How to Knit Faster: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Tips

How to Knit Faster: Advanced Tips |

No matter what stage you are at with your knitting, most of us want to knit faster! I’ve put together  a list of a variety of tips and tricks for you to try. Some take more practice than others! I’ve divided them into tips best suited for beginner, intermediate and advanced knitters but it’s worth a read of all of them- you never know what might be just the trick you are looking for!

How to Knit Faster: Advanced Tips |

Beginner Tips

  • Learn to knit the basics (Stockinette, garter stitch, and ribbing) without looking at your hands. Practice knitting while looking away from your hands a few seconds at first, then a few more… which sharpens your mind on how the knitting ‘feels’ rather than looks.  After a while, you’ll even be able to feel when you’ve made a mistake or a stitch didn’t knit properly, and know to look down at your knitting again.
  • Learn to knit in the round. Knitting in the round decreases the amount of time you would need to turn your knitting over and adjust your stitches on the needle.
  • Find the right needles for you. You may find that you knit faster with metal needles (which many find more ‘slippery’), or bamboo needles. Find the right type of needles that you really enjoy using, that encourage your stitches to easily float along the needle. Not having to adjust your stitches on your needle will save you knitting time.
  • Practice, a lot. The more comfortable you are with knitting, the faster you will get.
  • Choose projects that call for worsted weight, Aran, or even Bulky- the bigger your yarn and needle size, the fewer stitches it takes to get from cast on to finished knit!


How to Knit Faster: Intermediate Tips |

Intermediate Tips

  • Knit everywhere. Make sure you always have a simple, portable knitting project that is easy to take with you and doesn’t require you to be looking at the pattern the whole time. Many knitters like simple socks or simple shawls for this very reason- lightweight and portable.
  • Time Yourself. Watch the clock and figure out how long it takes for you to knit a row or round of your pattern. Then try to beat that time for the next row/round.
  • Experiment with different viewing or listening materials. For example, if you knit while watching a movie on Netflix at home, look at the clock, watch a drama (for example), and then see how many rows/rounds you can complete in an hour. Then try it again with a comedy, or an action movie. You may find that the pace of the action on the screen will affect your knitting speed. Faster-moving plots may see you knitting more than a slower, more dramatic one. The same is true for music- you probably will knit more slowly listening to relaxing, slower temp music than you will to a faster, livelier tune.
  • Experiment with different styles of knitting. This is especially important if you are feeling any sort of hand or wrist strain from knitting. different styles often have you holding the yarn and needles differently, which would naturally use some different muscles. It’s worth trying out continental knitting.
  • Choose your yarn wisely. Knit with higher twist yarns that are less likely to split. Certain yarns can slow you down because they are more likely to snag on quick needle movements. Yarn with a high twist (or single ply) are less likely to snag and split.

How to Knit Faster: Advanced Tips |

Advanced Tips

  • Learn to do lever knitting.
  • Decrease your movements. The more minimal your movements, the longer you can knit more comfortably without fatiguing your muscles. It’s worth paying attention to how you are sitting, and how you are holding your back, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists and fingers as you are knitting. How you hold your needles and carry the yarn are also important factors.
  • Knit using only the tips of your needles. Again, this is reducing movement in your knitting, by keeping your stitches closer to the tip and moving them along quickly. it takes practice to not drop a stitch when using this technique (so I don’t recommend for lace unless you are really awesome!), but it does add up.
  • Practice memorizing longer pattern repeats, so that you don’t need to refer to your pattern as often.

All of these tips decrease small fractions of seconds off the knitting time of each stitch. When you think of the thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of stitch involved in a project,  all those fractions can add up to some serious time lost. For example- If you are knitting a sweater that will use approximately 1000 yards of DK, and it’s knitting up at about 6 stitches per inch, that’s about 216,000 stitches. Shaving a little bit of time off each round or row could save you hours.

Any tips that you would most like to try? I so want to learn lever knitting!

Modification Monday: Kiddo Charade Socks

Modification Monday: Kiddo Charade Socks |

Original Patterns: Kiddo Kicks and Charade

Knitter Extraordinaire: Cassy (Ravelry ID, and blog)

Mods: Using Kiddo Kicks as the base pattern, Cassy worked the stitch design from Charade into the original sock pattern. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: These socks are beautiful, aren’t they? And if you know enough about knitting to knit a pair of socks, then I guarantee you can pull off a great mod like this. All you need is a base sock pattern that you love- here Cassy is using the kiddo socks pattern- and then instead of the usual stitch pattern (or lack thereof), you add in the second pattern’s design. You may need to slightly adjust your stitch count to accommodate the design’s repeat, but once you’ve got that part figured out, the rest is smooth sailing and socks that you know will fit you.  Because after all, you are using a great pattern you know and love as the base. The other great detail I love on these modified socks is the use of a different colour for the cuff and about the first inch of the leg of the sock. Talk about a great way to destash using yarn that you have and know will pair beautifully together! It’s a simple way of adding a great extra detail, and using yarn that will help get you that much closer to a finished pair of socks while using your stash.

Are you all feeling as inspired as I am by this sock mod? Totally within reach, and just look at these knockout gorgeous results!

Modification Monday: Kiddo Charade Socks |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Do you need a button to press that will make everything okay? Then here you go.

I love this post about how you don’t get to do just the good stuff. Sometimes we all need that wake-up call.

You guys know about Marie Forleo, right? I love her little videos, they are so awesome. This one is about how to find your special gift, even if you think you don’t have one.

Guy and I just booked a mini break to San Francisco, we’ll be there at the beginning of July for 4 days- our first vacation just as a couple since we had Lila! It’s a short trip, but if anyone has any recommendations of things that are a must-see or do, please share!

Pin Ups: Sprinkle Bowls |

I love this idea for making sprinkle bowls for ice cream. Kids of course would go nuts, but adults would love this too! At least, I would.   Barbecues, birthday parties… these would be a hit anytime this summer. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies |

I’m all about slow-cooker recipes for summer- anything that has me spending less time cooking is tops in my books. Chuck everything in, put it on low, go to work, and come home to this amazing honey garlic chicken and veggies. Heck yes! Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: DIY Cactus Pincushion |

I don’t sew, but I’m so enamoured with this little cactus pin cushion that I think I might sew it up anyway. a bit of green felt, stuffing and a mini terracotta pot! I love it. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here– the page is in German, but if you are using Google Chrome and right click, you can translate it into English.

Pin Ups: How to Pack Carry On Like a Pro |

 With my recent travelling for work and my upcoming trip to San Fransisco, I’m flying more than I usually do. I like this guide on how to pack the perfect carry on- I think she nailed it! Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: Homaroo 2015 |

I laughed so hard when I saw this- I know we are all trying to pack in all the things into summer, but I’m a homebody at heart. And this is pretty much why music festivals have never really appealed to me. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope the sun is shining, wherever you are!

Finished Knit: Lavender Firefly Sweater

Lavender Firefly |

Pattern: Firefly July

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in ‘Iris Heather’

Needles: 3.25mm (US 3)

Notes: Hooray for easy-to-wear mesh sweaters! Also, I’m super proud that I got the absolute right arm length. I always struggle with that.

Lavender Firefly |

I’m the sort of the knitter that looks at a pattern a little bit, gets it going, and then just sort of wings it, with only occasional looking back att he pattern. So I had a bit of trouble decreasing in the mesh pattern for the raglan shaping, but I made it work. Lace (or mesh!) raglans are so forgiving that way, as long as the solid stitches are in order, you can fudge the rest.
Lavender Firefly |

The sweater is exactly the way I wanted it to be, with positive ease and a casual vibe.  I planned on about 2-3 inches of  positive ease, but right now the bust has a bit of negative ease, and there’s only about 1 inch of positive ease through the body. But there’s a good reason for that:

Lavender Firefly |

I’m expecting our second baby at the beginning of December!

I’m very glad to be out of the first trimester, I was nauseous pretty much the entire time, unless snacking on toast. I’m at that that awkward stage where I just look like I’m gaining weight, since you can’t really tell there’s a bump until I’m standing in that classic ‘look, there’s totally a baby in here’ pose, which also looks an awful lot like, ‘hey, I just ate a burrito as big as my head’ sort of pose.

But as awkward as this stage is, I’m thrilled to have a lightweight sweater that works for this part of pregnancy, and will be awesome afterward, too.

Lavender Firefly |

  Considering how cool and rainy it’s been lately – it was actually lightly drizzling during these photos –  I foresee a lot of use out of this sweater over the next little while.

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress |

Original Pattern: Next Year in Lerwick 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Momo (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Momo created a dress by continuing the repeats of the original colourwork sweater  to add length until suitable for a dress, and making brilliant choices about the colours and contrasting colours  to emphasize shaping and cohesion. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Fifteen main colours, 18 contrasting colours, one spectacular knitted dress.  Just let the sheer ambition and awesomeness of that wash over you for a second. Okay, let’s get into it, shall we? Momo is an absolutely expert when it comes to stunning colour combinations for colourwork, but this is exceptionally well thought out and beautifully chosen. Not just because of the lovely dusty cream at the neckline, hem, and cuffs- a detail which helps keep the many colours neatly corralled and well balanced- but because of where she uses high contrast and where she uses low contrast. Not that Momo’s used the larger motif centred at the waist, and then it appears  again near the bottom of the skirt. Anywhere else, it would draw the eye to a spot that perhaps you don’t want the eye to linger. the contrast for several of the other bands has been kept at a lower profile, the colours chosen to be harmonious, which is critical to keeping this dress from becoming too busy or visually overwhelming. This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides.

This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern with the amount of ease you are looking for,  and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides. From a colourwork point of view, this modification also offers some great lessons about the use of high and low contrast sections and where it draws the eye, and how to use a seemingly endless colour palette to great effect that is visually unifying, rather than jarring or discordant.  This is truly an aspirational Mod Monday!

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress |