Knitting position/lighting

my back is beginning to ache from hunching over my knitting… is there a way of sitting and arranging lighting that is most comfortable?

also, has anyone built their own lamp for knitting, or do you just use a desk lamp?

Personally for me…

I kick back on the couch and put my feet up. I don’t use any special lamps… just the overhead light.

Try not to hunch over your knitting. If you’re getting tense, shake it out. You negatively effect your knitting tension otherwise. Knitting will be a Zen thing for you soon, I promise. You don’t want your stitches to be too tight because that will make it harder to get your needle inserted. Take a deep breath, it will be okay.

I need to sit without having my arms blocked. I can’t rest my arms on a chair when I knit. I keep my elbows loose and waist height and try to sit up so that my neck won’t start to hurt. I take my knitting everywhere, so I don’t have any lighting requirements. And I’ve been known to knit in a dark movie theater. :lol:

I knit either sitting cross-legged on my bed (good lighting, poor back support)
on the couch, leaning back, feet up (good back support, poor lighting).

hopefully one of these Christmases or birthdays will bless me with an Ott-Lite :pray:!

I recently got an Ott floor lamp which has helped me tremendously. Especially for night knitting. I like setting on the sofa, legs up on the reclining foot rest with light over my right arm. These lamps come in a very basic style and less expensive or more expensive designer models. What’s important is the bulb which provides excellent light.

I had the same problem when I was learning to knit, and still tend to sink down lower and lower when I sit on the couch to knit. Of course, I tend to sit with my feet crossed & tucked under me on the couch, too, not very ergonomic! What worked for me was to dig out my glider rocker with footrest, take a hacksaw to the arms and remove them. Now I sit up straight in the glider rocker with choice of footrest or no footrest, arms free to hang straight at my sides. A floor lamp with full-spectrum bulb (it’s not an Ott brand light, but something similar) at my side works wonders at night, and I have the benefit of full sunlight from a south-facing window during the day. It’s made a big difference!

yeah i am the world’s worst example of what a knitter should sit like. I knit in the theatre watching movies, laying on the couch or in bed, sitting in a chair, (yes at the stoplight! :blush: ), standing in line at the grocery store…where ever i can find a second to knit a few stitches. so yeah i have bad light, posture, and location all going on at once! :rollseyes:

I have a rocking chair in my sewing room where I generally sit to sew. I will either sit back in the chair and rock while I sew, or be sitting upright in it. I try changing position regular so I don’t get cramped up.

For lighting I have a lamp behind me that shines down over my shoulder onto my work, very useful.

I’m experiencing the same problem with hunching over my knitting. I am trying to relax and sit up straight, legs out propped on the coffee table…it’s helping somewhat. Just need to train the muscles, I guess!

Related to the hunching problem–and likely partly the cause–is I don’t know what to do with the left needle. I can’t tell from Amy’s videos where she holds her left needle; I assume she, and most of you, hold the left needle up at a slight angle.

Yet, I cannot seem to knit without propping the left needle on my thigh, which means I knit at an awfully awkward angle sometimes. The result is a horrible cramp in my left shoulder that just will not go away! I’m sure it’s affecting the tension and quality of my knitting, too.

I’ve tried holding the left needle up, but my stiches slip off sometimes, and even when they don’t, I have a difficult time moving completed stiches to the right needle. Do I just need practice holding the left needle up? Please advise! I’m terribly uncoordinated.

(And yes, I know I sound ridiculous :))

I’ve seen people do this, so it’s really not ridiculous! If you’re using really long needles, it’s more difficult, for one thing–I don’t like using the long straights because they can be so awkward.

Have you tried knitting on circulars? You can use them as straights–just knit back and forth with them. The weight of the knitting doesn’t pull down on one or the other, you can’t drop a needle since they’re connected, and there’s no way to prop one. It allows for much more flexible knitting.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I have tried circulars. I still try to prop. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how awkward that is, what with the cable and the shorter needles…talk about hunching and cramping…


In fact, I’ve temporarily abandoned using the circular needles because my knitting looks absolutely hideous on them (because I cannot prop).

I think I’ll just break out my practice skein of el cheapo yarn and work on holding the left needle up–let the hideousness come! I managed to learn to hold the yarn Amy’s way when I knit and purl (and wow, what a difference that has made!), so surely I can conquer the needle propping. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

It’s ok to prop if that’s what works for you. There are techniques that have you hold the right needle under your arm, even.

The old-time Fair Isle knitters–and maybe even the new time ones, too–jab their left’hand working needle in a bag of hay or wool–essentially propping. All the movement and work is done with the right needle over the top of the left.

There are no rules here–do what works for you.

Well, I’m not looking necessarily for “a” right way; I want one that doesn’t cause this horrible left shoulder pain, pain which tells me that something isn’t right.

My thinking is that the propping and knitting at the awkward angle are the causes. Were it not for the pain, I wouldn’t even worry about the propping :slight_smile:

The pain is probably a good indicator that you should change. :rollseyes: I forgot about that aspect.

So break out the cheapo yarn and let the hideousness begin! :rofling:

So break out the cheapo yarn and let the hideousness begin!

How I’ll spend the next few days: :frog: