We all plan to be knitting comfortable for the remainder of our lives, right? Well Carson Demers has written an ergonomic guide to make sure that is the case. This is a book that every knitter (or crocheter) should own.
Knitting Ergonomic Guide
I think every knitter knows we could do better on the ergonomics of our knitting. If you have ever had a chance to take a class with Carson you know that just the mindfulness that he introduces can make a huge difference in the comfort of your knitting. Well now you don’t have to wait for him to teach near you (although it seems he’s always traveling, so you may get the opportunity!). If you knit regularly, this book should be on your shelf, ready for quick, and repeated, reference.
Just because you don’t have a problem right now is no reason not to read this book. I’ve been digesting this (I am only halfway done right now) carefully. Carson gently guides you through potential areas of stress from knitting, and gives solutions! He carefully explains, aided by wonderful photos and drawings, every conceivable situational cause of problems. Knitting ergonomics is only part of the picture—there are our phones, computers, desks, and every other repetitive thing we do—of the ergonomics we need to consider as we place increasing demands on our bodies.
These are the chapters that I’ve digested (note, I didn’t say read). I’ll be back on the 21st with the rest
Ergonomic Basics: The environment of our knitting includes productivity, efficiency, and safety. How we sit, the tools we use, the frequency of our knitting, and even how we hold our needles and yarn.
Fibers Make the Fabric: The explanation of fibers and energy was completely engaging. The connection between the fiber we use in yarn and the fibers in our body is excellent.
Anatomic Vulnerability: Okay, we knew this was coming. This is all the stuff that scares us and causes us to not pay attention to things we should. Carson makes a good argument for vigilance instead of ignorance.
Posture: Okay I hated this chapter. This is a little more than your mother telling you to sit up straight. I will admit that I have implemented almost none of the suggestions beyond awareness. I do sometimes stand and knit, but that is about the only good postural thing I do.
Contact Stress: We can’t avoid this. Carson identifies even eyeglasses as a contact stress. Things we don’t notice are probably okay. Things we notice, even just a little, may need our attention.
Forceful Exertion: Matching tools and techniques, choosing where you allow your energy to be expended (phone or knitting?) and making adjustments to prevent injuries. Have you ever considered the type of knitting you do (cables, lace, etc.) might inflict their own force back at you?
Did I mention a Swatchortunity? Carson gives exercises throughout to help you digest his concepts and possibly make changes. You might need a buddy for these—it could make it more fun to make changes, and give you someone to talk to about them.
I got full from digesting all of this ergonomics and had to put it aside for a while, but we need to know this stuff, so I’m picking it back up again and will bring the rest to you in a couple of weeks.