In a series of letters this week, we will explore what makes us be better stitchers while being productive and gaining enjoyment from our hobby!
While stitching, we love to discover new tools and accessories that might help us in our craft. However, we often forget or pay too little attention to our main tools—our hands. When you handle the yarn, you should keep in mind that different yarns are produced differently and the yarn with which you are working might be covered in a variety of substances. Hence, washing your hands before and after your crafting is a great idea not just for your personal health but also to keep your project pristine before it’s time to block it. You will also notice that some fibers dry out your hands much faster than others. Dry hands can also depend on the season. Make sure to adopt a ritual of keeping your hands moisturized. Try lotions, lotion bars, oils, and creams, and find the ones that work best for you. I find that I prefer creams that absorb quickly so I can resume knitting as soon as possible, so these are great to keep readily available. But using richer and more emollient products produces the best results. Apply those and wear cotton or silk gloves from the pharmacy overnight, and your hands will thank you in the morning!
Depending on the style of your knitting, as well as recognizing that our bodies are unique, wearing rings can restrict blood flow to your fingers. While working away, our fingers are bent and are busy holding onto our stitching at a certain angle. The tingling of a finger “falling asleep” is the telltale sign of restricted blood flow. You might try learning a different style of knitting to improve it. But if you try removing your rings while you stitch, you might find that your fingers feel more relaxed and unrestricted. Also, the next time you get a manicure, splurge on an additional five- or ten-minute hand massage, or even try acupuncture. After all, your hands are your main tools, and they deserve a little pampering!