If arthritis has forced you to put down your needlework, take heart. Better yet, take notes. Helpful tools and smart tricks can help you meld arthritis, knitting, cross-stitch and crocheting. You’ll not only create sweaters and afghans, you also might increase hand dexterity, says Theresa Leto, an occupational therapist and instructor at the University of Findlay in Ohio.
Leto suggests approaching needlework as an athletic event. “Warm up your hand in some way first.” Soaking hands and wrists in warm water prior to picking up a needle helps some of her patients. Then approach the activity like a sprinter, not a marathoner, and stitch in short sessions. Here are more smart needlework tricks from experts.
Knitting’s Still Doable
Trick 1: Try alternatives to metal needles, such as birch or bamboo needles, which are lightweight and warmer to the touch.