Speed Knitting

Last night – this morning – I knit from 1:30 am to about 5am.  There are tons of projects that need working on, couldn’t sleep anyway so figured I should be productive rather than stare at the ceiling which is mind numbingly plain.   As my mind was raced over possible solutions to a family situation, my fingers started slowing down or speeding up according to the complexity of the thoughts rambling around.  Then it struck me – I should see what my speed is on a consistent basis.  Note to self – do this again a few times after having a reasonable amount of sleep.

This is what I came up with (for late night/early morning brain and emotions are numb knitting) – on size 2 dpns mens sz large sock the average is 4 rows in 4.5 minutes.  On size 3 dpns mens sz large sock it was more like 5 rows in 4.3 minutes.  On size 6 circulars with heaven knows how many stitches – was increasing like crazy for a ruffle – it’s roughly 3 rows in 8.5 minutes.

How do I compare to other knitters?  No clue!  However, I want to speed things up a bit.  Quite a bit.  So…. I’m working on learning Continental knitting.  It looks pretty easy but requires a different hand set of hand movements.

When I lived in the UK I sort of learned Continental but didn’t practice enough to make it stick.  I want to be able to stick a needle under one arm and knit quickly to the end of the rows though like my flatmates mum did.

As I was browsing through K2Tog I came upon Miriam Tegels tips on speed knitting.  Miriam holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of Fastest Knitter at 118 stitches per minute.  Astonishing speed!!!  I strongly recommend watching her video and reading the posting/comments on KnitPicks in Angela’s blog as well as listening to Kelley’s Podcast.  Lots of fun and informative conversation there.

Another fun speed knitting vid:

Speed Knitting (with Stained Secret Track)

I have a lot of progress to make but have discovered a few things that help:

1) Don’t try to speed knit when doing complicated lace (or even easy lace) patterns.  Should be obvious but this morning, it wasn’t;

2) When knitting quickly feel for any possible dropped stitches, if going fast it’s easy to drop until I ‘catch up with myself’

3) Stay as relaxed as possible – do NOT tense shoulders.

4) Practice reasonably decent ergonomics.

5) Take breaks.

6) Admire progress from time to time.

Perhaps simplistic but, they’re helping!


About HollysDying

Hard core rocker/old school punk/alternative, ridiculously fiber/design oriented knitter with strong geek tendencies type person. Worked in the travel and web design industries, and benefits management for years; have done freelance writing and editing. Mother of two fantastic young adults (yes, they truly are!).
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