Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Game called.


Recently, I rather sheepishly told a good knitting friend of a knitting injury.  My left index finger was suffering from multiple punctures and lacerations caused by repeated encounters with thin, sharp, pointy sticks.  I wondered if she experienced the same thing..?

I was selfishly rather hoping so, as I hadn’t heard of this condition before, but surely I’m not the only person who punctures herself with a knitting needle in a small moment of inattention?  I felt like a total klutz.

Yes, she replied.  She too suffered from holes in her index finger.   So!  I was not alone in this painful side-effect of enthusiastic knitting.

We then went on to share an exchange of the inconveniences of having to wear a plaster while knitting:

  • The soggy plaster.   Do you get that?  When you are wearing a plaster/bandage on your finger, and then you get up to do some housework, and the thing gets wet, and then you sit back down to knit and find that your finger is all uncomfortable, wrapped in a cold, soggy thing.  Change to plaster no.2.
  • The incorrectly applied plaster.  That’s when the end of the plaster is attached to the wrong side of the finger so that knitting needle finds itself in contact with it – knit, stick, knit, stick, then the end lifts up, and you find the needle tip becomes coated in sticky, and then the yarn sticks to the sticky needle… and it all ends in great irritation, the removal of said offending plaster and correct application of plaster no.3 for the day.
  • The frayed plaster. After a sustained period of knitting, the plaster begins to fray at the edges.  See point two above for the effect of such fraying.  This requires plaster no. 4.
  • The dirty plaster.  Covered in jam, dust, grass clippings, whatever else you’ve been doing… necessitating plaster no. 5.
  • The insufferable plaster.  After a while, it all gets too much.  The restricted movement caused by that piece of silly plaster at the end of one’s finger is so irritating that I have to take it off, and risk the consequences of unprotected knitting.

It’s all fine for a while.  I gingerly knit using a different side of my finger, carefully avoiding the sore, bruised and holey bits.  Then someone says something, or I look away for a second, distracted, and YEOW!!!! Gaaaaah!!!!!  This causes the family members in the room to stop, stunned in their tracks, to watch me dancing the dance of pain and rage at having poked yet another hole in the affected appendage.  There’s a small silence as I wind on plaster no. 6 for the day.  Elastoplast should sponsor me.

Funnily enough, I find my 4mm DPN needles to be the biggest culprits.  I think it’s because they’re a cheaper brand of steel needle.  The original protective coating has worn off and the metal is exposed.  If you examine the points under a microscope, you’ll probably find a mass of sharp, lacerated edges.  Repeatedly slicing the skin hundreds of times, it eventually starts hurting as the slices go deeper, and deeper…  well, that’s my explanation for the sudden appearance of several long shallow cuts on the tip of my index finger.

The past couple of weeks have been particularly bad.  Not only was I nursing an extremely sore index finger, but I somehow managed to bash the skin off my thumb knuckle in an accidental encounter with a sharp-edged cupboard shelf.  Thumb knuckle injuries are nasty.  Because the joint is continually bending, it means that such injuries don’t stop bleeding very easily.

Sore fingers don’t make happy knitting.  So the game was called (or at least hindered) on account of injury.  But hopefully (she says, finger still bandaged) things will start to improve soon.  That, or I may have to look into surgically implanting extra thick skin on to the pad of my left index finger.


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

20 thoughts on “Game called.

  1. Oh that one had me laughing – i do understand.
    Good luck with the plaster fight

  2. I wonder if some of those toe protectors that are stretchy elastic with a little blob of silicone inside them would work to protect your finger? Ladies who get corns on the tops of their toes wear them to protect the toes from shoe pressure. Have a look in your local pharmacy. They slip on and off and are flesh coloured. The piece of silicone on the inside lining looks just like a piece of jellyfish. I know you must knit fast but would you melt plastic needles?

    • Hmm. I know about corn plasters, and they would not do the trick (too thick and squishy). But I wonder if a protector might work? thanks for the suggestion! 🙂 Haha – imagine melting one’s knitting needles! 😛

  3. How about a nice set of these

    They really are nice to knit with (I even saved then when Lily as a pup chewed some, just sanded it down and added a bit of wax polish)

    Worth a try, if you can’t get them over there happily send you a set.

    Hope your finger gets better soon 🙂

  4. Ouch, I’ve had this too – try crochet for a week!

  5. And you still managed to knit all those socks!!! Your a knitting wonder ! I laughed at the Knit/Stick comment 🙂

  6. oh dear, which friend was this???!!!
    Maybe you need to knit inside out! YOu poor thing, it’s your sub-conscious saying “take a break”
    ………………. shut up sub-conscious! What do you know!
    Have a lovely week, would love to have a catch up soon, how about a hook-tastic afternoon sometime over queens birthday?

  7. I had this when I first started knitting with 2.5mm knitpro DPNs. It’s not too bad though – maybe cos my fingers are hardened a bit with playing guitar…

    BTW – try using the kind of ‘plastic’ plaster on a roll that is really meant to secure bandages. It is thin and pliable. …or you could try insulating tape…

  8. Oh dear, this had me laughing (with you, not at you!).
    I too have struggled with the plaster issue. My best tip is get yourself a strip plaster (the ones you cut to size). I cut them very narrow, to only cover the hole and it minimises the plaster catching on the knitting. I think I have cut down normal plasters too but I like the stretchiness of the strips.

    Worst tip – sellotape over the plaster (totally doesn’t work, is stiff and catches).

    Lately, I’ve been living on the edge(woo hoo) and using my fingernail to push the tips of the knitting – instead of the holey finger tip. As you say, you only have to get distracted and forget and you get a painful reminder of why you need to not use the finger. Pain is a very good teacher 🙂

    And snap, I’m using 4mm knitpic harmony needles for the cardigan and they are invariably the culprit when it comes to knitting injuries. Those pointy tips are marvellous but this is a price to pay for the committed knitter (and I mean committed in the crazy way). Good news thou – 90% thru the body and then just the sleeves to go. No rest for this knitter, cardigan 2 is being swatched today.

    Best wishes for mutual healing

    • I’m looking forward to seeing the completed cardigan!! Little Wool Co’s wool/mohair sounds like an ideal match for the Greenfield cardi!

      Fingernail eh!? Hard core!

      Best wishes that your holes heal quickly too! 🙂

  9. It sounds like it is time to get rid of the offending needles! I like using good quality bamboo needles – I can sand them down if they get rough.

    Isn’t there a spray that runners use to protect their heels from blisters? Maybe that would work on your finger.

  10. OUCH! I know that pain well. I agree with Suzanne and try to only use bamboo dpns when sock knitting, they seem to be less lethal in the finger puncturing department………..I think it’s just one of the hazards of obsessional sock knitting, I wonder if there is such a thing as a rubber thimble………..might go and do a little net-detect, you never know!

    lily x

    • You know, I tried the rubber thimble thing. One of those rubber finger socks that you can wear to turn pages when doing office work. But it was too rubbery and thick, and I ended up disliking wearing that too. Someone said that there’s an embroidery thimble made of leather. I might see if I can hunt that down…! Bamboo needles do seem to be gentler on the fingers though. 🙂

  11. What a giggle!!! And oh, how true

  12. I had to smile at your description! I, too, suffer from wounds to the finger when knitting socks but to my right index finger, rather than the left, for some reason. My style must be different from yours. Ouch, but does my 2.25mm needle make its point known right in the first bend! Sorry, but I have no tips or pointers to help, just to be a little more careful.

  13. I’d recommend bamboo, too. 🙂 And I’ve seen leather thimbles that might work.

  14. The good news is that by the time you are my age, the tips of your fingers are so calloused, it doesn’t hurt anymore.