Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not that fast.

Some people commented on how fast the Husbeast Gansey is coming together... I don't really think it's that fast. It should be done by now, and would be if I'd quit slothing around and get to knitting.

I think I achieve what speed I do by knitting a lot of hours in the day - four to six isn't unheard of when I'm in a mood, and it was pushing eight to ten for a while there during the Blue Shimmer insanity - not by knitting FAST, if you know what I mean. With the ol' busted hand, the speed is not what it once was. I get into a groove of chugging away, flip flip flip on the stitches, and MAYBE on a good day hit one stitch a second, though I doubt it. Then there's time spent squooshing the yarn around on the needles, which can slow things down considerably.

A stitch per second sounds impressive at first, but the fastest knitter in the world was clocked at 263 stitches over three minutes, or 88 stitches per minute. Which is nothing short of insane, and I assume on plain stockinette in the round. But I've never hit that speed, not even in my prime when all my fingers worked.

What I've got going for me is technique. I knit German style, carrying the yarn in my left hand (or yarns, if I'm doing stranded color) and doing all the movement other than yarn throwing with my right. I also do the 'pick' thing, where I stick the needle in the loop and yank the yarn back through it. It's a lot faster than through, wrap, jiggle, twist, off. At least, faster for me, whose right hand doesn't work that well.

So, anyway, don't be that impressed by my alleged speed. I'm betting if more of you were home all day with your kid, you'd get more knitting done too. When I go back to school in another year, the knitting's gonna take a big hit and the blog will turn into 'whine about algebra' instead of 'complain about knitting'. I'm sure you're all looking forward to THAT.

Now if you'll excuse me, my second shipment of knitting books just got here. Eeeee!


April said...

Yeah, yeah, but where's THE BABY?

Sheepish Annie said...

Well, not having kids actually gives me a whole bunch of knitting time all to my self. But I can really only do one or two rows on anything before I need to get up and do something else for a bit. ADD much?? ;) Thankfully, there is spinning...and rug hooking...and carding... She knits pretty fast, yet finishes quite slow!

Amy Lane said...

The minute I start wondering 'how fast am I knitting' I start splitting yarn and dropping stitches...I'm going to assume that when I've got a moment to myself and some yarn, I'm not bad... but since those moments are few and far between, I seem to be taking my sweet time...

TrishJ said...

My Elann yarn came today! I'm not as impressed with the Elann Pamir and the Highland Wool as I thought I would be. Julie, the first the the wool/mohair blend. Brown Sheep is by far more superior. The Highland Wool is nice, not as scratchy as Lopi and the colors are great. At under $3 a ball, you can't beat it.

Alwen said...

I have a watch with a lap timer, and the last time I checked, I was getting an average of 22 st./ minute over 100 to 140 stitches. 80+ per minute sounds . . . insane.


(I like that in a person, too.)

Anonymous said...

Julie, I've spent all day at home with my baby - if I'm lucky I get an extra 30 mins knitting time (she's an extremely active toddler babe and needs interaction all the time). If I try knitting when she's up and about she will literally drag the knitting either off my lap or off the needles... so just realise that your cute baby is not just cute but very well behaved towards fibre!