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“Noro Striped Scarf” using Plymouth Gina

We’re on the other side of Thanksgiving! While I’ve been able to hang on to sanity so far, it is really hitting me, today, how little time we have left in 2013.  It’s December 1st and my to-do list is scattered across many sheets of paper in a folder marked, “new store”.  I’ll spend the next few days focusing on work for the “new” Sage Yarn and making sure we’re set up for a successful move at the end of the month.  While I’ve been trying to go home and knit away on Christmas gifts, I don’t have any finished projects for you today, and the few things I’m working on are TOP SECRET because they are for people who read the blog.  

After cooking Thanksgiving dinner, visiting family, working through Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, I have to admit I’m all tied up in knots.  Once upon a time, before I joined my favorite gym, I didn’t move my body much and had a hard time sitting and knitting for any length of time.  My upper back, shoulders and neck would knot up and after a while my left arm would start to ache.  To correct this, I’ve taken up some stretching recommended by my gym and it has made a huge difference!  If you’ve intensified your knitting and crocheting in an effort to get your holiday gifts done, you might want to take a time out once in a while for some of these great stretches and exercises!  Make sure you are taking care of yourself along with all of those on your gift list.  I can’t wait to go home, put on some sweats and roll around with a lacrosse ball!

Now, I’m not a doctor and neither are the people I am linking to – be sure to use good common sense based on your range of movement and limitations.  Stretch to a place where you can feel the tension of the stretch but not pain.

Finger Yoga – this site features yoga for your fingers with photo guides

Knitting tips from a Physical Therapist, from TenTenKnits blog – posture, stretching, breathing, applies to crocheters also

Easy Exercises for Crocheters (and knitters), from Crochet Spot blog – simple stretching exercises for your hands

UCLA Ergonomics Upper Body Stretches – click on each for a quick description and illustration

Even though we tend to focus on our hands, my main problem is my upper back and neck.  This is my FAVORITE thing to do – self-massage with a lacrosse ball.  The last few days I’ve had a headache by the end of the day because I have let my busy schedule tie me up in knots.  Tonight, I’ll hit my upper back, shoulders, and neck, as well as my calves and feet (and anything else that’s calling to me).

And, please, if you’re rushing and pushing yourself to finish projects and find yourself in pain – STOP!  Take a break and address the issue with your doctor.  We want you all knitting and crocheting for a long, long time to come and “knitting/crocheting through the pain” will only hurt you.  Remember – your loved ones will still be cold in January!!