Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
Knitting Faster is all about developing good knitting habits and eliminating anything that causes you to stop or pause when knitting. Almost everyone wishes they could speed up their knitting so they can see their beautiful projects completed. Follow these tips to gain some speed in your knitting.
Wind your yarn into a center pull ball Many fine yarn stores have ball winders you can use when you purchase your yarn at their stores. Popular retailers like Jo-Annís sell electric ball winders. By having your yarn in a center pull ball, you will eliminate the need to frequently stop and pull yarn from your skein. The yarn from a center pull ball comes out evenly with the gentle pressure from your hands knitting.
Use The Right Needles Make sure the needles you are using are a material that is suited to the yarn you are using. Slippery yarn and ultra slick nickel plated needles means you will be dropping a lot of stitches, slowing down to pick them back up. Likewise, a grippier wool yarn on birch needles will require you to push the stitches around more, leading to more movements to slow down your knitting.
Go Down a Needle Size Often going down one needle size will allow you to relax your hands as you will be having to knit a little looser to maintain gauge. This trick allows you to gain speed since you are not holding your hands in a tight manner that restricts movement. It also helps prevent hand fatigue and allows you to knit for longer periods with less repetitive stress.
Learn To Knit Continental Style In the Continental Style, a right-handed knitter holds the yarn in their left hand while using their right hand to insert the needle into a stitch and pulling the yarn through all in one motion. There are fewer movements involved per stitch with the Continental method. For knitters wanting to do Fair-Isle knitting, knowing how to knit in both styles will allow the knitter to try the two-handed color weaving method.
Watch And Learn From Faster Knitters If you have a friend who is a speedy knitter, watch how that person knits. Look at the movements for anything they are doing that allows them to stay relaxed and maintain a good gauge with as few movements as possible to accomplish the knitting task. Try imitating their habits to see if they work for you.
Keep trying new techniques and methods of knitting to see what helps you gain speed. Practice over time while being mindful of your knitting will lead you to quicker knitting.