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!