How long is TOO long when it comes to sitting and knitting?

Hey there knitters! I know I've been away for awhile, but not to worry! We are back to weekly posts on the blog. This week, we're covering the best supplies and TIME. 

Over the last month, I've been talking to a lot of knitters about the length of time they sit and knit without stopping. It's honestly quite astounding. A vast majority of the knitters I've spoken to will knit for 5 or 6 hours straight without stopping. Don't get me wrong, I TOTALLY get this. I'm definitely not innocent when it comes to this bad habit! Sometimes I'm working on a project with a big deadline, and stopping to even sip some water seems unimaginable---or maybe I'm doing a complicated few rows that require counting and 100% of my concentration! I couldn't possibly be considering putting the needles down and starting up again, what if I forget where I'm at or what stitch pattern I was doing?! 

These are all totally legitimate concerns, but remember, repetitive motion is one of the biggest enemies for the crafter! Breaking up the motion, either by getting up just to get a cup of tea or doing a quick sun salutation can SAVE those hands, shoulders and neck! You should be taking breaks from your knitting every 30 minutes. That might seem a little excessive, but even if it's just to stand up and walk around the house or out to the garden for five minutes, it can be a true lifesaver!

So---let's make sure you're all prepped for a healthy knitting lifestyle. I have an amazing list of things EVERY knitter and crocheter must have in their home to make sure they can get up and stretch it out every 30 minutes, without being concerned about forgetting what's going on in their pattern. These things will help you save time AND your lil' hands! Here are my MUST HAVES for every knitter and crocheter:

1) Pattern tape! This might seem kind of silly or obvious, but teaching in a yarn shop I find that a lot of people don't know about this useful tool. Use this translucent highlighter tape to keep track of where you are in your pattern (so you can go take your breaks!)

2) Invest in a good yarn bowl. Get that yarn off your lap and into a nice bowl! Sometimes I don't want to get up and take a break because I'm holding 6 strands of yarn and doing really complex colorwork and my yarn is all tangled in my lap! Invest in a nice yarn bowl from a fellow maker so getting up is a breeze!! I love these two-hole yarn bowls for my colorwork projects.

3) Magnets are your friends! Often the time when my hands hurt the most is when I'm weaving in ends. If you have to tackle a million ends on your latest project, or perhaps you're a fan of embroidering your knits, a magnetic needle minder will be your new best friend! These trusty tools keep your needles in place to you can put that project down and come back to it later!

4) Sheet protectors. Developed your own way to decipher a stitch pattern and worrying about forgetting it? Keep your patterns in sheet protectors and scribble all over them with dry erase markers (or write on your highlighter tape). It's also a great tip for keeping your place in a chart!

A little bonus...

5) Knitting Moisturizer. I know what you're thinking, 'WTF is she talking about?!' I'm talking about one of my favorite things, moisturizer bars for knitters!! Knitsomniac has some of my favorite scents (just DM her on Instagram for more info). Knitting isn't just hard on your hands! It's hard on your skin too. Take a little five-minute break and moisturize the crap out of your fingers for a little #cuticlecare time. 

Hope you enjoyed this week's post! Next week we'll talk about my favorite activities/stretches/workouts to do during my knitting breaks!

 Knitting bowl from  ceramiquecote !

Knitting bowl from ceramiquecote!

SuppliesRachel Barish