The shoulder is one of the most complicated pieces of machinery in the body. As a ball and socket joint, it is able to both lift and lower stuff, and even rotate at the same time. The shoulder has more flexibility and a greater range of motion than the body’s other ball and socket joint, the hip. Its components work in concert to absorb the all of the forces involved in flexing, extending, and throwing. The shoulder is home to seven muscles, three of which attach the scapula (or shoulder blade) to the rib cage. The other four make up the rotator cuff.
This sophisticated equipment has been on my mind lately, because I used to sleep with my right arm slipped underneath my pillow, and my shoulder no longer appreciates that position. The only other time it hurts is when I’m knitting. I have a runner’s approach to pain, which means that I endure it until it goes away. And it usually does go away——except when it doesn’t. And this is one of those times.
I knit with the English method, so my arm moves a lot on every stitch. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the culprit, because when I knit with my arm wedged between my side and an immovable object, like an armrest, or my cat, I’m forced to use only my wrist to move the yarn. That doesn’t hurt my shoulder at all, but it’s still not very good news.
So, I’m going to take a little break from knitting. I’m going to catch up on my New York Review of Books subscription, which has been stacking up on my reading chair. I’m going to reread Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, start David Mitchell’s new novel, finish season five of Six Feet Under on DVD, and write the third installment of Throwing My Yarn . Oh, I’ll be finishing work on my own novel, too.
And just in case you’re worried that I won’t have any material for this blog, I’m also going to attempt, for the third time, to teach myself Continental. I’m a fast knitter with English, so Continental always makes me feel like I’m learning to walk all over again. Especially when I work purl stitches. If anyone out there has successfully made the leap from English to Continental, I’d sure appreciate hearing about it.
And so would my shoulder.