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Topic: thimbles for painful knitting calluses?--now with product review  (Read 1273 times)
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medstudentknitter
« on: March 07, 2006 07:37:09 PM »

I'm a long time-knitter but I've recently been working in smaller gauges than I normally do and I've developed these awful calluses on my thumb and index finger, presumably from pushing the needle down as I knit. Just calluses wouldn't bother me, but these are prone to cracking and bleeding and generally impairing my knitting. Other people I have compained about this too have shrugged and said "so just don't knit for awhile"--not gonna happen.

So, I thought I'd take my problem to people more likely to understand. Are there some kind of knitter's thimbles out there? Foam pads that people use? Or instructions on how to craft such an item? I'm thinking something in a supple but durable leather....but I don't really have a lot of insight into making things that don't involve yarn and needles. I'm hoping my skin will become more resilient when warmer, more humid weather sets in, but I need some kind of short-term fix in the meantime.

*********
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have decided to test out the thimble side of things because I knit in-between the things I do every day and don't really want to walk around all the time with stuff stuck to my fingers.  The first thimbles I tried were Clover leather thimbles,  seen here:

These thimbles fit OK for the thumb, but it couldn't be made tight enough to really stay on any of the other fingers well. This was a big problem since my index finger is frequently the one to give me the most trouble.  Also, the hard plastic lining the leather was exactly the sort of surface I had been hoping to avoid by going with leather products. You can't poke at your thumb, but you also can't get any sensory feedback. One of the reasons my fingers get beat up from my knitting is that I knit without looking down a lot of the time, and to do that I need to be able to feel what is going on. Overall I do not reccomend it.

The next one I tried was the deerskin Quilter's leather thimble made by EZ quilting (or Wrights? the package had logos for both on it).

I am very happy with this thimble. I only have one, so I wear it in my index finger. The inside is a very nice soft deerskin and the elastic band makes for a comfy fit. It is "one size fits most" so if your fingers are exceptionally thick or thin you might have fit problems, but my fingers are pretty fat and I had no problems. The best thing about it is that I can still feel what is going on when I press my finger to the needles. This is the one I would  reccomend. World of socks, here I come!

« Last Edit: March 19, 2006 10:18:31 AM by medstudentknitter » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Jane2
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006 08:13:10 PM »

Someone might be along in a bit to give you a better answer, but I THINK there is something called .... duh .... can't remember the name exactly, but it's something like "finger condoms". (Or some derivative of that.)

I've only seen them once, at a knitting group some time ago, which is why I don't remember.

You ARE moisturizing your hands? Because it isn't a problem with the calluses - just the fact they crack and bleed. Right?

A great way to have the moisturizing cream stay on for a long time is to slather your hands with good cream and wear gloves - when you're going to bed.  Thin cotton gloves. (Not when you're knitting. haha)

As well, don't go out of the house without wearing mittens or gloves - warm ones, not the ones you wear at night. (I'm assuming  you are someplace where it is winter at the moment.) Even a cool wind can dry your hands and cause cracks, whether or not the actual temperature is freezing.

I suffer from cracking and bleeding hands too - mostly in the winter.

Good luck,
from a fellow sufferer
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butterlite
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006 10:48:00 PM »

they do make knitters thimbles...i saw them monday in a store that is going out of business in my area...basically they were just little pieces of bandaide that you stuck to the area where you have the callus. Might I suggest those pads for corns? you know, for your feet, they are just really thick bandaides without the gause part. just stick'em to you fingers.  as for the cracking and bleeding....honey, get some hand salve!! like utterbalm or burts beeswax handsalve...put some on when you go to bed and cover your hands with cotton socks(every night for a week and see your progress, keep it up if you need more and repeat often durring the dry times)!!! and keep using the stuff throughout the day! protect those poor hands woman!! if that doesn't fix the problem, try some athletes foot cream!
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Laural
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2006 03:06:04 AM »

Leather thimbles do exist! My friend has some that she uses for quilting. I would check like Mary Maxim (Maxum?) or other quilting places.

I feel for you. My thumb still doesn't feel quite right after a mini marathon Sunday.
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medstudentknitter
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006 10:07:00 AM »

Thanks everyone! I have ordered two different kinds of quilter's leather thimbles and I'll give them a try. I'll compare them and post my impressions here in case they are of use to anyone.

I'm also gonna redouble my efforts to use hand cream, (I should mention that only the parts of my fingers that are callused have been cracking and bleeding, so it's not primarily a moisture issue), but I think the creams will be more effective when the fingers can go for awhile with some protection from the points of #2 needles. Sigh, socks are such a dangerous addiction. Thanks again!
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006 10:36:09 AM »

They do make thimbles but they're uncomfy. This happ to me when I first started knitting. What I did was start moisterizing more and I used bandaids. The ones I used have antibacterial cream on them. My finger healed fast and I haven't had the problem again. I'm still moisterizing though. I use Burt's Bees Hand Salve.
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006 10:39:22 AM »

How about moleskin?  It's sorta old fashioned, but if it works for dancers' feet, it works for me.  You're really not supposed to put it on broken skin...but if you do, just soak it off, don't rip it off.  But it's nice and cushy - much more so than a bandaid - and is super adhesive. 
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medstudentknitter
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2006 10:23:18 AM »

I've now posted a product review in original post
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-Karle Wilson Baker
peachymanaangel
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2006 07:10:36 AM »

A moisturizer with lanolin are the greatest. Lanolin has great healing powers. Udderly Smooth; udder cream is great.
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Laural
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2006 07:16:28 AM »

Thank you for taking the time to post this! I will definately by buying some of the deerskin ones.
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