The knitting continues, slowly. For the last month or so, I've had a lot of stiffness in my shoulders and neck -- enough to give me headaches, and enough that, whenever I picked up the needles, my left trapezius would start to throb and I'd have to stop. So no more marathon knitting sessions, sadly, and that's put me way, way behind on my goal of finishing twelve sweaters this year.
There are two sweaters I can finish without much knitting, so I'm going to put the gears on with those while I deal with my sore muscles. Stretching my neck and shoulder muscles every day, twice a day or more, has helped. I kind of made up my own sequence of stretches based on targeting the muscles that are the most painful for me, and this yoga lady helped a ton. I kind of adapt the stretches based on how much time I have and/or where I am. While the pain is slowly receding, I'm still not able to knit the way I could before, which makes me so sad.
So this is a cautionary tale, really -- take care of yourself and do preventative exercises for your hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, and other postural muscles, because otherwise you end up having to give up knitting temporarily. Take a break from knitting every half hour or so if you don't already, and give your poor, hardworking muscles a rest. And when you do knit, watch your body position and posture, like this physical therapist recommends. There are some other good stretches for knitters, with clear pictures and a video, here.
Since I've been sidelined due to what I think of as an occupational injury, and since my project deadline was arbitrary and self-imposed, I'm going to give myself an extra month to finish. I've got enough sweaters in progress that I think I can make it, and this is kind of my gift to my neck and shoulders. I'll get to work on sewing on buttons and snaps, and installing my first zipper, and that will put two more sweaters (Montview and Killybegs) under my belt by the end of the year. I have three more that will require actual knitting (my Schnee, my Alafoss, and my Lizzie sweaters) but it's all straightforward and I think I can do that in January.
Meanwhile, I've decided on my year-long project for 2018. Even though I won't make my deadline for this year's project, I found it really focused and motivated me to get things done, knitting-wise. So I'm going to take on a new project for next year, which I'll announce toward the end of the month. Happy knitting, everyone :)