Thursday, February 07, 2008

Simple Solution

I'm one of those knitters that ends up with puncture wounds in the pointer finger of their left hand. While I don't exactly push the needle with my finger, I do continuously guide it. Eventually all that poking wears through my skin, creating a cut of sorts that follows the ridges of my fingerprint. This odd little injury can be quite painful if (when!) the needle stabs into the wound....repeatedly.

In the past I have tried many different methods to protect the area. The most obvious, a bandage, was too clumsy and thick, interfering with my manipulation of the knitting needles. I tried a leather quilters' thimble and it was also too cumbersome. I then tried using fingercots but they dulled the sensation of my fingertip too much making it feel like I was knitting with gloves on.

I have finally found a near perfect solution.

A humble piece of masking tape. It works great! It protects my finger just enough to prevent the shock of a needle ramming into an open wound, but isn't bulky and also leaves enough sensation in the fingertip so that I can still feel what I am doing.

As you can see in the picture, eventually even the masking tape wears through but at $1 per roll I can afford a new inch or so of tape whenever that happens.


Jen said...

Hey, that's a great idea. I'm going to try that as I have the same problem. :-)

Maggie Ann said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery from that injury. My battles are with 'splits' when the weather changes.

Marlene said...

Unfortunately Maggie, I would have to at least temporarily give up knitting to give it a chance to heal, and that makes the cure worse than the wound. Ha!

Well just kidding really. The masking tape really does protect the cut/hole enough that it will heal just fine. It also only happens when I work for extended periods of time with the smaller, pointer needles. Sock knitting is particularly hazardous. Right now I am working with fingering weight yarn with a difficult p3tog that wears on my finger quite quickly.

Marlene said...

Be patient with the technique Jen. It takes a little fiddling to find the perfect way to put the tape on so that it doesn't bind and also doesn't fall off. I found that I prefered it when it was not wrapped all the way around the fingertip or over a joint. Burnishing the ends of the tape helped it to stay on better, and like masking tape on a wall, the longer it is on the better it seems to stick.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

I use a product called "New Skin" whenever I get a cut or hole from pushing the needle. I found out about it when I was doing a lot of hand quilting and repeatedly jammed the point of a very sharp needle into the tip of my finger. You bush it on and it hardens into a protective layer; it also feels much like your skin (only harder) so it doesn't interfere with sensation or manipulation. You can get it anywhere - the grocery store, Target, drug stores, etc. I've been using the same bottle for a couple of years, so it goes a long way. It also lasts for quite a while on your finger and doesn't get all raggy like tape does.

Just thought I'd throw that out for you. :)

Knit Witch said...

I used to have that same problem! I have learned to guide the needle on the side rather than on the point - helps decrease the ouchiness!

Laura said...

Sock knitting can be hazardous. Especially some patterns. I have a Cookie A. pattern on the needles right now, all ribbed, and the knit stitches are knit through the back loop. Brutal!

Marlene said...

I had thought about "New Skin" Pam, but never got around to giving it a try. It sounds like it would work really well. I never knew it actually got hard.

One of the things I like about the tape though is that when I'm finished knitting I just rip the little scrap of tape off and I'm done with it. No big deal to get a fresh piece the next time I sit down with the tiny needles.