you will want to seek out a teacher to aid you in learning these exercises.)

Breakfast, and then some yoga. Knitting, I'll be back soon, I hope. Just got my delivery of Malabrigo in Rhodesian, and I'm wanting to wear the Snap Cardigan soon.

No comments: