yarns and notions

The Benefits of Bamboo Needles

Knitting can be tough on your hands and wrists. Non-Knitting friends may laugh at us when we tell them this but it’s true. knitting really can take its toll on our poor hands and wrists. A few weeks back I blogged about knitting hand balms and included a recipe to make your own 100% natural hand balm to ease some of the joint pain we can experience when knitting. Today I’m going to share another tip with you for reducing the pain when knitting –  bamboo needles. bamboo circulars

If you suffer from arthritis or rheumatism and are still using metal or aluminium needles then you need to get yourself some bamboo needles quick sharp! You will find that you can knit for longer with bamboo needles before any pain kicks in. This was tested on my own Nan who suffered terribly in her later years from arthritis which made knitting very painful. After doing some research on Bamboo needles I bought her a complete set and she found that she could knit for much longer before her arthritis pains kicked-in. I also began knitting on Bamboo needles myself and have never gone back to metal needles. One added benefit of using bamboo rather than aluminium needles is that the don’t make the “clickety clack” sound which seems to annoy the hell out of people who sit next to us on the train/in our living rooms/in doctor’s waiting rooms as we knit.

Knitters in cold climates will also notice that bamboo needles are warmer to use in the winter and they can make slippery yarns easier to knit as they have a little more grip than metal needles. I’ve heard people mention that they can knit quicker on metal needles but honestly, I haven’t really noticed a slowing down in the speed of my knitting since I moved to bamboo but I have noticed the other benefits and even if using bamboo meant my knitting speed slowed a fraction, I’d still use them.

Another tip to ease the strain on your wrists is to use circular needles even for flat knitting. The weight of your work will sit in your lap or on the cord rather than placing the strain on your wrist which is holding the straight needle carrying the weight of the knitting. If you’ve never used circular needles to knit flat before it’s so simple. You just knit as you would with two straight needles, turning the work at the end of each row (just as you would with straight needles).

flat2
Knit a row as you would on straight needles
knitting flat on circular needles
When you get to the end of the row, simply turn the work as you would on straight needles. In this example, you would next be working a Purl row and you would be moving the needle in your left hand to your right hand.
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