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Topic: Am I Alone Here?  (Read 1797 times)
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« on: November 14, 2011 09:36:41 AM »

So Iím having some knitting issues:

My first completed project was a knitted scarf in a lace pattern. Iíve made this scarf in various forms four times now, working on number five, planning number six. Iím also working on my own pattern using the same principles.

Iím not worried about becoming a ďone-trick-ponyĒ as I also made an illusion scarf and am in the early planning stages to make a blanket out of squares based on the Fibonacci sequence.
My problem seems to be the speed I knit. I knit English style and I know that is typically slower than continental style. I also tend to be super paranoid about losing my place, often counting stitches mid row to ensure I havenít missed any.

I read threads about people knitting while watching a movie or in class. I also see threads about people whipping up a garment in a weekend (alright, maybe Iím exaggerating here). Why canít I do this? I have trouble listening to news or podcasts much less watching TV while knitting.

Hereís my theories:
First, because of the pattern, I need to pay attention, remembering to click the row counter and minding the stitch markers as I pass them. Lace patterns and illusion scarfs depend on the pattern.

Second, I do occasionally get fatigued, tough to say if itís mental of physical. I struggle to get through two sets of the pattern in one sitting (7 rows of 36st and 12 rows of 43st for my current WIPís). Thatís about an hourís work before I need a break.

The results of these are that my projects can take months for what seems like a simple scarf Iíve done multiple times.

Is this normal? Am I the only one?


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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011 10:21:20 AM »

English is usually quicker than continental from what I've heard and seen. I also knit english but can knit while watching tv. There are a few reasons for this. It's what you knit! There is mindless knitting, knitting where you half have to pay attention, and really involved knitting. I usually knit cowls (K1, S1, KFB, K1, PSSO, P1) Super easy, or dish cloths or socks with an easy *K1,P3* x2 and 4 rows of knit. I usually knit them in class BUT I can't watch tv or knit in class if I'm turning the heel or doing decreases because I have to pay attention and get distracted. Lacework is involved knitting where you have to know where you are and carefully count your rows. This sounds like the reason you can't knit while doing other things.

If you find a project with a pattern you can memorize (mostly) then if you pat attention to your stitches and know what they look like and what the next should be, then you can knit while watching TV. It's all about the project.

« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011 08:42:11 PM »

English isn't inherently slower than continental, it's the effeciency of movements that determine speed. Basically, if you drop the yarn for every stitch, it's going to take you twice as long to go on to the next stitch than if the yarn is woven through your fingers and right there for the next stitch. Look at these videos for ideas on how to hold the yarn and needles to improve your productivity. there's other videos that show different ways to knit english and maybe you won't be so fatigued as with your current method.


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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011 04:49:18 AM »

Im glad to have seen this thread.  I too knit english style.  The reason i started knitting this way is because I also crochet, so I just sorta assumed I had to hold the yarn with my right hand in knitting as well.  I have heard that english is slower, but ive also heard that the other way is slower.  So, I dont really think its the style that you knit that determines speed.  I think its more like what the others said, it depends on the pattern and if its more mindless knitting that you can sorta memorize.  Im knitting commuter gloves from knitty.com and Im on my 3rd pair already, now that ive sorta memorized the pattern Im much faster at it.  Even dear hubby noticed.  Ive been knitting for about 3 yrs but it wasnt until this year that I really started to focus on improving my skills.  I was a really slow knitter, but since Ive been more focused I have been improving my speed.  Still depends on the pattern, but just knitting in general I find I am faster. 

Want to learn to crochet or knit?  I have a ton of extra crochet hooks & circular knitting needles.  Will throw in some pattern books and yarn for anyone interested in a swap.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011 05:24:40 AM »

I knit english, it's just what my grandmother taught me. I do knit and watch TV quite often, but it really depends how comfortable I am with the pattern. Lace takes me forever, I can whip up a set of mittens in an evening.

You'll find your stride, it just takes time. Knit at your own speed, your own comfort level, and you'll slowly find the knitting getting faster and easier Smiley

If you want to watch TV while knitting, I would just find an easy, repetative project. I even knit at the pub sometimes, but never lace!

« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011 06:00:58 AM »

Thanks for the replies everyone!

I figured the lace pattern was the deal-breaker here. In the original pattern there are 4 rows of knitting separating the 8 rows of the lace pattern, and I tend to knit those four separating rows quickly. I have the lace pattern memorized and I do know I knit faster than when I first started. Iíve tried my hand at continental knitting, and find the efficiency of it, but I canít do it mid project (especially when Iím trying to finish my two WIP for Christmas). My tension went out of whack the last time I tried it. Thanks to Sue to the videos, I can try to slim-line my knitting.

I think once I get to knitting hundreds of squares for my blanket (273 to be exact), Iíll be a mindless knitting drone, able to knit squares in my sleep.

« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011 08:22:47 AM »

Yeah, lace is a bit slower than regular knitting until you get used to it. I can do it as fast as stockinette. Just keep knitting....

« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011 12:33:58 PM »

I knit the same way...It took forever to feel like I wasn't on turtle mode when kntting. I'll agree with all of the people that have already replied and say that its the lace that is making you feel slow...especially if you're using small needles.
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011 08:43:40 AM »

I have a short attention span, my ability to do other things at the same time as knitting is directly proportional to how complicated the pattern is. Like anything else, knitting while doing something else is one of those things that comes with time. And for some people, it may never really come at all. We all have different skill sets and abilities.
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011 08:03:57 AM »

okay so my honest opinion:

It depends on how efficient you are with your knitting and the pattern.

First efficiency. the less your hands have to move to make a knit stitch the faster you will be. I knit continental because i started out crocheting and that's the hand that i held my yarn in ( is this weird crocheters?). my knitting group calls me Speedy Sam because i barely move my fingers while i knit. I am sure you could work on this as an English knitter i'm just sure someone else may have lead you along that path already. but if you want to become a speedy knitter practice just knitting.

For the pattern. i disagree that all lace is inherently slower than regular stockinette. It depends on the lace pattern. if your lace repeat is say 6 stitches and 4 rows it will be easier to memorize and get the hang of and complete, especially with the help of stitch markers (which can be a god send when knitting lace), than will be a 12 stitch by 16 row repeat. There is a big difference there.

Finally it depends on how comfortable you are with your knitting to determine wither or not you can do things such as watch a movie or knit in class. Can you confidently knit without looking down at your knitting? then you may be ready to knit while doing other activities but if you are constantly looking and making sure you have the right number of stitches its not time yet. it was a year into my learning to knit that i was actually able to take my knitting into class with me and it was longer than that that i was able to sit and watch a movie ( in almost complete darkness because they don't understand that my knitting is important and needs light) while i knit. it just depends on how comfortable you are in your ability to make a knit/purl/yarn over/ etc. without having to look...

nothing that hadn't been said before but i do believe it all depends on the pattern and not all lace is this scary, horrible thing that requires constant attention.

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