Slow knitter, quick knitter

Hi, I’m such a slow knitter, only able to knit in the evening after caregiving. It takes me ages to finish anything, even a simple scarf never mind a cardi.
Advice please, if there’s a way to pick up the pace. It’s likely that I don’t spend enough time knitting…

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I don’t think there is one right speed to knit. Personally mine changes depending on stress, focus, pattern, etc. I do think that I have generally gotten faster over time, but that may be comfort and relaxation as much as anything else. I’m sure there are ideas in this crowd.

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Agree with @sabograd that pace is not important - and, I say it’s the enjoyment and wellness benefit of knitting that is key. Self-talk that criticizes pace, quantity, finishing, or complexity can take away from the many benefits of knitting. I fall into that, too, and have valued fiber community friends who talk me back to balance :slight_smile: Knit as much as you can, enjoy the activity, enjoy the creativity and wellbeing, and however you do it is just right!

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So knitting is supposed to be fun. Few of us need the finished product. I don’t think knitting should be a spandex sport. You knit at the pace that makes you happy. If the progress on one project seems too slow maybe you are getting bored with it. Try casting on another. No rules about how many WIPs are in your basket.

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I’m slow, too. But as I’ve been knitting longer, I’ve been able (and willing) to analyze how I’m moving the yarn and my fingers and see what takes longer. I’ve been trying different ways to hold the yarn when I’m purling, for example, and can see both some time benefit, and a sense of it working more efficiently. On a day when I’m not too stubborn to learn something new, I try another way.

I hear you about being able to knit only for a short time each day. But any knitting is better than no knittting : )

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Sounds like you are more of a project knitter than a process knitter - you want to have a finished project rather than just knitting for the sheer enjoyment of of knitting. Maybe find a small project that really appeals and try to sneak knitting into every possible moment (I love putting waiting rooms to good use).

When I’m in a project knitting mood I work on hats or cowls and use DK or worsted weight yarn - and hopefully end up finishing a project to wear or gift sooner rather than later.

When I’m in a process knitting mood I’ll work on a lace shawl or complicated cables or an afghan and use lace or fingering weight yarn - and don’t really worry about when I’ll finish as long as I’m having fun.

Good luck and have fun!

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Hi, I’m both project and process… depends on whether I feel productive or meditative! I have a couple cardigan WIPs and decided to start socks again. Cardis for calming-down evenings and socks for take-a-longs (and to start using stash). Maybe fingerless mitts, too. :wink:

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Now I’m starting socks again. Shorties are especially pleasant and a quicker knitting project.

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I have a few project bags with WIPs—time to take them out and put them in view so there’s novelty and variety.

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Thanks for the support—and conversation! I live in Florida quite a distance from any knitting group or shop. And it’s not the best climate for a lap full of a sweater project. Long-term goal is to return to the Northwest, lots of knitting groups and a climate where I can knit my stash of worsted and DK.

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I agree with you and the great advice. I am a slow knitter and often wonder how many achieve what they do. Comparing ourselves to others takes away the enjoyment. I choose socks often because it is a short project and challenging. Celebrate your accomplishments.

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So much good advice in this thread. I know that when I don’t have a lot of time or inclination for knitting because of the weather, or because life is stressful, I tend to gravitate toward smaller, simpler projects, so that I can get in a few moments of knitting, and still make progress toward finishing something. Simplicity is important so that you don’t spend half of the time you’ve got available just remembering where you were in the pattern—I hate that feeling! I don’t think the problem is with how fast or slow you knit, for me it’s always about whether I have the space in my day or in my life to knit regularly; that regular practice is what keeps me going to project completion.

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Knitting should make you happy! A couple of years ago, I wanted to become faster and more proficient, so I started tracking what I knit each day and how long I knit with a goal of knitting 1,000 hours in a calendar year. (I just run my phone timer while sitting with my knitting, I try not to be too insistent about starting and stopping). Here is what I learned: 1) consistency was key, the more days in a row I picked up my needles, the easier it got and the faster I got 2) tracking meant I carved out specific time. Two years later and I still wake up, do my word puzzles and then knit with my coffee. Reverse at days end. Tracking with a big goal made it a habit. 3) I recognized what impacted my joy in knitting. Whether it was traveling or stress, I know that my knitting time and proficiency may be impacted. That’s okay. Stressful times at work means simpler projects. Don’t knit lace while watching a stressful news event. 4) Community is everything! Whether you have an in-person, virtual or on-line message board for your knitting, having people that will answer your question, tell you the mistakes they made, makes knitting easier and more fun!

Happy Knitting!

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My advice is to always have your knitting with you…you never know when you might have as little as five free minutes to knit a row…I have accomplished a lot waiting for appointments. Also it’s okay to knit while having a conversation with a friend - or put your phone on ‘speaker’ and knit away. Taking advantage of even small amounts of free time really pays off.

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Thank you for bringing up this topic! I am such a slow knitter compared to many, especially if I’m in a Knitalong. I always finish after the KAL is over! I’m happy to be finished but then I feel like I’m too late to share my work. That said, I know that I’m a process knitter and will redo something multiple times till it’s right and that slows me down. I may have to occasionally decide that perfection is the enemy of beautiful (and finished!), but it can be hard for me to follow that even if I know it is often true.
I appreciate the comments above about what type of project you work on and when. Also, that consistency is key. I love to knit and I miss it when I don’t fit it in, but I think that helps me realize that even a little bit a day will help me remember where I am in a project and that will make it speedier to finish!
Again, thank you for bringing it up. It’s good to have company.

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Excellent advice! My 92-year-old mother has many appointments, so I have lots of waiting room time. Socks and fingerless mitts are small enough to carry along with me.

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