5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (2022)

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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.

(Video) Why are Square Knitting Needles Ergonomic?

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!

(Video) 6 Tips for Ergonomic Knitting - Knit Quickly, Comfortably, & Efficiently | Yay For Yarn

RankProductBest Feature
1.ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needles Less weight carried by hands
2.Susan Bates Crystalites Acrylic Knitting Needle SetUltra lightweight
3.ChiaoGoo Single Point Bamboo Knitting NeedleLightweight bamboo
4.Tulip Needle Company Interchangeable Bamboo Knitting Needle SetLess weight carried by hands
5.Li-Start Plastic Single Pointed Knitting Needle SetUltra lightweight

1. ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needles

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (1)

Check the price on Amazon.

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

Check current price on Amazon.

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (2)

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.

(Video) Choose the best interchangeable knitting needles for you

3. ChiaoGoo Single Point Bamboo Knitting Needle

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (3)

Check current price on Amazon.

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

Check current price on Amazon.

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (4)

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

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk (5)
(Video) BEST KNITTING NEEDLE FOR SOCKS | Review and Comparision

Check current price on Amazon.

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.

(Video) Tolt Studio with Carson Demers

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

FAQs

5 Best Knitting Needles for Arthritic Hands - The Creative Folk? ›

5 Best Needles For Arthritic Hands
RankProduct
1.ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needles
2.Susan Bates Crystalites Acrylic Knitting Needle Set
3.ChiaoGoo Single Point Bamboo Knitting Needle
4.Tulip Needle Company Interchangeable Bamboo Knitting Needle Set
1 more row
May 6, 2019

Is knitting good for arthritic hands? ›

Performing daily early morning knitting over 12 weeks resulted in a 50% short-term improvement in daily pain and joint stiffness relief in bilateral osteoarthritic fingers of an 86-year old woman who had been living with the disease for at least 40 years.

Does knitting hurt arthritis? ›

Knitting can also help distract you from symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression. It can be therapeutic to have your mind focused on your knitting product instead of anything else. One more benefit to knitting, is that it actually prevents arthritis and tendinitis!

How do I stop my fingers from hurting when knitting? ›

Avoid painful fingertips by using flexible thimbles on each index finger while knitting. - Jeannie M. 13. Flex your fingers every so often and make sure to put your knitting down for a few minutes.

Are bamboo knitting needles better than metal? ›

Bamboo needles are warm and smooth to the touch, making them ideal for those who don't like the cold feel and clicking noise of metal needles. For beginner knitters, bamboo is our top choice. Bamboo needles are easier to handle than metal or other woods, because the stitches don't slip off the needles.

How do you knit an arthritic hand? ›

Use a relaxed grip for needlework, because more forceful grips can aggravate your joints and hands. Choose materials that allow for some looseness, such as broad-weave cloth for cross-stitching and thicker wool yarns for knitting or crocheting. Pick projects carefully.

Are bamboo knitting needles good to use? ›

Bamboo Knitting Needles

They have a grippy surface which keeps stitches from sliding off the needle. They're also perfect for knitters who like to work at a slower, even speed. Bamboo knitting needles are great for beginners or for anyone who wants to learn to knit.

Do ergonomic knitting needles work? ›

Prym Ergonomic Knitting Needles Review - YouTube

Why do my hands hurt after knitting? ›

While tendonitis and tendonosis can manifest in nearly any area of the body, knitters have their own special brand of tendonitis; known as tenosynovitis, or more specifically de Quervain's tenosynovitis, this injury is characterized by inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.

Can you lose weight knitting? ›

“For calories burned in any given activity, age, weight, heart rate, and time all come into play,” she says. With that caveat, a typical 150-pound person burns 100-150 calories in an hour of knitting. That's about the same as half hour of light calisthenics.

Are Square knitting needles better? ›

Claims have been made that square needles offer distinct benefits over their round counterparts: specifically, that they knit more evenly and that they are much easier on the knitter's joints.

How do you make hand pain go away? ›

Managing symptoms
  1. Avoid tasks that make the pain worse. Try to avoid tasks that are causing the pain or making it worse. ...
  2. Drugs to reduce pain. These include painkillers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen. ...
  3. Ice and heat. ...
  4. Wearing splints. ...
  5. Keeping your hands and wrists moving.

Why do my hands go numb when I knit? ›

For some avid knitters, hand numbness and pain from the repetitive use can get in the way. Hand tingling, pain, and cramps are symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel can cause your hands to feel swollen and numb.

What is better wood or metal knitting needles? ›

Metal needles are more durable than their wood or plastic counterpart and offer knitters faster speeds while knitting and the smoothest surfaces. Metal needles are particularly useful with yarns that tend to catch and can make knitting with them a smoother, less frustrating experience.

Are bamboo knitting needles better than plastic? ›

There is no sacrifice of the quality of knitting in order to have a quieter experience, either. Stitches are less likely to slide off of the bamboo than on metal or plastic so that they are even easier to handle. One of the greatest benefits of bamboo knitting needles may be the way they feel in your hands.

What are carbonized bamboo knitting needles? ›

These needles are carbonized to enhance their strength and patina. First sanded super smooth using the finest sanding paper, then they are lightly hand rubbed with a thin layer of wax to improve the surface smoothness.

What are Prym knitting needles? ›

The innovative prym. ergonomics circular knitting needles make knitting easier, more comfortable and more beautiful. They are made of valuable high-performance synthetic material and are bendable, i.e. they swing when you knit with them. This material also ensures quiet knitting so that there are no rattling noises.

Are Prym needles any good? ›

5.0 out of 5 stars Love these needles! Comfortable to hold, warm unlike metal, great length and the wire is perfect. I thought I would only be able to use these for straight knitting because of the tips, but no! I first did cable work and ssk, psso type work. had no issue at all.

What are cubics knitting needles? ›

Cubics are laminated Birchwood needles with a twist! Square in shape, these unique needles assure a comfortable grip that is easy on the hands. The square shape makes them ideal for those with arthritis.

Is knitting good for the brain? ›

It keeps your brain sharp

A neuropsychiatry study found that engaging in activities such as knitting could reduce the chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30 to 50 percent for seniors. Knitting is especially good for this, since it requires you to use many parts of the brain at the same time.

How do you hold a knitting needle comfortable? ›

Knitting How-Tos: How To Hold Knitting Needles - YouTube

What needles do Arne and Carlos use? ›

You will need yarn in 2 different colours for each daily clue and the quantities per colour per clue are going to be very small, about 6 – 8 grams per colour. Needles: 2 needles size 4.0 mm / U.S. Size 6. We are working with 2 dpns in 20 cm length / U.S. 8”.

What is the most popular size knitting needle? ›

The most common knitting needle size is US size 8, or 5mm. These needles are most common because they match up with worsted-weight yarn, which is the most common type of yarn for most knitting patterns. These needles are generally considered a normal size for beginners to start knitting with, too.

Are rosewood knitting needles good? ›

Rosewood is strong and taking excellent polish. Needles are smooth and perfectly slip. Cables twist at the ends. This provides comfort in use and prevents damage of cable.

Is knitting good for your heart? ›

Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But unlike meditation, craft activities result in tangible and often useful products that can enhance self-esteem.

What muscles do you use when knitting? ›

They target areas that tend to get tight such as the fingers, wrists, neck and shoulders, and forearms and hips.
  • The Finger and Wrist Extensor Stretch. ...
  • The Finger and Wrist Flexor Stretch 1. ...
  • The Finger and Wrist Flexor Stretch 2. ...
  • The Chest and Shoulder Stretch. ...
  • The Ankle Pumps Stretch.
Oct 21, 2019

Does knitting tone your arms? ›

Its rhythmic actions can actually aid in the prevention of arthritis and tendinitis. Small knitting intervals enable you to exercise the arms and hands without exerting excessive force that can lead to musculoskeletal damages.

Do ergonomic knitting needles work? ›

Prym Ergonomic Knitting Needles Review - YouTube

Are bamboo knitting needles good to use? ›

Bamboo Knitting Needles

They have a grippy surface which keeps stitches from sliding off the needle. They're also perfect for knitters who like to work at a slower, even speed. Bamboo knitting needles are great for beginners or for anyone who wants to learn to knit.

How do I make my knitting needles slippery? ›

If your needles are being grabby, run them through your hair (along the scalp) once or twice. The "preening oil" naturally on your scalp will help the needles slide through the wool more smoothly.

Why do my hands hurt after knitting? ›

While tendonitis and tendonosis can manifest in nearly any area of the body, knitters have their own special brand of tendonitis; known as tenosynovitis, or more specifically de Quervain's tenosynovitis, this injury is characterized by inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.

What are Prym knitting needles? ›

The innovative prym. ergonomics circular knitting needles make knitting easier, more comfortable and more beautiful. They are made of valuable high-performance synthetic material and are bendable, i.e. they swing when you knit with them. This material also ensures quiet knitting so that there are no rattling noises.

Why do my hands go numb when I knit? ›

For some avid knitters, hand numbness and pain from the repetitive use can get in the way. Hand tingling, pain, and cramps are symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel can cause your hands to feel swollen and numb.

What is better wood or metal knitting needles? ›

Metal needles are more durable than their wood or plastic counterpart and offer knitters faster speeds while knitting and the smoothest surfaces. Metal needles are particularly useful with yarns that tend to catch and can make knitting with them a smoother, less frustrating experience.

Are bamboo knitting needles better than plastic? ›

There is no sacrifice of the quality of knitting in order to have a quieter experience, either. Stitches are less likely to slide off of the bamboo than on metal or plastic so that they are even easier to handle. One of the greatest benefits of bamboo knitting needles may be the way they feel in your hands.

What are carbonized bamboo knitting needles? ›

These needles are carbonized to enhance their strength and patina. First sanded super smooth using the finest sanding paper, then they are lightly hand rubbed with a thin layer of wax to improve the surface smoothness.

What needles do Arne and Carlos use? ›

You will need yarn in 2 different colours for each daily clue and the quantities per colour per clue are going to be very small, about 6 – 8 grams per colour. Needles: 2 needles size 4.0 mm / U.S. Size 6. We are working with 2 dpns in 20 cm length / U.S. 8”.

What is the most popular size knitting needle? ›

The most common knitting needle size is US size 8, or 5mm. These needles are most common because they match up with worsted-weight yarn, which is the most common type of yarn for most knitting patterns. These needles are generally considered a normal size for beginners to start knitting with, too.

Are rosewood knitting needles good? ›

Rosewood is strong and taking excellent polish. Needles are smooth and perfectly slip. Cables twist at the ends. This provides comfort in use and prevents damage of cable.

How do I make my knitting needles smoother? ›

How to Wax Your Wooden Knitting Needles for Maximum Glide and ...

How do you clean old knitting needles? ›

Advanced cleaning for old knitting machine needles - YouTube

What is glass knitting needles? ›

These needles are made from borosilicate glass, which is the original material used to manufacture Pyrex bakeware. In the U.S. it's now made with tempered soda-lime glass, but you can still get borosilicate glass Pyrex in the European Union.

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(Sheepishly Sharing)
5. Honest Review Of The Boye Needlemaster Interchangeable Knitting Needles - Plus How To Use Demo
(The Snugglery)
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(Let's Knit2gether)

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