Episode 145 – Knit Yourself to Health! – Spiral Dynamics Hand Therapy

In Episode 145, our feature interview is with Regina Sennrich, who gave a lecture at this year’s Swiss Yarn Festival called “Knit Yourself to Health.” Regina is a certified hand therapist, and she is passionate about helping knitters go back to their favorite craft, even when others tell them to give it up. You’ll also meet Aimee Sher from St Louis, Missouri, who is this episode’s Knitter of the World. Aimee has some great summer designs, and she is particularly passionate about making the larger sizes fit in a very tailored way. And, as always, Madeleine and I will update you on our latest knitting projects in Bring & Brag and Under Construction!

Knit Yourself to Health! - Regina Sennrich

As a certified hand therapist, Regina has helped many knitters manage pain and recover from injuries so that they can continue knitting even though their doctors told them to stop. During our interview, we discussed the causes of injuries and pathologies common amongst knitters, including arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Regina also shows us exercises to relieve and prevent pain.
Her happy message to knitters with arthritis is that knitting can help maintain and nourish the remaining cartilage in your finger joints. However, they must first be warmed up properly. For example, making full-range motions with your fingers and wrists stimulates the release of nutritious joint fluid into the joints. The movements of knitting can then help to massage this fluid into the cartilage, which, lacking blood vessels, acts instead like a sponge.
Regina also explains the importance of proper finger positioning when holding your needles. This includes that the fourth and fifth fingers should handle most of the heavy lifting, while the other fingers are merely there to guide the needles. I also learned that our hand naturally forms a half-sphere. So, apparently, your fingers function better when slightly curled.

Finding Regina

Regina works as an ergotherapist (occupational therapist) in Chur, Switzerland.
Website: www.ergotherapie-am-kornplatz.ch/Team

Aimee Sher Makes - Knitters of The World

Aimee Sher from St Louis, Missouri, is this episode’s Knitter of the world. Aimee has some great summer designs, and she is particularly passionate about making the larger sizes fit in a very tailored way. Her sewing background helps her with this. For example, for the Oolong Tank (above), you work some short rows around the bust in the stocking stitch section to increase the front length.

The Phoebe Top is meant to have zero ease. This presented Aimee with a fun challenge of making it fit the larger bust sizes just as well as the smaller busts. Therefore, all sizes for this pattern also come with a curvy version, which includes a slightly wider front piece and bust darts.
The Effervescent Pullover, published in Pom Pom Magazine, was inspired by Aimee’s favorite drink, Bubble Tea, which originates in Taiwan, her home country. In addition to the adult version, Aimee has designed a children’s version, as her daughter requested to have a pullover “just like Mama’s.”

Finding Aimee Sher

Patron Discount - Aimee Sher Makes

Aimee is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 25% discount off all her self-published patterns in her Ravelry store and on her website. Thank you very much Aimee. Fruity Knitting Patrons can find the discount details here.

Support the Show

The Fruity Knitting Podcast could not exist without the financial support of our viewers. If you want to help this show to continue, please visit patreon.com/fruityknitting where you can sign up as a Hebridean, Merino or Shetland patron. And, as always, we’re very thankful to our existing Fruity Knitting Patrons, because you make this show possible!

Bring & Brag

Lola Pullover - Claudia Quintanilla

I’ve had quite the adventure with the Lola Pullover by Claudia Quintanilla, cutting it open and grafting it back together multiple times with varying degrees of success or, I should say, failure. But now, it’s finally finished!

The design has an intricate all-over lace pattern which I would describe as a wagon wheel pattern with a staggered offset. Right across the chest, directly at the underarms, I accidentally skipped some rows, squashing two wagon wheels together. I hadn’t noticed this mistake until our viewers pointed it out to me. The design is knitted top down, so if I was going to fix the mistake, I would have to rip back most of my work. So then I decided to cut the top open, unravel the mistake and graft the two parts back together again – not an easy task with a complicated lace pattern!

It took me hours to do this, and I successfully grafted the two pieces back together, only to find I had made another mistake! It was pretty disheartening, so I put the project away for a few weeks. Believe it or not, I did try to do this again. But in the end, I couldn’t make it work. So, I just reknitted the rest. Thankfully, I cannot find any mistakes in it this time!

April Cardigan by PetiteKnit

I also finished my April Cardigan with the afterthought smocking on the 2×2 ribbing. In our last episode, I mentioned that because the yarn had a soft halo, I felt like a baby chick wearing it. Madeleine suggested I get eggshell buttons to match, and I’ve found the perfect ones.
I am thrilled with how this cardigan has worked out and I encourage you all to have a go at smocking your ribbing for an extra effect.

Under Construction

Jenny Jacket by PetiteKnit

Madeleine is still working on her Jenny Jacket by PetiteKnit, which she is making for her best friend, Antonia. She has finished the body and is now working on the sleeves. Unfortunately, for the sleeves, she picked up the stitches counter-clockwise instead of clockwise so that the seam looked a little lumpy on the right side of the garment but very neat on the wrong side. Madeleine noticed this after knitting about 13cm and decided to unravel her sleeve and start again.
The pattern instructions warn that the cardigan will become wider and shorter after it has been washed and blocked. But it doesn’t specify by how much. Madeleine only measured her gauge after blocking her swatch, so she’s basically guessing what the length of the cardigan will be after blocking and hoping for the best.

What we are wearing

Madeleine is wearing the cheeky top by Kim Hargreaves on the couch and during the interview. Andrea is wearing her summer lacey top by Debbie Bliss on the couch.


2 thoughts on “Episode 145 – Knit Yourself to Health! – Spiral Dynamics Hand Therapy”

  1. Loved this episode! I don’t get to watch often lately but so glad I caught this one (it’s always my intention to go back and catch up). Aimee Sher is terrific, and I will seek out her patterns, and then I most particularly enjoyed your segment with Regina Sennrich. How wonderful to speak with a hand therapist who has a special interest in knitting. Regina was so generous with her knowledge and tips, and I will be putting into practice her advice in both my knitting and general life. Thanks for continuing to produce such an informative program.

  2. Hi, very informative knitting for Health interview.. what is the tape I need to buy to support my thumb? Thank you

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