How to hold needles so fingers are not sore

I’m new to knitting and I’m sure there must be a different or better way to hold the knitting needles so my index finger and thumb on my right hand are not sore. It’s not like my fingers are exactly delicate as I crochet, do woodworking, and various other activities that require using my fingers.

I use my index finger to touch the point of the left needle to move the stitches closer to the point. And when I hold the right needle my thumb rubs against the yarn which causes it to be sore. I’m using worsted weight Red Heart yarn, so it’s not the texture of the yarn.

I’ve tried various styles of knitting the most comfortable one I’ve found so far is the Eastern European where all the stitches are worked from the back. When I tried other styles, my right wrist would hurt. But even with this, the most comfortable one, I have to put my little finger in front of the right needle and use it to move the needle so I move my wrist a lot less. I suppose I could blame the wrist problem on the fact that I broke my right wrist a couple of years ago but it only hurts when I knit.

I’m working on an afghan that I think is going to be absolutely beautiful and because of the way the pattern is the instructions said to use circular needles. My goal was to knit four rows per day but because of the pain in my fingers I can only knit about every other day and that is if I put bandaids on my finger and thumb to provide padding.

I would love to hear suggestions on how to fix this problem. I’m sure this is due to me being a novice so I’m looking for expert advice. Thanks for your help.

I had to look up Eastern European knitting to see what it was. That’s fine, but be aware that you may have to alter some things like increases and decreases or other stitches in patterns. Most patterns are designed with continental or english style knitting in mind.

Is it your left index finger that is sore? I see the person in the video has the working yarn in the left hand. In that case I think maybe you need a finger guard. Look up “knitting finger guard” or “knitting finger protector” and I think you can find something. Some are like rubber thimbles and some are just knitted tubes over the finger.

Is the yarn Red Heart Super Saver? If so I will say that I can’t knit with it because it hurts my fingers and I knit english style (or occasionally continental). I had to get rid of all of it I bought when I started knitting.

I had the same problem with my index finger when I started knitting a pair of socks with small quite pointed metal needles. Part of the problem lay I think with my tension which is on the tight side, making it necessary to press hard on the pointed ends which was quite painful. I tried to loosen up a bit (not wholly successfully) but some 32,000 stitches later my index finger has developed a nice protective piece of hard skin just in the right place to push the end of the needle and the discomfort has gone away.

As for discomfort caused by friction when the yarn passes through the fingers of the other hand, could this also be to do with tension? As my knitting technique has improved over the year or so I have been doing it I have found it easier to hold the yarn securely enough without having to grip it so tightly. I too do woodwork and I suspect that inclines one to hold tools very firmly, whereas knitting perhaps requires a lighter touch.

Thanks for the responses. Yes, all the discomfort is in the right index finger, right thumb, and right wrist. I went to the Eastern European style of knitting because I could hold the yarn in my left hand which feels more natural since I crochet quite a bit. Plus when I tried to use it in my right hand, I had to reposition it every couple of stitches and I had absolutely no tension and no consistency in the stitches.

Nigel, I hadn’t given any thought to the idea that the woodworking might affect the grip in knitting. I usually do my woodworking in the mornings and needle crafts in the afternoon. So maybe it is a holdover from the morning. I am consciously trying to relax my grip and the next time I’m in town I’ll check at the pharmacy to see if they have finger protectors. There is nothing in this area that resembles a hobby, or arts & crafts, or yarn store which is why I thought of the pharmacy.

Thanks for your suggestions. I have this afghan about 1/3 finished and I certainly don’t want to stop now. I guess we can mark this discussion as closed. Have a happy knitting weekend.