Why Does Knitting Take So Long? (Plus 7 Ways to Speed It Up)




why does knitting take so long

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Knitting is not that hard, and learning doesn’t take too long. However, the time it takes to finish a project depends on the knitter. There are multiple factors that can cause delays in knitting.

Knitting seems to take longer to finish because you could be using the wrong tools, you might not be using proper techniques, and you may not be applying the right tension on your yarn. You could also get stuck untangling mistakes you’ve made, find that your knitting is too tight, or struggle to read your work.

Other factors that may affect the knitting process include the amount of time you spend on the project. Knitting is notorious for being exhausting because it requires a great deal of focus. It can also provide a sense of calmness for the knitter, which may cause some people to doze off during the process, thus elongating it.

Some knitters are so familiar with how long certain projects take that they have a name for those that remain unfinished – they call them UFOs or unfinished objects.

Why Does Knitting Take So Much Longer Than Crocheting?

There are similarities between knitting and crocheting; both hobbies require yarn to create a fabric. There is also jargon that knitters and people who crochet use in their hobby. Both hobbies also need a good hand and eye coordination to do fantastic projects. Both of them require a good amount of patience to complete.

If you are a patient person, then these hobbies would be good for you, but it takes more patience for you to finish knitting than crocheting because mainly knitting is done with two needles while crocheting with just one.

A key difference between the two is that knitting has tighter stitch work, while crochet has much larger loops. Knitting also is more technical than crocheting, even though knitting has only two basic stitches, while crocheting has five.

All in all, crocheting is much faster than knitting, but sometimes it also depends on the knitter. Some experience knitters may argue that they can finish faster than other seasoned crocheters. Each project has a different time frame depending on the crafter’s experience and the project’s complexity.

Many beginners would also prefer crochet over knitting as it is faster and easier to learn. Basic crochet can be learned in a couple of minutes, while knitting may be too tedious and complex for some to learn in one sitting. The speed of crocheting or knitting will depend on the crafter’s experience and how they are familiarized with the basic stitches and techniques.

Why Is My Knitting So Slow?

You may be knitting slower than expected for a couple of reasons. Around 20 stitches per minute are the average speed of a common knitter, but if you are not up to par, then you might be doing these things wrong.

  • You might not know how to fix your mistakes

It is a huge waste of time when you do not know how to fix your mistakes. It is hard to untangle the stitches and how to piece them back together. This might be an obvious reason why you are taking so long to finish your craft.

  • Knitting too tight

This is a common mistake. This is more common to new knitters that can be resolved with some techniques. They sometimes go up a needle size to combat this mistake.

  • You might not know how to read patterns

Ever find yourself going back and forth on your project and the pattern you are supposed to follow? This back-and-forth may take up more time than usual. Keeping true to the pattern is crucial for knitters and reading the pattern is just as important to make a beautiful project.

  • Pausing from time to time.

Knitting can be tiring and it depends on the crafter on how long they can spend on one project some can sit for hours stitching away, they find it calming and puts them in a meditative state while others might find it boring and need to stop from time to time. Maybe you are one of those few who need to pause more often than others. This can cause the project to take longer to finish.

  • You might not be pushing the needle tips far enough through the stitches

A common problem of slow knitters is that they just barely push the tips of their needles through the stitches. This keeps them slow because they have to be careful that the stitches do not fall off.

  • Scrunching up stitches

You may notice a few more stitches stacking up on the tip of your right hand if you scrunch up stitches on the right-hand needle. People who do this are slow when knitting.

How Many Stitches per Minute Is Fast?

Do you think you are a fast knitter? Generally, knitters who stitch 45 – 48 stitches per minute are considered fast knitters. If you fall around 34 – 38 stitches per minute you are considered an average knitter. But if you are starting on knitting and are new to the hobby you might fall into the 20s to 30s range.

If you are still getting the hang of it do not worry there is no pressure to keep up with the pros. Just do it at your own phase and you will soon be knitting like the rest of them, remember practice is the key so the more time you spend with the needles the more you get to add up to your knitting speed after all most of these are muscle memory.

The Guinness world record for most stitches knitted in one minute goes to Miriam Tegels from the Netherlands who has knitted 118 stitches in one minute. It was done at the Swalmen Townlhall in the Netherlands on 26 August 2006 and it still stands to this day.

How Can I Speed Up My Knitting?

  • Master the flicking and picking

Picking is a technique that you do when do not insert the needle into the stitch all the way through. This will save you a lot of time if you are into the continental style of knitting. You push the yarn against the stitch from the backside so close, that you pick it through if you hold the needle at the right angle.

For English or American Knitting we have the same technique where you never let go of the yarn and this time it is called Flicking.

  • Metal needles are faster

When you need speed in your knitting then you should use the proper tools. For the needles, metal is the way to go for a slicker, faster stitch. We are avoiding friction between two needles because the harder you drop the stitches the slower you get. It may be a couple of milliseconds but it adds up and becomes very noticeable at the end.

  • Knit in bunch

A tip when you want to speed up your knitting is to bunch the stitch on the left side of the needle. Think about it if you bunch up stitches you get to line up the future stitch and thus creating a reservoir that will be easy to access before taking your next break. For this technique, it is better if you have long needles because the more you bunch the better.

  • The right tension

You should put the right tension in your yarn to speed up your knitting process. There are a thousand ways to tension the yarn. A good technique is to wrap the yarn around the pinky finger twice, bring it across the back of the hand and let it rest on the index finger.

  • Knit closer to the tip

The closer you knit to the tip the faster you get to make a stitch. This tiny factor can do wonders for your knitting speed. You need to be a confident knitter to be able to pull this off. Practice is the key to doing this efficiently.

  • Use the proper posture

I know it is tempting to slouch when you are focused on your knitting but that is the last thing you would want to do because it can cause long-term effects and it won’t benefit you in the long run. Knitting can be relaxing and calming even meditative effect but you want to space out your work evenly throughout the day so that you will not get aches and sores. Take proper breaks and stretch from time to time you might think it is counter-intuitive but believe me knitting can also be tiring and you might lose interest soon if you spend too much time on one project.

  • Start slow and work yourself up

Before you can walk you must learn how to crawl and before you can run you must learn how to walk, as the saying goes so when it comes to knitting, which is more like muscle memory when it comes to repetitive stitches you must first try slow stitching. Soon enough stitching will be as easy as breathing and you will blaze through it in no time.

You do not need to worry if you are just starting knitting and you are below average in the stitches per minute but the important thing is to improve slowly. Make sure to apply some of these techniques and soon enough you will be completing projects in just a day.

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