Tuesday, 9 December 2008


I feel like it's the last quarter of a basketball game, we're down by 2 points, the clock is running down and I've been benched ... here it is, 2 weeks before Christmas, the most knitterly of the holiday gift giving seasons, and my physiotherapist has asked me to quit knitting. Not forever. But for a good long time.

I have tendinitis in my shoulder, and prior to that, rotator cuff issues, and he feels they are knitting related. When he informed me of his "cure" for my shoulder/wrist/hand issues on Friday, I told him quite plainly that he was asking me to quit something that I just couldn't quit -- it would be like asking me to quit breathing or reading. What would I do with my time, I love it so much, it is my stress release, my creative outlet, a source of instant joy for me.

After physio, I went home, fuming and ranting to my husband about what a ridiculous request Physio Guy had made, how of course it couldn't be just caused by knitting ... and was so frustrated, I went in and sat down in my chair, to knit a few rows (you know, to take the edge off).

Not 15 minutes later, I was back in the kitchen, nearly in tears from the pain radiating from my shoulder to my elbow and then down into my hand (and to be honest, the realization of what I had done to myself, and I was really ticked), and told my husband that my Physio Guy was right, that the hobby I love most in this world was/is doing me real damage.

I put down the needles Saturday afternoon (after painfully cranking out the 2 roses I needed to finish the 6 Red Hatter Purses), and I won't be knitting anymore until at least mid-January. I am going to give my arm a month long break, do my exercises and see if it will heal.

Needless to say, I am devastated (this is not an overreaction - I knit a lot! More than I should, apparently). I have a number of Christmas presents that need finishing, a bunch that need starting (yeah - they won't get started this year), and a lot of family and friends who have been hinting for knitted presents who are going to be disappointed. Even when (hopefully it is "when", not "if") I get the strength and range of motion back in my arm, there won't be any more marathon knitting days for me (when T works weekends, I regularly knit from the time I get up until he gets home, 8 - 10 hours straight with only pee and coffee breaks).

I am currently feeling very sorry for myself ... and that being said, am sorry to drag you down with me. I will be back to normal soon, I'm sure, but am at the moment in shock and at a loss for what to do with my spare time.

Once I figure out something to "do", I'll be fine -- look for a chipper, happy version of me in a few days -- probably still without the ability to post pictures, though!


Donna M said...

That is my worst nightmare.....not being able to knit for whatever reason. I so feel for you.
Hopefully you will still come to KN and be our resource person, adviser and general dogsbody, because we miss your smile and wit when you are not here!

Heal quickly!

Marti said...

That is a total bummer. I really feel for you. I think someone telling me I cannot knit would only drive me to want to knit all the more. Perhaps sewing might fill in the gap a little, provided it doesn't aggrevate your injury?

I refuse to Christmas knit anymore, and I have nothing pressing on my needles currently, so if you would like some help in getting some gifts that you've started finished (I really get a charge out of finishing things), I would be thrilled to help you out. And I second Donna M's comment...I hope you don't stay away from KN. We miss having you there.

lexa said...

They would have to shoot me full of cortizone again. I have a rare form of tendonitis in my wrist (Can't remember what it was called technically -- the doc just said it was a rare form. After he treated me with pills, had me on the list for a special splint, physio, etc, he realized the only cure was the needle.) My arm hurt soooo bad, right from the wrist, down the thumb, up past my elbow. I used to have to take my other hand and use it to move my bad arm cuz I couldn't move it on my own. This was right after D was born, and I was petrified I'd drop him. Anyhoo, the cortizone did the trick, for now. Sometimes my wrists bother me, and I think, "Oh, no! Not again!" I didn't knit nearly as much then as I do now, and I'd just go absolutely insane. They would absolutely HAVE to cortizone me.

Good luck with the month's rest! In a way it's a good time to do it, busy with the holidays and stuff. Hopefully you can get out to knit nite for moral support. :)

PS You can sulk with T at work. He has it in his shoulder, and he can't bowl, hasn't been able to for months now. That's his big thing, and he is really missing it big time.

Yvette said...

I'm so sorry. Here's hoping for a full recovery. I used to terrible RSI in my right wrist from knitting. I found that changing up the way I hold the needles and hands helps. Try learning a new way to sit, Rest your elbow on the arm of the chair. Any little change in movement and weight distribution can really take the stress of the injury.

Anonymous said...

How do you knit? Do you knit with the 'throwing' method or 'Continental'? I found that learning Continental (the way they knit in Scandinavia) I was able to not only knit faster but it was so much easier on the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders!

It takes a little bit to get used to but after you do, it's amazingly fast!

christine (threedogknits) said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't knit. Or play the piano. Not that I've sat in front of my piano in years (since I've started knitting) but if the option was taken from me I'd be very upset.

I'm sure that after your knitting break you'll be back in fine form. Then you can knit pain free, which means you'll have more fun knitting than you are right now! In the meantime, take care of yourself!

Steph said...

I feel your pain... well, not exactly your pain, but a similar pain. A few years ago, after a rather agressive attempt at Fair Isle, I developed tendonitis in one of my wrists. On the advice of my physiotherapist, I didn't knit for several weeks. It was torture. I completely missed the Knitting Olympics! I did, however, continue to go to knit night. I asked all the KOLers to bring their latest pattern books and magazines and while they knit, I looked through them and dreamed of a world without pain radiating from my wrist!

Do exactly what the physiotherapist tells you and you should be ship shape soon enough. (Also, you'll be amazed at how many other things you can accomplish during your usual knitting time.)

leeniebeenie said...

Well I am sorry that this happened to you. I love to knit and it is like a soothing time where I can just sit there and not worry about anything else. I used to play softball and was going to go play in college but I got tendonitis in my rotator cuff.(I didn't play in college) but I knit a lot now and after letting it have a good rest and doing the strengthening excercises I am able to do a lot more. I think that you will be fine but you will have to take a break. I feel for you and hope it takes a short time before you can get back to what you love.