For some, knitting is more than a hobby, it is an addiction that just won’t fade, and there is nothing wrong with that!
The problem comes in when knitting starts to cause comfort issues and sometimes even pain. When knitting with arthritis, this pain becomes pronounced and can almost making knitting unbearable.
While you don’t have to give up knitting completely with arthritis, there are some adjustments you will need to make. This is to help make knitting more comfortable and to help keep your fingers and hands in the best shape possible.
What are the best knitting needles for arthritic hands? The best knitting needles for arthritis are lightweight. Bamboo and plastic options are naturally light and therefore easier to hold. Circular needles are also great choices, as much of the weight of the knitting is off of your wrists and held by the cord instead.
The right knitting needles can go a long way in helping curb the discomfort felt when knitting with arthritic hands, so here is how to find the right one for you!
The Importance Of Choosing The Right Needle
Having arthritis and loving knitting doesn’t have to be negative. Knitting can actually help improve dexterity in the fingers and hands, which helps relieve symptoms of arthritis. You need to approach knitting how you would other sports, warming your fingers and hands up before getting stuck into a project.
There are also some really great hand exercises you can do before and after you knit that can really help.
Continuing with knitting during arthritis might actually have some long-term benefits and result in less pain with arthritis or carpal tunnel.
Choosing the right needles to work with can definitely help alleviate the pain felt when knitting with arthritic hands. Lightweight and warmer needles do their bit to subside the swelling and pain, and using circular needles helps to distribute the weight of a heavy project. This helps put less pressure on your wrists and hands when knitting.
Which Needles Work Best?
Different needles can change the feel of knitting. Some make it easier to knit with arthritic hands. These are some of the types of needles that will help best:
Bamboo needles – Bamboo needles are popular with those who have arthritic hands. They are warm in the hands and are incredibly lightweight. The wool doesn’t slip easily along the bamboo or wooden needle as easily as it does on metal, which makes for slower knitting.
The lightweight of the bamboo needles helps relieve weight and pressure on your hands, which may reduce strain and any discomfort felt. There are other wooden options to choose from, such as walnut, birch, and ebony, but bamboo is the most eco-friendly option.
Being warm in your hands, bamboo needles also help to relieve some pain and discomfort, compared to the cold metal usually used for knitting.
Casein needles – Made from milk protein, casein needles are lightweight, smooth, warm and comfortable. They also offer a good mix of firmness and flexibility, which does come in handy when knitting with arthritis.
Casein needles are smoother than wood and quieter as well, so they are better to use when knitting where you don’t want to disturb others.
Plastic needles – Plastic needles can be warm and smooth. They are lightweight, which makes knitting easier and less tiring. They are available in a wide range of colors and designs, so you can choose what suits you best.
Circular needles – When working with larger, heavier projects, circular needles can properly distribute the weight of the project to put less pressure on your wrists and hands. This allows you to knit for longer as your hands won’t be under so much strain from the weight of the project.
How Do I Know Which Needles to Use?
The only sure-fire way to know which knitting needle will be best to help reduce your pain and discomfort is by trial and error. Everyone has different knitting movements and every hand is different, so there is not one magical fix. The yarn you use will also have an effect on the comfort needles offer.
The combination of needles and yarn will have different slips and grips, so you will need to take it one step at a time. Different projects might also require different needles, which could, in turn, determine how knitting will feel. You just have to work your way through a couple and figure out which will be the best for you.
5 Best Needles For Arthritic Hands
Here are some of our favorite knitting needles that are lightweight and easy to wield. They will literally take some of that excess weight off of your hands!
|1.||ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needles||Less weight carried by hands|
|2.||Susan Bates Crystalites Acrylic Knitting Needle Set||Ultra lightweight|
|3.||ChiaoGoo Single Point Bamboo Knitting Needle||Lightweight bamboo|
|4.||Tulip Needle Company Interchangeable Bamboo Knitting Needle Set||Less weight carried by hands|
|5.||Li-Start Plastic Single Pointed Knitting Needle Set||Ultra lightweight|
1. ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needles
These fixed circular bamboo knitting needles come in the US 6 (5mm). They are made from Chinese Moso bamboo which is the strongest and largest bamboo variation, but they are still incredibly lightweight.
The points of the needles are handcrafted by skilled craftsmen, and each needle has the size laser etched on for extra convenience, making them distinguishable.
Circular needles help to distribute weight evenly when knitting and the lightweight of the needles help reduce the effects of arthritis even further.
The ChiaoGoo needles are made in Hangzhou, China and are 100% recyclable.
2. Susan Bates Crystalites Acrylic Knitting Needle Set
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These 10-inch needles are lightweight and are warm in the hand. The needles are also finished to be incredibly smooth, creating a knitting experience that is light as air.
The different sizes are color-coded, allowing you to distinguish between them easily without having to read small, faded numbers.
The knobs offer a no-roll feature and show the US and metric measurement clearly. This gift set comes with four pairs of 10-inch needles in US 8, US 9, US 10 and US 10.5.
3. ChiaoGoo Single Point Bamboo Knitting Needle
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The Chiaogoo Single Point Needles come in a single pair set of US 7. They are dark patina needles that go through additional thermal processes to obtain a darker color, without using dyes or paints.
The points are handcrafted and perfectly sized and shaped. The needles are lightweight and warm in the hands, creating a light and easy knitting experience.
Bamboo is incredibly eco-friendly and is 100% recyclable.
4. Tulip Needle Company Interchangeable Bamboo Knitting Needle Set
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This lightweight interchangeable bamboo set makes knitting a breeze. Knitting needle sizes can easily be adjusted by tightening and screwing different size needle heads, included in the kit, onto knitting needles. The rotary cable joint has been designed to prevent twisting while knitting.
There are 11 different sized knitting needle points included in the set, with cables measuring 16 inches, 24 inches, and 32 inches. There is also an adapter, six stoppers and two tapestry needles with built int yarn cutters.
The bamboo needles are lightweight and the circular knitting helps to ease the strain on already stiff hands.
5. Li-Start Plastic Single Pointed Knitting Needle Set
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These plastic needles are super lightweight and have perfectly round and sharp points to ensure smooth knitting.
The different metric sizes are marked individually on the needles in the 14 piece set. The colors are bright and vivid and each size comes in a different color.
Plastic needles are great to use for arthritic hands as they are lightweight, smooth and ergonomic.
Tips To Make Knitting More Finger-Friendly
Luckily, there are ways to make knitting arthritis friendly! Preparation to knit will just take a little longer than usual, but it will be so worth it. This way, you can enjoy knitting through arthritis instead of having to give it up due to pain and stiffness.
Warm water – Immersing your hands in warm water for up to 5 minutes will help bring relief and reduce swelling and stiffness before you begin knitting.
Hold knitting on your lap – Try and hold your knitting on your lap if you can. This helps reduce the weight felt on your hands and fingers, and can stop them stiffening or feeling too much discomfort.
Wool or acrylic – Using chunky, bulky or heavy yarn does not go down well with arthritic hands. They can be really difficult to work with under the best circumstances, and just make knitting with arthritis much worse. Rather opt for a wool or a soft acrylic yarn, these are much easier to work with.
Take it slow – Don’t try and rush your work. Instead, take it slow and take a good few breaks every now and again to stretch your fingers. Also make sure to sit in a chair which is comfortable, but keeps you upright and in a good posture.
Knit in the morning – While knitting is really great at night after a long day, try and get out of this habit. Try and knit early in the mornings. After being busy all day with other tasks, your fingers will be stiffer and more painful in the evenings, so knitting can aggravate the symptoms even further.
Compression gloves – Compression gloves or fingerless knitting gloves help to compress your hands as you knit. This creates better blood circulation, reduces swelling and helps to relieve pain, which is a great help when knitting with arthritic hands. Here is a list of the absolute best compression gloves for knitting and crocheting.
Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands
Don’t worry, arthritic hands do not mean giving up knitting. Your projects and yarns are safe! You just need to be aware of your condition and choose the right needles to make knitting a little bit easier on your hands and fingers.
Done right, knitting can actually help stop the rapid progression of arthritis and help to relieve the symptoms felt in arthritic hands.
Up Next: 5 Best Compression Gloves For Knitting and Crocheting