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Topic Circular knitting = carpal tunnel? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By evilducky On 02/26/04  

I have a question about circular knitting:

When i knit with straight needles, i balance one of them against my lap - it supports what i am knitting and my wrists (and carpal tunnel) don't flare up. When i knit with circulars, my hands start to really hurt - i feel like there is no support. Am i knitting correctly? Should your hands and needles just be up in the air and therefore the weight of what you are knitting on your wrists?

Also, i always have a problem with that plastic cord getting all wonky and kinked - what am i doing wrong there?

i really want to knit a poncho, but all the patterns i like are for circulars.

any help for a circular newbie?

By crazybones On 02/26/04  

I think that you might want to get a better quality pair of needles.

I bought a pretty cheap pair (from Walmart) and I felt like I was fighting the cord when I tried to use it. T he cord kept getting twisted, and it made knitting feel very akward.

I like Addi Turbos, or (I think) Susan Bates needles. The Addi Turbos are more expensive (about $8-10/pair) but the cord is very flexible, and cooperative. I would totally recommend them.

Oh yeah -- when I use circulars, I sometimes rest my hands on my lap, and let the knitting fall over my knees or lap. If it's really long, then I let it fall to the floor (I sometimes have a laundry basket, or in a backpack at my feet.)

However you are comfortable is what you should do. There is a good article on Knitty here:

By researchasaurus On 02/26/04  

The latest issue of Vogue Knitting had a really good article about repetitive strain injuries in relation to knitting. I'd see if you can get a copy someplace! (I borrowed it from a friend to read, or I'd send one to you.)

I agree that you might want better needles. I'd also recommend the Clover brand, which I have noticed is sometimes being sold at Hobby Lobby now. I think they're affiliated with Susan Bates but made in Japan.

I would advise against Crystal Palace brand needles because the cable can be a headache for a while too. These needles have great pointy tips for doing things like lacework, but it takes forever for the cable to loosen up.

If all else fails, take lots of breaks, and keep some bags of frozen peas handy! :)

By ookpik On 02/27/04  

it is always a good idea to rest your work on something so that you aren't holding weight while doing little repetitive movements. when i knit with circulars, i rest my hands right on my lap, or if i need to see more closely, on a table or a cushion or something. i find it helps.

also that knitty article rules. i was going to link that if someone hadn't already.

By evilducky On 02/27/04  

Thank you for the tips and article suggestions - the one in knitty was great!

thanks again-

By hello_kitten On 03/27/04  

great article!

By rratstarr On 03/29/04  


Until you can get some better-quality circulars, if that is what you choose to do, you can straighten out the plastic cord a little by running it under some very hot tap water. That may make it a little easier to work with.

However, I think you should just do what feels most comfortable to you. Just because a lot of people prefer to use circulars, you don't have to. Keep them around for when you want to knit something in the round, and knit the rest on your straight needles.


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