Hand cramps while knitting

Is there a certain way to hold your yarn to prevent this? I am new ti knitting and just learned from web videos and books. Not sure if I am just holding the wrong way or what. I knit Continental style and wrap the thread around my pinkey and then up to my index finger. I often think I may be holding it wrong because my hand actually starts to cramp… Maybe it is something I just need to get used to?

I don’t think it’s the yarn, but more likely the way you are holding the needles. Are you holding them really tight?

It may be you’re holding the needles too tightly, they won’t run away, and neither will the stitches, so just loosen up a little.

your holding technique makes a difference. Try to find what is comfortable for you. But mostly: even if you are experienced in knitting this can happen when you have not done anything for a while. So: part of it is training.

Are you knitting a big piece? Is the knitting heavy?

It is a heavy piece… And I may be just holding them too tight because I am paranoid about dropping the stitches… Thanks for the tips and I will try to chill a bit and not worry so much about dropping them. hehe

If you’re paranoid about dropped stitches, maybe try using wooden or bamboo needles? They tend to be more ‘grippy’. If you knit tightly, though, you’ll find them difficult to use because of that.

Try knitting something very simple (like a stockinette stitch scarf), and experimenting with different ways of holding the yarn and the needles, different sizes and types of needles, and so on.

dropped stitches are not the end of the world. Just pick them back up and fine.
if a stitch slides off the needle: just bring the tip of your needle back trough it. In worst case you have twisted the stitch in doing so (I do that all the time). Then you can just move it around by lifting it off and back on (knit- and purl-wise) to untwist it. you will see.
If you have a stitch run down several rows… well, that is a little worse. But not so bad (if you are not doing lace, anyways)

the stitch then leaves a trace: sting spanning across the line of the stitch.

just take your knitting needle (or better a crochet hook, my favorit weapon in this case) and lift the stitch back up, row by row.

In stochinette: if you work this from the RS: slide the hook trough the stitch from front to back. Pull the “spanning yarn” through to the front. Continue this way for all rows.

In garter stitch:

row 1 you do like that (above) then the next (row 2) you do with the spanning yarn in the front and the hook going through from back to front. Just try one stitch and see if the result is what you want, if not: start correcting with doing a row 2 first.
keep alternating untill you have all stitches back in place.

In case you should have a massive desaster (say you travel with your knitting and several stitches drop out, fall down and make a big mess)… there are different ways to fix it: rip the piece out to the point of no damage (depending how many stitches fell and how much work the fixing in the other way would be compared to re-knitting)

or: secure all individual stitches before starting the fixing. You do that by putting something in the loop to prevent it from slipping lower.
you can take knitting needles, crochet hooks, waste yarn that you thread through with a wool needle or crochet hook. You can use safety pins, openable stitch markers… whatever. The goal is to make sure that the loop does not slip through the loop below.

When securing stitches: try to pull on the yarn as little as possible. That makes the next stitch slip.

Then you can fix stitch by stitch.

What I want to say: We have all dropped stitches. We have all survived. I do not know of acutal suicide because of this.

If you still are afraid: check out “life lines”. They put you at relative ease with the thing. Messing up or dropping stitches really is not so bad with a life line.

I turned to knitting when I begin having trouble crocheting, it might work well in reverse. After some time I can now do both with frequent rests and alternating between the two.

Knowing how to fix droped sts may help. The techniques Hyperactive describes are shown in videos on the Tips page under Fixing Mistakes.

@suzee: I didn’t look there. But I seem to remember that there was stuff about it in the videos… well, I could have saved myself some typing. Thanks for saying!

I just often see knitters so paranoid about dropping stitches or messing up and that doesn’t help in the least. I just play with my knitting and have fun. If a stitch slides off, that usually is no problem at all, even if it drops. being relaxed about things makes it easier. And once you know that it is no death sentence, you can relax.

I forgot to mention: stretch your hands, arms and shoulders every once in while. Open and close your hands (fist and stretched fingers and so on). That helps with all repetitive motion exercises.

I just often see knitters so paranoid about dropping stitches or messing up and that doesn’t help in the least.

You’re right, it’s not the end of everything… I’ve never dropped stitches except occasionally, could be because I’ve used circs since about my second project and they seem less prone to having stitches drop off.

I had the same problem when I tried Continental knitting. I only knit English style now, because my hands are more relaxed this way. I’ve also heard that other styles of knitting work well to avoid pain. Just try different techniques until you find the right one for you. You’ll find lots of various knitting style videos on YouTube.