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 redfear

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. Back in corporate travel and loving it! Mother of two fantastic young adults (yes, they truly are!).
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