There are a couple tricks you can use to speed up your knitting.
Repetition – Back when I was a kid in dance class, we used to groan every time our teacher said, “Do it again.” We thought we already knew the steps. Was she telling us we sucked? Nope. She was preparing us for the big show. She knew that we’d get out there on the stage and our minds would freeze and we’d forget everything. But she also knew that if we practiced enough, our muscle memory would kick in and we could do the steps terrified.
You want your fingers to remember your knit stitches in your sleep. It’s fairly easy to repeat knitting, since every project requires many stitches. But new knitters might feel better to know that even though things feel horribly awkward at first, once you repeat a series of movements enough for muscle memory to kick in, you’re golden.
Visualization – As you drift off to sleep, instead of counting sheep, picture your hands knitting. Zoom in close. See how the motion of the needles grabs the yarn and scoops it through the stitches. Knit in your imagination, smoothing out the motions and gradually quickening them. Visualize how it feels as well as looks. Do this every night, or every time your mind wanders, or when you’re brushing your teeth — whenever works for you.
I know visualization sounds a little weird, but it really works. It’s how I sped up both my knitting and my typing. When your brain works on an activity, with or without the muscles, it forms new, fast, more-direct pathways, which in turn will make you knit faster.
Positive thinking – Let me tell you a secret to life: You’ll never get anything done well if you tell yourself you can’t do it. You have control over your thoughts. You’re in charge. If you’re used to telling yourself things like It’s too hard, I’m never going to get this, I’m not smart/good/fast enough and I never will be…. well, guess what? You probably never will be because you’ll be stopping yourself the whole time. So give yourself a chance. Be kind. When the knitting gets frustrating or slow, remind yourself, It’s okay. I’m working on this. It’ll get better. Because you, my dear, are an amazing miracle, and you can do whatever you put your mind to.
Knitting with your eyes closed – Do it for just one stitch. Look to make sure you didn’t mess it up. Knit another stitch. And another. What’s the point of this? Well, not only is it handy for simple knitting in movie theatres, it also gives your hands a chance to really feel what you’re doing. Focus on how the stitches feel as they move through your fingertips. Your sense of touch can help you knit faster. As you learn to trust your fingers, you’ll gain more confidence and speed up.
Listening to upbeat music – And keeping up with the beat. Your hands will fall into a rhythmic trance as your body moves in time with the beat. Conversely, I find that listening to relaxing music makes my knitting slow down.
Being intentional – I can knit really fast, but sometimes I find my mind wandering and my hands moving slowly. If I have a gift to finish, that’s no good. I have to actually think about it and tell my hands to speed up. And then I go put some upbeat music on so my mind can wander again.
What about you? Are you a fast knitter or a slow knitter? Have you ever tried any of these tricks before, and have they worked for you or not? Leave me a reply in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
This post is part of my 31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting series. Every day, I’ll post a new tip or trick to make your knitting nicer. You can follow along easily by subscribing. If you have any knitting problems you’d like me to fix, let me know and I’ll try to answer your question as part of the series. You can find all the posts in the series here.