I’m no Max Daniels, but I’ve got a solid gold piece of self-care advice for you. It may be timely right now, when so many knitters are cranking hard to finish the last of their holiday gifts.
When your shoulder feels a little ooky, and the thought crosses your mind that maybe you should take a break from knitting, just in case the knitting is the slightest contributing factor to the shoulder ookiness problem—listen to that thought.
Don’t do as I did, and shout down that thought with arguments like “But knitting relaxes me!” or “Knitting is my happy place!” or “How am I supposed to listen to the Daily Podcast without knitting?”
Because—Cautionary Tale alert—what happened next is that I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago, and my shoulder physically did not work. Overnight, my right shoulder had up and quit on me. It was a body-part strike, and try as I might, I could not cross the picket line.
I also couldn’t take clothes out of the washing machine or dryer, put a tray of spuds into the oven, or open a cabinet door with my right arm, let alone even think about my favorite home-maintenance joy-maker, that mop. I was at the mercy of a small, oppositional terrier, because I could not scoop up the 10 pounds of her when she became unruly. With her terrier’s instinct for any weakness in her prey, she picked up on this immediately and became twice as naughty and barky as usual.
When that happened, I finally declared a cessation of knitting, and a cessation of everything else involving right shoulder movement. I googled it, and it turns out that the cure for what ailed me was total rest of the offended shoulder. But by not resting it sooner, I had made it very bad indeed, to the point that even resting made my shoulder hurt.
So, that’s my message. Sometimes we have to knit less to knit more, or knit at all. Hear me now, or you will hear your shoulder later.
My shoulder is feeling great now, thanks! So great that I’m back to cranking out the tiny houses of joy from Kaffe Fassett’s Village Scarf chart in Field Guide No. 16: Painterly. I have made quite a stack of them. The game is afoot.