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Knitting with arthritic hands

(27 Posts)
Dottienan Tue 06-Jun-23 17:16:59

Hello👋👋im dottienan its lovley to be here, i love knitting and have knit lots for my adult children /grandchildren in the past, i now have 2 great grandchildren due later on this year and as soon as i pick up the needles to start, my hands go in cramp, probably due to arthritis in hands, i miss my hobby, does anyone else have the same issues/problems

Primrose53 Tue 06-Jun-23 17:17:54

You need bamboo needles, they are much lighter to knit with.

Dottienan Tue 06-Jun-23 17:24:08

Thank you primrose i have never tried the bamboo needles, its definitely worth a try as im finding myself wondering what to do on an evening, i also like reading but find knitting for a new baby is so relaxing looking through the tiny baby patterns i have ♥️

Nannarose Tue 06-Jun-23 17:35:34

You may have already tried crochet. I have never been able to hold the tension properly in knitting, but I do lovely even crochet, and still do, with my arthritic hands.
In one of life's twists, I was taught by my nan, whose hands were arthritic - and I remember that as I work!

Dottienan Tue 06-Jun-23 17:54:38

I would love to be able to crotchet items other than a granny blanket, my dil can do some beautiful crotchet items/boho /hippie/ style afghans i can only wish to master some of her jewelled coloured ones ♥️

SueDonim Tue 06-Jun-23 21:50:02

Hello Dottie. Have you tried the special gloves you can get for arthritic hands? There’s a variety available. Some are quite thick and make your hands feel clumsy so you may need to experiment.

Nannarose I’m the opposite to you, good tension for knitting but hopeless with crochet!

Dottienan Wed 07-Jun-23 08:27:20

Hi sue 👋no i havnt tried the gloves, it might be worthwhile looking into them, thank you for letting me know about them 😊

Primrose53 Wed 07-Jun-23 08:46:47

I am currently crocheting this throw designed by Rosina Plane.

Primrose53 Wed 07-Jun-23 08:59:48

PS It is called Mosaic crochet and is the first one I’ve done even though I have been crocheting for 50 years!

Lots of counting, several mistakes which have had to be corrected but I am getting there!

travelnan Wed 07-Jun-23 15:10:22

I feel your pain dottienan, I too have arthritis in my hands. However I have found knitting on a circular needle helps a lot.. It might be worth a try.

Dottienan Wed 07-Jun-23 18:49:35

Primrose, oh look at that, how clever, i wouldn't no were to start, im just mrs average even in knitting which i have done for years 😊😊

Dottienan Wed 07-Jun-23 18:52:05

I have used circular needles in the past travelnan for larger knits, i tend to stick with little cardigan s bootees hats etc now, whenever i can, nice and light to do 😊

Callistemon21 Wed 07-Jun-23 19:11:44

Cramp - have you tried taking magnesium, Dottienan?
I find it helps.

And I've changed to crochet too, it seems to be easier on the hands..

Dottienan Wed 07-Jun-23 21:25:21

No iv not tried magnesium callistemon, its more an arthritis joint kind of cramp rather than just normal cramps, my hands are suffering the worst although my elbows have been giving me pain latley the joys of getting older i suppose 😊

Callistemon21 Wed 07-Jun-23 21:27:40

Old age doesn't come on its own, Dottienan

However, magnesium tablets might be worth a try.
I have arthriticky joints too.

Doodledog Thu 08-Jun-23 00:53:06

You can use circular needles for small projects too. They aren’t just for tubular knitting or large blankets, and they balance the weight better than straight needles. You just use them in the same way as straights, turning the work at the end of a row.

gillyknits Sun 11-Jun-23 11:18:47

I do a lot of knitting and crochet (as my name suggests) and I was really suffering with arthritis in my thumbs and trigger finger spasms in other fingers. My rheumatologist recommended that I try turmeric and black pepper, in capsule form.( High dosage capsules)
After only a week my hands were pain free
. The arthritis is still there but it doesn’t hurt as much.
Check with your doctor if you are on any other medications.

25Avalon Sun 11-Jun-23 11:20:47

Have you tried a cream like flexiseq cream. A friend swears by it for her swollen arthritic hands which she says improved straightaway. It’s available at Boots or on Amazon and is apparently recommended by The Athritic Society. It is non chemical and doesn’t affect any medication you may be on. I am about to order some myself.

KnittyNannie Sun 11-Jun-23 11:45:45

I started taking turmeric and black pepper tablets some years ago, and they help a lot with my arthritic hands. It takes a while for them to begin to work, so don’t give up on them. I did check with my pharmacist first that they wouldn’t have an adverse effect on any of my prescribed medication.

Rainnsnow Sun 11-Jun-23 12:06:47

Pacing your knitting will help your joints. Just do few minutes then read the pattern. It’s like any exercise doing it for extended amounts of time needs to be built up slowly. I found this out the hard way . It’s a great hobby , choosing the wool , pattern and project are all part of the fun . Knitting will keep your hands flexible and if it’s pure wool soft due to the lanolin.

Nannashirlz Sun 11-Jun-23 12:27:32

I’ve also got arthritis all of my joints but it’s the fingers that are the ones that bother me the most. I also wear hand sprints and have tried all those creams did nothing for me lol I do tapestry and I find if I do little at a time but not as much has I used to I can still enjoy it. Like we told at the hospital listen to your body you will know when you have pushed your limits. Don’t forget your hand exercises I’ve also got heat packs for my hands and squeeze balls. I did buy some finger splits because the ones I got from hospital I lost them you just have to move your fingers and they flip off

POW1 Sun 11-Jun-23 14:40:26

I found bamboo needles, and circular needles help. My biggest discovery though was using a South American method of knitting, using circular needles, but with the yarn round your neck and purl, rather than plain so that the tension is regulated by itself. It’s a bit odd at first, but means you don’t have to move your arms/fingers too much.

Qwerty Sun 11-Jun-23 17:03:01

I have Arthritis in one thumb, my dominant hand, and it makes some things, such as writing, painful. I use 10% Ibroprofen gel to ease the pain. It certainly helps.

Tweedle24 Sun 11-Jun-23 18:47:25

When the arthritis in my hands was first officially diagnosed, I was advised by my GP to give up knitting. I did stop, but do pick my needles up from time to time. Like Querty, I find Ibuprofen gel helps.

Primrose53 Sun 11-Jun-23 20:15:27


When the arthritis in my hands was first officially diagnosed, I was advised by my GP to give up knitting. I did stop, but do pick my needles up from time to time. Like Querty, I find Ibuprofen gel helps.

My Mum had been a keen knitter since she was 5. When she was about 80 her GP told her to give up knitting as she had arthritis. She came out so upset and I told her they were her hands and to carry on if she wanted to. What is the point of doing nothing?

She carried on and was still knitting and crocheting until she was 96. I think hands need to be kept busy!