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Kade1301 Posted - 02/09/2009 : 10:46:26 AM
Normally I don't worry about it - it takes as long as it takes - but I just read in Knittyspin's interview with Amy Clarke Moore: "... but spinning feeds the crafter's need for instant gratification. You can spin yarn for a project in an evening (depending on the project, of course); that same project may take days, weeks, months to knit."

And I just don't get it! Yes, I can spin two bobbins full and ply them in an evening - but to do it that quickly, it would be fairly thick yarn (say for 5 mm needles). Which would then translate into a hat and a pair of mittens, which I could knit up in something like 4 hours.

On the other hand, a long-term knitting project would be a lace shawl - but laceweight is also a long-term spinning project. There's no way I could do 1000 yards in one evening (not even if it starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m.)

So for me there's a direct link between time spent spinning and time spent knitting. Do you manage to spin quickly and then spend a long time knitting (working on it, not leaving it in your knitting bag, and the time spent ripping back and re-knitting doesn't count either...)?

Bye, Klara
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
hotzcatz Posted - 03/19/2012 : 7:47:33 PM
Did the person interviewing Amy Clarke Moore as what fiber and how it was prepared that she was spinning? If someone is spinning roving or completely prepared fiber it's gonna spin up faster than spinning from the locks, spinning raw wool or doing soft fiber from baby angora rabbits. (Adult angora fiber spins much faster.) There's even a huge difference between spinning different breeds of sheep so how can she make a broad statement like that? There should be more information such as spinning roving is faster than knitting.
Kade1301 Posted - 02/20/2009 : 02:04:02 AM
Sorry, but as you say, it's wool that spins up quickly, so that's what I had in mind even if I didn't say so. But my nightmare is angora - cotton spins up quickly enough on an Indian box charkha with a 100 : 1 ratio.

A few evenings ago I've discovered that spinning is definitely more tv-compatible than knitting - if I spend the movie's credits ripping out what I knitted during the movie, knitting IS much more slow than spinning.... But I figured that time for designing and sampling and fixing mistakes in knitting shouldn't count, otherwise you'd have to include the time for fleece preparation in your spinning time (and possibly even the time spent taking care of your sheep/bunny/cotton bush).

Bye, Klara
judy3t Posted - 02/19/2009 : 09:55:42 AM
I haven't seen anyone mention WHAT they are spinning. Long stapled wool spins fast. Cotton? A nightmare (until recently I spent more time trying to find the thread that pulled off and got lost on the bobbin and then rethreading it than actually spinning - but I finally got the hang of long drafting the cotton puni so it's slowly coming along - god it's a mess though, I still overspin it and it twists up so much it's a bear to ply).

None of it knits up fast enough and I'm a fast knitter. I think it's because I've gone from knitting A project to knitting 12 projects at once. And then there is all the ripping out because I'm designing on the fly.

When I start doing the guilt thing (and I'm VERY good at it) my husband just asks, "Are you having fun?" and if I say yes, then that's all that matters. Well, because all the things that DO matter are done. I just have that "must be productive 24/7" overachiever gene.

Kade1301 Posted - 02/17/2009 : 09:37:21 AM
I'll shut up about crochet because I just don't have enough experience.

But it occured to me that really the fastest way of producing garments is sewing them (starting with ready-made fabric, of course, and with a sewing machine). I'm a raw beginner, but I can do a very simple floor-length skirt in one afternoon and a slightly more complicated one in two. Going to the mall and buying them (to answer arlinem's hated question) wouldn't be faster than that (because I wouldn't find one - I couldn't even find a simple white shirt the last time I tried). Of course, if I had to spin the yarn and weave the fabric before starting sewing the calculation would be different - but one day I will have a hand-spun, hand-woven skirt!

Happy spinning! Klara
eepster Posted - 02/16/2009 : 2:34:16 PM
Mostly continental. When I knit flat I'm a mirror knitter, so I knit right to left continental with my right hand then back again left to right with my left hand english. I'm not sure why but my left hand just wants to do english. It probably has to do with having learned english before the school system finally forced me to stop writing ambidextrously. When knitting in the round or something like ribbing or garter where the purls and knits are equal, I just knit continental right handed.

I also loom knit on occasion.

The reason crochet is faster for most, isn't b/c the stitches are formed more quickly (I form each stitch slightly more slowly in fact,) but b/c the stitches take up more space. I find 1 row of crochet is about equivalent to 2 rows of knit stockingette. I find 1 row of double crochet to be equivalent to 3 or 4 rows of stockingete, and 1 row treble crochet between 5 and 7 rows.

If you knit twice as fast as you single crochet, then crochet and knitting will take the same amount of time.

Of course when felting crochet, there is the added advantage of less shrinkage before achieving a suitable density. So, although on does need to crochet things slightly over sized when felting, it doesn't need to be as gigantic as it does when knitting.

Yes, chocolate is about as close to instant as one can get. Though it's slightly less instant for me at the moment, with a preschooler following me around most of the time, it takes me longer to get to the chocolate without the preschooler seeing me and wanting to share.

.." "
Kade1301 Posted - 02/16/2009 : 05:40:28 AM
Jen, do you knit continental or english? 'Cause I've always wondered about crochet supposedly being faster than knitting - for me it isn't (with equal yarn weight and fabric density). I've even figured out why: It's practically the same movement (I knit continental), but when I crochet, I need to look for where to put the next stitch - in knitting it's right there on the needle.

If I want INSTANT gratification, I eat chocolate...

Bye, Klara
eepster Posted - 02/15/2009 : 11:19:55 PM
Both spinning and knitting are generally long term labors. I have managed to churn out a hat from chunky yarn in an evening if I dedicate myself to it, but I really have to push. And I can spin up a mini skein of some kind of novelty accent yarn to use as a bow on a present or some such in under an hour, but that's not really the same thing.

You know, when I want a quicker project, I crochet. When I truly want instant gratification, I make something up in photoshop or illustrator and pop it on cafepress, or I get out the camera. And none of those things are truly instant either. I'm crocheting myself a new purse, and I started 2 days ago and I'm not even half way yet (I'm going to felt it so it needs to be oversized, and I have lot's of pockets planned so it will take me a bit.) And even though I can often put out a cafepress worthy design in an evening (it depends on complexity) it does usually take a coupe of hours.

(I claim poetic license on the frequent grammatically incorrect use of "and" to start a sentence.)

.." "
KS Posted - 02/15/2009 : 08:15:04 AM
I don't really care how long it takes me to make something, so I'm doing good to remember when I started the project.

If you really care, I remember seeing an article in a weaving magazine the suggestion to get an electric clock that doesn't go back to midnight after the power's gone off. You set it for 12:00 when you start. You plug it in every time you sit down to work on the project & unplug it when you're finished. This was a really long time ago & you could easily buy that type of clock.

It's also probably more suited to weaving because weavers tend to work in larger blocks of time. I tend to knit in short bursts here & there. I'd go nuts remembering to plug in a clock.

arlinem Posted - 02/14/2009 : 5:33:55 PM
you know usually when i hear this question, "So, how long did it take you?", i start to take a step back because many times (especially with spinning yarn for and making socks) people then follow that question with, "Wouldn't it be cheaper, faster, better (choose your own), to go to the mall and buy them." and that is pretty much why i don't keep records. i've been knitting for over 30 years and i still don't know the answer to how long some things take. i just finished a fisherman that took 6 months to make; i've got another one on the needles that is nearly to the underarms and i've only been working on it since right after the xmas holidays. it all depends on my schedule and my mood and how many projects i have in progress, i.e., how many ends of the candle i am trying to burn all at once.
Kade1301 Posted - 02/14/2009 : 05:09:10 AM
Every now and then I try to keep records, too... If its a short project, that I can do in one sitting, it even sort of works (2 good hours to spin and ply thickish yarn for a pair of handwarmers and 1 good hour to knit one of them). For longer projects I have at best a starting and finishing date in my notebook. Then, I'm not really sure I want to know - a friend kept records for a sweater and ended up with 150 hours...

Good luck! Klara
petiteflower Posted - 02/13/2009 : 1:05:19 PM
I have a pretty good sense that I make yarn much faster than I can knit it up no matter the grist or any other variables. But this thread is strengthening my resolve to very fastidiously keep track of the time I spend on spinning my next major skein of lace weight, and on knitting my next shawl made of lace weight. I just so happen to be about to start both a new skein and a new shawl over the next couple of days. For a week now it's been floating through my brain how I will keep a watch hanging from the spinning wheel and another one on my desk where I knit, since I rarely wear a watch and I don't have a clock in the room where I do the most of my spinning and knitting. And how I will have a designated tiny notebook for jotting down every session of spinning or knitting no matter how short. And I'm going to count the washing of the skein and the blocking of the shawl.

My inspiration for this record keeping primarily comes from that ever- burning question that I inevitably get asked whenever someone realizes that I handknit the shawl I'm wearing: "So, how long did it take you?" My experience has been that it's neverfailingly universal, this question. The people gotta know. I usually say "Oh well um quite a while you know like yeah I don't know". So, I am just wondering what it would be like to have a non-nebulous reply, down to the minute, X hours for the spinning, X hours for the knitting.

My previous attempts to keep track of time spent on a major project have always fizzled out on like day 3. Butterflies are free and all. So I'm seeing this as a rough and tough challenge. "Must Buckle Down, Young Lady" is how it feels. Can she do it? Maybe telling about it here will help pin me to it!
kdcrowley Posted - 02/12/2009 : 4:23:12 PM
I spin fast, and reportedly knit fast, although I think that those folks are just plain wrong.....

Spinning is faster than knitting though for me by a long shot.

Check out my solar-dyed yarns at
and my blog at
KathyR Posted - 02/12/2009 : 3:35:43 PM
I get what you mean, Klara - a yarn which spins up quickly would also knit up quickly. Some people (in this case Amy Clarke Moore) just don't think enough before they open their mouths. Myself included at times!


If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog (Roselea Fibres)
Chemcats Posted - 02/12/2009 : 04:15:02 AM
Pamela, naturally black shetland.....mmmmmmm, yummy, drool, mmmmmmm.

pjkite Posted - 02/11/2009 : 08:11:51 AM
My own spinning speed is largely determined by what I'm spinning (cashmere and cotton versus kid mohair, for example) and the grist I want for a particular project. Or the grist at which a particular fiber "wants" to be spun. Lace-weight yarns are slower; bulky yarns are normally pretty quick. But then, lace projects are slow to knit, and bulky ones quick. So yes, I'd say there's a correlation.

Right now I'm spinning some Shetland in natural black to use as the background yarn for a Fair Isle sweater. It's going fairly quickly for a fingering-weight yarn (mostly 'cause the fiber prep is great) but I don't have a tremendous amount of time right now - only about a half-hour to an hour per evening. So it's taking a while; I've spent the better part of a week doing 3 ounces so far. Doesn't matter, since I haven't completed my design. And I haven't even started the knitting! Is this a long-term project? Sure! But I'm enjoying it, and that's more important to me than completion. My fiber pursuits are the one place in my life where I don't set deadlines. They're done when they're done. Which may explain the pile of UFO's...but I do finish them all eventually!

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee

Kade1301 Posted - 02/11/2009 : 05:32:38 AM
Well, I just spent two evenings spinning the yarn for a hat that I then easily knitted in one evening... I'll go see whether Kittyspin has a comments function.

Bye, Klara
Chemcats Posted - 02/11/2009 : 03:01:19 AM
Amen Arlinem! I feel the same, to darned old to give a flip. "You don't pay my bill, sit at my table or share my bed." Is my motto.

Ironing? I have to iron my dh's pants that he wears to work, or pay $4.50 each at the cleaners. He has 5 pair, I wash until I have 4 pair that need ironing (the last pair he is wearing), then I iron all 4. Why go through that set up and take down for one or two. Any other ironing I don't do!

Bathrooms on an "as needed" basis. Cooking is getting easier because the dh likes pitching in these days. And is realizing that it take a bit of effort! But he also plays at being Gordon Ramsey....that equals a bit more clean up and fussing with him that you don't use that much pepper in Alfredo sauce. Oh! Stews are a life saver!

Hey, it just sounded like a subtle brag on Amy's part. Sure! She is tremendously experienced, talented, etc. But I think the majority of us are far from her level and the comment left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I am sure she didn't mean it that way though. And as far as the rest of the really doesn't make a lot of sense, imo. Poorly phrased statement all around.

arlinem Posted - 02/10/2009 : 7:13:40 PM
i think some people get all caught up in themselves way way too much! if they're not worrying about what they "should" be doing, looking like, or whatever, they are worrying about how fast they "should" be doing it! it's a wonder they have any time to enjoy their lives for all the worrying they do!

as for my speed i have two: long draw (fast) and short draw (slow) and depending on my mood and what i want to do with that yarn once i'm done dictates how i fast i go.

i have reached a time in my life where i just don't care what someone else thinks of me or the cleanliness of my house - especially when they aren't living in it - and i have much less inhibition now than when i was younger about telling my thoughts about opinions.
lella Posted - 02/10/2009 : 12:47:09 PM
I'm slow to do anything, and I like it that way. I've sped through too much of my life as it is.

Thanks for the word on bathrooms, Klara. And Meribeth, I only ironed the front and sleeves of a dress shirt. This was because the backs always get wrinkled in five minutes inside a coat or against a car seat anyway.

I'd better go clean the bathrooms now before I forget to.

lella Zippiknits
Kade1301 Posted - 02/10/2009 : 09:18:56 AM
Well, as I said, I don't worry either. I'm just wondering about Amy Clarke Moore's statement because I just can't imagine what sort of projekt she's referring to...

I have a tip regarding the household chores, though: For quick cooking, casserole - everything in a pot and then let it simmer slowly (with a timer set so you don't forget it) while doing something more important (like spinning or knitting). Or a salad (if it's warm enough) - healthy and fast. Cleaning: There's stuff that must be cleaned (fridge, sink, work surface), stuff that should be cleaned (bathroom), and stuff where it really doesn't matter (windows). Not cleaning the "doesn't matter" stuff speeds things up considerably. (For all the Bree Vanderkamps out there cringing in horror: That's not just my laziness talking, but what we were taught in a "better housekeeping" course). And I haven't ironed anything since I stopped going to job interviews and riding competitions - for everyday purposes the wrinkles in jeans and shirts smooth out during wearing (especially if there's a sweater over the shirt).

Happy spinning, Klara

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