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 What is "fast"?
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schrafinator
Chatty Knitter

332 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2008 :  06:15:30 AM  Show Profile Send schrafinator a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, I was wondering what it means when people say they are a "fast" or a "slow" knitter.

I don't regularly knit with other people, so I have no idea how my speed compares with others'.

For an example, I am doing the Vine Stitch Wrap from Vogue Knitting On the Go. It is in DK weight, is a pretty simple 20 row pattern repeat (multiple of 11 st plus 1) of K2tog's, yo's, and SSK's, with every other row a purl row, and the cast on is 75 stitches. This is my first big lace project.

With no mistakes and when I'm in the groove and not tired, I can get one pattern repeat (that's 1500 stitches!) done in about an hour.

Is that fast, or slow?

booglass
Permanent Resident

Costa Rica
1987 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2008 :  08:18:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit booglass's Homepage Send booglass a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, I know I am a slow knitter because I simply don't produce as much as other knitters. For me speed is partly how fast one actually knits, as well as time devoted to knitting, etc.

bonnie

Check out my blog:
Tropical Knits
http://www.booglass.typepad.com
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diantha
Chatty Knitter

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2008 :  08:18:51 AM  Show Profile Send diantha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
well, it's faster than me. I am doing a baby afghan, three rows stockinette, one row cabling all the way across (300 stitches) I do one whole repeat (4 rows, 1200 stitches) in about an hour. I could probably do it a little faster, but not much. I don't consider myself fast - I've seen people knit much slower and much faster than me.
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ctaft
New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  2:52:34 PM  Show Profile Send ctaft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know that I'm pretty slow compared to a lot of people. I'd like to improve my knitting speed as tthere are so many things I'd like to knit. Has anyone made a conscious effort to increase their speed? How did it work? Did you make more mistakes, reduce or increase your enjoyment? How did you go about trying to increase your speed? Did it work?
Thanks - Chris
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arlinem
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  4:30:21 PM  Show Profile Send arlinem a Private Message  Reply with Quote
speed just comes with practice. i've never tracked how fast i knit but i can get into a decent pace. the zen of knitting. however, i have different speeds for the different ways that i knit which are frankly much slower than i usually am simply because i do not always use them every time i knit. practice therefore is the key.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  05:33:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me the important point is not how fast you knit but how many mistakes you make. There's no point in knitting "fast" if you then lose 2 hours fixing a mistake 5 rows down in the lace pattern (ask me how I know).

Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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jwaid97
Chatty Knitter

135 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  09:19:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit jwaid97's Homepage Send jwaid97 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My knitting speed varies depending on what I am making. I can knit a sock in practically no time regardless of the pattern but I am also currently working on a lace shawl and it takes forever to do just 1 row (around 600 stitches). It's not that the pattern is any harder but the yarn is much smaller and therefore I have to pay more attention to it and just simply can't go too fast or I will lose stitches. I've never actually timed myself but as long as I am actually finishing projects then I am happy.

Joanna

Check out my website www.rxknitter.com or blog www.rxknitter.com/blog
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  10:31:46 AM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We could always work up a guage! Like you can drive in MPH, you type in WPM why not SPM or SPH? Place a marker set your timer and knit away!
I think I'm a slow knitter because I don't make as much stuff as others, but I maybe don't devote as much time to my thigns as other people. I realized I'm maybe not so slow when my laptop was away for repairs and I knit almost an entire kid sweater in about 4 days. Now I've been working on sleeve 2 for about 3 days. I got the computer back.... lol
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Lindakh
Chatty Knitter

USA
110 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  12:07:24 PM  Show Profile Send Lindakh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last week (or the week before) Annie Modesitt mentioned that she was considering entering a "knitting speed" contest and was knitting to a metronome. I suppose you could always try that to gauge how fast you're knitting (unfortunately I do not have a metronome, but I'm fairly certain I'm a slow knitter).

Linda
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1738 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  12:44:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ctaft

I know that I'm pretty slow compared to a lot of people. I'd like to improve my knitting speed as there are so many things I'd like to knit. Has anyone made a conscious effort to increase their speed? How did it work? Did you make more mistakes, reduce or increase your enjoyment? How did you go about trying to increase your speed? Did it work?
Thanks - Chris



Yes, I made a conscious effort, and yes, my speed is 3x faster, yes, it's more enjoyable now because projects take less time and the pain in my left thumb went away, and no, I don't make piles of mistakes!

I made the switch to combination knitting, championed by Annie Modesitt, some 14 months ago. One of my friends knits this way, and I studied her from a distance for about a year. My first try was clunky: I went from dragging the yarn around the needle with my right hand and switched to a LH carry. I am >still< finding out how making stitches works, to make knitting even faster, and am finding ways. So I try not to relate my knitting speed to my friend's (although I may be catching up). It's more important to see how far I have come.

Last month I taught my at-home socks class combination knitting after one of the students complained how slow ribbing the cuff is. (She caught on to combo knitting in spades, btw.) I not only taught them the method; we also looked at those aspects of knitting that bog us down, anyway, like (for example) the angle of the needles to each other and to the knitter. My original approach to knitting was very square (that was how I was taught a thousand years ago), and while squareness works (hey, ALL these methods produce knitting!), the more flexibly we give to the act knitting is how we find speed, and a "fluffier" product. Thanks to combo knitting, I am more than a smitten knitter now. I am truly fascinated with how the act of knitting works.

Long answer, but I hope everyone reading this gets psyched!

Ceil
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  1:42:17 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ceil: Maybe I'm missing something on Annie's site, but how is combined different from Continental? To me it looks the same. I have been struggling to figure out why everyone says continental is so much better than the right hand throwing method. I don't actually use my whole arm like some, jut my finger and a little wrist twist.
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HomekeepingGran
Seriously Hooked

614 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2008 :  07:12:56 AM  Show Profile Send HomekeepingGran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Combo purling the yarn is scooped underneath the needle and whisked back through. In Continental purling the yarn is wrapped from above the needle, the same as in English. The knit stitch is identical in each with one caveat: the Combo purl twists the stitch so that when you return to that stitch on the other side, the leading edge is sitting on the back of the needle instead of on the front. To knit, you must enter the stitch on the back of the needle to untwist.

Take a look at Grumperina's videos comparing Combination and Continental.

Combo knitting is really fast and easy. I do find I split the stitch while purling more than in Continental but that just means I need to be more careful. It gets tricky if you want to do decreases or lacework. In Combo knitting you would SSK instead of K2tog and vice-versa. Not hard, but directions are not written that way and you must remember to make the switch. Often I will pencil out the chart key to read like I need them to for Combo. Or I will choose to use Continental and not wrap my brain around it in the first place. One place Combo really shines is in ribbing or seed worked in the flat. You can whizz back and forth without taking a knitter's breath!

Blessings,
Carla

She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands... Proverbs 31:13
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HomekeepingGran
Seriously Hooked

614 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2008 :  07:17:07 AM  Show Profile Send HomekeepingGran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way, this is fast!

Blessings,
Carla

She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands... Proverbs 31:13
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jumbuck
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2008 :  11:55:37 AM  Show Profile Send jumbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have recently become fascinated by speed knitters. I knit at a slow to moderate speed in stockinette stitch and sometimes I even knit without looking for a stretch of 5 or 6 stitches at a time (whoo hoo live dangerously I say!) but more often than not I have to correct mistakes on the next row :-(

So I guess I want to know how people build up their speed and learn to knit fast.

I recently watched the fastest knitter in the world on u-tube (Miriam Tegels
http://youtube.com/watch?v=aFi0nhA1uHU and another view
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4HwTFViLR5Y


Make an interest free loan to an entrepreneur in the developing world for as little as $25
www.kiva.org
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jumbuck
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2008 :  12:47:00 PM  Show Profile Send jumbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh and here's a u-tube video of Hazel Tindall who knits English style using a leather pouch around her waist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjEh7acrr5o
The thing I notice is that their whole bodies seem pretty relaxed, they seem to knit at the tips of their needles, and they seem to be able to push their work along and out of the way easily and their hands and needles just FLY!


cheers
Cathy



Interest free loans to developing countries
www.kiva.org
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2008 :  12:51:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
that's interesting! I guess relaxation is key. I haven't figured out a way to knit in a relaxed way; I always hold my arms up, and it doesn't feel good but it's a bad habit that tires me out.

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com
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elizf
Chatty Knitter

118 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2008 :  6:01:39 PM  Show Profile Send elizf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found 2 things really sped up my lace knitting. First, learning to read my stitches. This helpes me avoid mistakes, and if I do make one, I am much more likely to catch it on the next rightside row where it still easy to fix. Also, being able to read my knitting lets me avoid counting and stitch markers. As long as the patterns are all lining up correctly I never have to stop and count my rows or repeats.

The second thing that has helped me speed up was learning to drop down and fix mistakes rather than ripping out. The first few times (OK the first couple of dozen times!) dropping and fixing took much longer than just tinking back or ripping, and was much scarier. But now that I am knitting larger lace projects with 500 or more stitches per row, knowing how to do it is invaluable.

If I catch a mistake on the next rightside row (and with paying attention to reading my knitting I usually do) I hardly have to pause to add a yarn over or re-arange a decrease. With mistakes being easier to catch and fix, I can relax and knit faster without stressing so much about making them in the first place.

Liz
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Geo cacher
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2008 :  7:09:43 PM  Show Profile Send Geo cacher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pianogal

that's interesting! I guess relaxation is key. I haven't figured out a way to knit in a relaxed way; I always hold my arms up, and it doesn't feel good but it's a bad habit that tires me out.

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com

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scraffan
Permanent Resident

1844 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2008 :  05:12:10 AM  Show Profile Send scraffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chris, I saw a book in Barnes and Nobles on Speed Knitting. You may want to check the book out. I am sure there are some tips in there that could help you.

I consider myself average speed.

It depends on what I am doing. Example the Papollian top in KnitScene - I am enjoying it. The butterfly effect was a new stitch to me, so to make sure I did it right I went slow while doing that part.

If I do cables I move slow because I do not like frogging cables and for me the worst mistakes come from hurry up and get it done!

A basic pattern like a dishcloth with knit and purls only - 6 hours or less. (Had lots of pratice with that last year as I did 24 for gifts)

I am entering a competition just to see if I have it in me to do the speed thing and if I can how many rounds can I servive?

Karen
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2008 :  05:31:56 AM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not very fast, but I like to think I'm not very slow, either! I can knit stockinette riding in the car at night, but don't trust myself to do patterns. I make a lot of dishcloths for gifts, and can make one in less than two hours, but they're not difficult or terribly large. I would really like to pick up some speed - I won't tell you how long it takes me to make a pair of socks!

Jan
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scarfitup
Chatty Knitter

191 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2008 :  05:42:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, the enjoyment of knitting (and without errors) is more important than speed - although I've been told I'm fast. And speed is also less important if you are knitting for fun, for family and friends, or for yourself (provided you don't just HAVE to have it to wear TONIGHT!!!) I knit for myself sometimes - particularly to match an outfit - but I also sell my work, so production is constant. Unless I have a custom rush order, I try not to race through so I can enjoy the process.

My own gauge - since I rarely use a pattern - is this: if I love the color combos, needle size, # and type of stitches to create the product and the look I want, then I zoom along. I KNOW I'm not happy with the results when I keep stopping and looking at the WIP. I might as well rip it out immediately and start over.

Scarf It Up!
http://scarf-it-up.blogspot.com
http://scarfitup.etsy.com
http://flickr.com/photos/scarfitup
http://portcitypottery.com

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