My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Speed Kills

Suzanne left this comment on yesterday’s post and it bears repeating (my emphasis on the bolded bits):
I am so tired of everyone in our society putting such a premium on speed whether it comes to knitting or anything else in this world. In my mind, knitting isn’t about speed. In fact, I do it so that I can slow my life down a bit and focus on one thing at a time. What does it matter how long it takes as long as I am enjoying the process. I admire those who take time to retrain themselves in order to use another knitting style to improve their speed if that is a goal that they truly want to achieve. However, like you, I have been using mine too long (English style with yarn tensioned over the index finger, under the middle finger, and over the ring finger) to try to change now. I have practiced the traditional continental style in order to use it in two-color knitting, but it never feels right to me. When I sit down to knit, I am more interested in having that wonderful familiar feeling I have from my style of knitting than being a speed demon in my knitting. Besides, one of the fastest knitters I know knits using the English method, so sometimes it has more to do with the individual than the method.

Thank you, Suzanne, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The main reason I knit is because I enjoy the process. Having a nice garment upon completion of a project is a plus. I don’t need eleventy-billion lace shawls, but I love knitting lace, so I make eleventy-billion shawls. I do give shawls away a lot, often spontaneously, because I do have a large supply of them at the office. (This is a good thing, because the women in my office do some serious sucking up in hopes of being a recipient. Heh.)

That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes knit a pattern simply because I love the design and want the garment. But most of the time I knit for the pure joy of knitting.

Take Cromarty, for instance. I’m moving rather slowly on it because the knitting of it is such a wonderful sensory experience. The yarn is fabulous, and the act of creating cable twists from soft, squishy, sproingy wool is a sensory delight. I pause frequently to admire the three-dimensional nature of this heavily cabled knitting.

I still maintain that I’m not a particularly fast knitter. I give the impression of speed because I work on one big project at a time. Also, I have an extremely good memory for patterns so don’t have to keep referring to the charts or pattern. I can easily knit with my eyes closed, while reading a book, or watching television, so I do a lot of multi-tasking knitting. All of those things add up!

Today we are having an ice storm! It was sort of drizzling sleet all day and the government closed at 2:00pm because there is apparently a larger storm bearing down on us and they wanted everyone to get home before it hit.

In a sort of weather-related frenzy, I left Cromarty on the couch.


And I finished up the Bart & Louise socks.


I’m hoping for at least “unscheduled leave” tomorrow so I don’t have to venture out!

In other news, this came in the mail today:


Can you guess (or do you know) what that is?

This morning, like every morning, I get ready for work with the early, early, early news on my bedroom tv. When I’m ready, I sit down for a few minutes and watch the news (and knit) til it’s time to leave. Lucy is a big help in this process.


“What? You’d rather look at that stupid screen than at me? Inconceivable!”

(Those in the Washington DC area might recognize Andrea Roane of Channel 9 News on the television. The local news started at 4:30 this morning because of the weather.)


  1. Wendy- As far as I’m concerned, you can knit hanging upside down from your pinky toes, as long as you’re enjoying yourself, who’s to criticize?
    I can knit continental, but I prefer not to. I guess we better watch out for those control freaks, I mean, Knitting Police.

  2. Am I actually the first commenter?

    Your little Coke bottle is a flash drive, if I’m not mistaken.

    Cromarty is looking lovely. Knit at your leisure and, as Margene would say, “Enjoy the process!”

  3. I believe most of us knit for the pure enjoyment of it. I could buy a new sweater in minutes off the internet or drive 10 minutes to multitudes of stores in our overcongested area if my goal was to procure a sweater.

    Even as a kid, I’d get excited upon curling up with my knitting.

  4. Greetings from frozen-solid Ohio! πŸ™‚ Thank you – and all your commenters – for maintaining that we should all knit in whatever style is comfy for us! I throw the yarn with my left hand, which annoys the Knitting Police no end (they seem to think I should “pick”), but I’m comfy and I’m a-stickin with it. Also, it’s fun to annoy the Knitting Police. They get that look on their faces.

    Ahoy, Lucy!

  5. Wait a second…you were up at 4:30 in the morning!?! Getting up by 8:00 (God I love maxiflex) can be a chore for me.

    When I am incredibly excited about a project (like the scarf I started last night), I am all about speed. I can’t wait to see the finished results! Most of the time I am not in a big hurry, partly for the process and partly so I don’t screw it up.

    I love this photo of Lucy. Expression so much like a cat!

  6. This is one reason I prefer to teach individual lessons, vs. a beginning class. Students always compare how fast they are learning with their classmates, and it drives me crazy. Apparently some people just can’t turn off that part of their brain that tells them they must be fastest, best, first all the time. Just enjoy it!

    Besides, if there were only one way to knit, you’d just have to quit if your wrists or shoulders gave you trouble. Now you just switch sides and give your body a break!

  7. I beleive that the coke bottle is a USB key aka Flash Drive – did you see the new Star Wars ones that are coming out?

  8. I agree with julie and concur with her knitting style. I anchor my left needle against my belly and my right needle is at a right angle to the left needle and I throw with my left hand. Pretty good considering I am exclusively right hand dominant.

  9. Hello Wendy and Lucy!
    Thank you for posting what Suzanne mentioned. I completely agree. Can we please slow down and take a moment to… (smell the roses)? I am probably showing my age here by mentioning that line. I love to knit, but when I feel like I have to speed up for whatever the reason, my knitting becomes sloppy and I have to re-do it, now if that is not a “waste” of time I don’t know what is. So, I make it a rule, knit slow and enjoy, enjoy, relax, and enjoy. Another older saying… “why is it that we never have time to do things right, but always enough time to them over”. Have a wonderful afternoon, hopefully knitting!

  10. Thank you for posting that comment! Lately, instead of just enjoying knitting, I’ve been putting restrictions on what I can do and lamenting that I don’t knit faster so that I could finish things faster and move on. I definitely needed the reminder to stop pressuring myself and enjoy what I’m doing. πŸ™‚

  11. Cromarty makes me want to knit cables! Your Bart & Louise socks are very pretty. I still consider you to be a fast knitter, remember the sweater you knit in 4 days? Lucy is cuter than Andrea, but I think she already knows that.

  12. excellent post. slow is the way I do most things nowadays. hi Lucy!

  13. I’m really looking forward to the day when I can comfortably read and knit at the same time. I am a graduate student, with knitting as my primary hobby, and it would be great if I could combine the two more often. As it is, I could happily knit and attend lectures or lead undergraduate discussion sections, but I worry about setting a bad example for my often easily distracted students.

  14. Ohhhh that Cromarty…what a delicious looking garment! And, I agree with Suzanne… knitting is an individual thing… whatever makes you happy! Me, I’m the sllloooowweesssttt knitter in the world (I’m still working on the Vogue “World” sweater I bought in 1994). But I knit what and when it feels right to me. I guess the Knitting Police will be knocking on my door now that I’ve confessed!

    Lucy, Lucy, looks like you may have Momma home tomorrow. How cool is that? A day of knitting and cat love! What more could anyone want? luv.m.

  15. Lucy has assumed the role of transparocat. When our cat lies on the book/newspaper/WIP or sits in front of our TV like this he is obviously, to everyone but us, a see-through critter. Only our miserable human vision makes it impossible to look right through him.

    Al E. Cat sends best wishes to Lucy and hopes she stays warm during the next few days.

  16. The only reason I wish I could knit faster (or for a larger portion of my day) is that designers keep making patterns I covet faster than I can knit them!

  17. Transparocat!! LOL I have one of those at home, too.

  18. anne marie in philly says:

    the coke bottle is either a fridge magnet or a chocolate bar.

    meredith and steven think it’s rude not to admire the lovely lucy. news & weather – who cares, they say! two paws up for lucy!

    haven’t seen andrea roane in 7 years; she still looks good.

  19. Jan Atherton says:

    I retrained myself to knit in a combination method not to gain speed (though that has been a by-product),but to reduce the pain I was having in my hands when knitting the English way,I can knit all evening now,where before I would manage a hour or so before I had to give up due to swelling. I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else how to knit,but I have come across many who think I should knit in a set way,it doesn’t matter as long as you get the correct tension and look to your projects.

    My Mum knits the English way and is the fastest knitter I’ve seen,able to complete an Aran sweater ,in a week,but she has never knitted for the sake of speed either,she knits because she gets a lot of enjoyment from it,plus it’s something we have in common, she’s in Scotland,I’m in Chicago and we can talk about what we are both working on.

  20. I thought it was chocolate. I almost licked the screen.

    I just found out after over 40 years (!!!) of knitting that I’ve been purling wrong. I am astounded at how different my knitting looks, and how I never knew. Totally screwing up my rhythm, but I’m in agreement about the knitting process being a slow and beautiful thing.

  21. I’m a fast knitter but it just happened over time – I didn’t set out with speed as a goal. I’m a “thrower” though I do knit 2-handed for fairisle, which totally slows me down but I still love doing it. For me it’s about the colour, the feel of the yarn, producing something with my own hands. I just love knitting. Speed is handy for me since I knit as work and there’s always a deadline.

  22. I’m hoping for “unscheduled leave” too!

    I don’t want to be fast, but efficient would be nice. SOmetimes I don’t seem to have the rhythn going and then I think, perhaps, it is because I hold my yarn wrong or the needles at odd angles. I’ve never held my yarn like the “Teach yourself to …” books tell me. I’m interested in how other people do it, because I taught myself, and I didn’t follow the book! πŸ™‚ But, I’m guessing I’m doing just fine and the out of rhythm stuff is when I let the stresses take over during my de-stressing time!

    And, like Carrie up there, there are so many things I want to do and try, I seem to be lacking the patience to wait, so I try for speed. Never a good trade-off!

  23. I agree with Suzanne and you both. I learned to knit because I had always wanted to. I knit now for the enjoyment of it. I find it very relaxing. And since I work two jobs, I need to relax every once in a while.
    ps,we too have had sleet, freezing rain and good ice storm today. My surprise is that we still have electricity!

  24. Is Lucy’s middle name Vincini? πŸ™‚ “I do not think it means what you think it means!”

  25. If we were judged by how much or how fast we knit, I never would have joined my beloved knitting group. You’re quite gracious of your talents, that’s one of the things I love about ya! Poor Andrea, huh? Tell ‘er Lucy!

  26. I’ve been meaning to comment forever on the Cromarty sweater. Yours looks great! My cables are a bit tight at times. My unfinished attempt is currently sitting in a canvas bag where it has been abandoned for about 4 years. The sizing said “fits bust 86-97 cm 34-38 in.” But the diagram says that the finished garment will be 114 cm or 45 inches around. That’s a whole lotta ease for a small chested gal. But when I get some time I’m turning it into an afghan (complete with borders). I actually knitted front and 2/3 of the back before I got sane…Can’t wait to see yours complete.

  27. I think speed is important only to a point; newer knitters need to reach a relaxed, comfortable, easy, smooth way to knit–one that doesn’t cause discomfort or injury–and then pick up enough speed to allow them to see progress, complete projects, and avoid the frustration and errors that come of knitting very slowly, which often also means very tightly.

    More important, I think, is staying with a steady pace; it helps with to keep tension even, and it also helps in guesstimating what you can do in a given span of available time. I see far too many knitters with wrist, hand, elbow, and neck problems, many of them clinging steadfastly to a knitting style that promotes them (and that they consider the “right” way), rather than trying to make changes that would alleviate the problems.

    There is no wrong way to knit, unless it results in this kind of discomfort. Almost anyone can become competent at it; no one ever quite knows everything she’d like to, and there’s always something new and nifty to learn. It is not a competitive sport.

  28. Love the discussion here about the speed of knitting. After about 3 years, and having taught myself to knit Continental style rather than throwing, I have reached a speed at which I feel comfortable, allows me to see what I consider reasonable progress, and keeps me from spending so much time on a project that I feel frustration or lose interest. Now I know I can continue to improve, particularly with respect to purling evenly, but I’ve reached my own point of ‘knitting happiness’ for now, at a point where I enjoy the process as well as the projects.

    I haven’t encountered too many Knitting Nazis, but there have been quite a few women who insisted I was crocheting, lol!

  29. ooohβ€”i love the bart and louise socks. is the cola bottle a little snipper?

  30. It’s the rhythm of the stitch, the feeling of teh sensous yarn, the mediative quality after one of those days and yes, it’s the connection to something done with care, love, and, to quote Elizabeth Zimmerman, “knit through all crises”…….it’s knowing that centuries of women have done this, it’s making the fabric & the garment all at once………and it’s knowing people like you are out there…….

  31. Am I the only one who sees Bart & Louise and thinks…Bart & Lisa? :blush:

    Suzanne said it very well. I love the process, especially lace knitting, and while I keep trying to teach myself Continental style I’m very comfortable with the English way my grandmother taught me.

    Sleet and freezing rain are expected here in Manhattan too. I predict the serious snow will hold off until Thursday, when my husband leaves for California – leaving me to do the shoveling.

  32. I could not agree more with Suzanne’s comment. I am not particularly fast and there have been those who “feel sorry for me.” However, I enjoy the process and it makes me feel good, and that is really all that matters to me. I think that may be why I actually enjoy knitting alone in the comfort of my home vice with a group. Although, there is something to be said for the groups as well, as its always nice to talk with other knitters…so maybe a mix of both.
    Maybe we will get a day off tomorrow — I’m hoping for that…the roads in Alexandria aren’t too bad right now…

  33. The only reason that I wish I were a faster knitter is because I cannot knit multitasking. Before I had kids I thought I was pretty good at multitasking but it has all broken down now and I have trouble completing a thought w/ 2 kids around. I just started knitting recently and I see so many wonderful things out there to knit. I wish I could do them all! I’m beginning to realize I’m just gonna have to be patient!

  34. I wish I was faster with the tiny dpns for socks…just because I get bored on the second sock. Anything else, I do like to savor the process as well. I just love the feeling of the yarn in my hands. I just did some felted clogs and was actually sad after felting them because they wouldn’t be as soft anymore (although I adore the clogs). But I agree–knitting is a great way to unwind after speeding through a busy day chasing around my 2 year old daughter. I can’t fall asleep if I don’t knit before bed.

  35. I wish I was faster with the tiny dpns for socks…just because I get bored on the second sock. Anything else, I do like to savor the process as well. I just love the feeling of the yarn in my hands. I just did some felted clogs and was actually sad after felting them because they wouldn’t be as soft anymore (although I adore the clogs). But I agree–knitting is a great way to unwind after speeding through a busy day chasing around my 2 year old daughter. I can’t fall asleep if I don’t knit before bed.

  36. I wish I was faster with the tiny dpns for socks…just because I get bored on the second sock. Anything else, I do like to savor the process as well. I just love the feeling of the yarn in my hands. I just did some felted clogs and was actually sad after felting them because they wouldn’t be as soft anymore (although I adore the clogs). But I agree–knitting is a great way to unwind after speeding through a busy day chasing around my 2 year old daughter. I can’t fall asleep if I don’t knit before bed.

  37. Of course, you and Suzanne are right.

    I’ve actually put aside a project that I was enjoying immensely because I was working through it too fast and wanted to slow down and savor it. I’m so guilty of wanting to be fast! quick! done! I needed the reminder that speed is not the goal. Thanks.

  38. I am drooling over Cromarty because of that yarn. If I ever see that yarn (in that colorway) in a shop I will buy up every skein they have. It’s a treat to watch you knit with it.

    No ice here in Richmond – just miserable 37ΒΊF rain. I’d rather have the ice, I think, as long as the power stayed on. At least I’d have an excuse to stay home.

    I agree with you about process knitting — I’m a total 100% process knitter. I keep very few things I knit. The treat for me is knitting it, touching every inch of yarn that went into it, and if the recipient likes it – bonus! But, I do wish I were faster because there are other things on my wish list and other yarns in my stash I want to get to, at some point in my lifetime. I also like the idea of learning continental knitting because it’s supposedly less strain on the hands and wrists. I’ve taken the class from Nancie Wiseman, but haven’t switched to it yet. That will require more practice, for sure….

    Thanks again for the cabling video — I’ll be going back to that often.

  39. I knit mostly continental, but work with both hands for Fair Isle. Speed isn’t a big thing with me and people can do whatever technique they want. If the results work as the person wanted, then they are correct for that application.

    I enjoy the relaxation – that’s what is important to me – and the end product is a nice plus.

  40. Suzanne is a very smart woman.

    Your socks are lovely as they always seem to be and Cromarty is really coming along well.

    I’m posting a poorly shot video of me executing the Combination style of knitting in the round and thanks to you, I’m now doing my second Fetching with a lighter heart and one less needle. I had read many times how to cable without the needle, but it didn’t sink in until I saw it.

  41. Hee hee hee…..silly little me was thinking, “oh, an eraser, or a magnet”.. Ha. Welcome to 2007…of course, flash drive.

  42. Excellent post and excellent comment from Suzanne.

    I see people saying the little Coke bottle is a computer doo-dad. My guess was going to be a little piece of Coke flavored chocolate. (Maybe I’m having a craving!)

    I get that same kitty picture in front of my computer screen, except that the kitty is a Maine Coon! I bet that “show” comes on in lots of homes.

  43. I must say that if you have a choice of looking at Channel 9 news and Andrea Roan or Lucy, I would personally choose Lucy. At least Lucy allows you to hear the news. She must figure that you just need to hear the talk while you admire her.

    And if you want to knit for speed, get a knitting machine. I do knit fast but I purl slow. That is the bane of being a continental knitter. But I, like you, knit for the sheer pleasure of knitting. When I knit in class or a meeting, a simple sock always, my mind is engaged on what is being said. I tend to remember things better. Society is geared for fast self satisfaction but we need to remember that we we need to find joy in the simple things in life and to take time and slow down.

  44. Hilary McDaniel says:

    Speed is something I don’t seek as it’s the process I’m enjoying. I’m on retirement “mad money” so I have to enjoy what I’m doing or I wouldn’t be able to afford to knit. I love knitting but didn’t because of the cost of great yummy yarn. Now that I’ve discovered sock knitting, I can finally enjoy knitting again. Sweaters are totally out of my budget. I really enjoy hearing everyones comment on how they knit. I didn’t realize there was so many ways. Being British by birth, English style is the only way I learned. I now have learned continental, but the purling part feels really funky to me.

  45. I can knit Continental when I need to, or for two-colors, but it’s not my first choice. It really helps to know both though so I can show someone at the LYS something in a way they can get it. The only reason I wish I could knit a bit faster, or knit/multi-task better is so I could try more new things.

  46. The Coca-Cola bottle is obviously a shock absorber for a tennis racket!

  47. here here, it’s all about the process! I just ‘discovered’ sock knitting and I am thoroughly enjoying the sensory experience of knitting with delicious sock yarns (Apple Laine – oh my!!) on my little dpns. I haven’t minded when I’ve had to frog because I get the pleasure of knitting that bit again (that’s a bit sick I will admit!).

    And i thought it was one of those doo-dads you plug the holes in Crocs with, lmao!!

  48. I absolutely agree with Suzanne that it’s not about speed. Let our workplaces be about speed, or rush through the housework to get more time for knitting. Knitting is my meditation, and it’s about process.

    Still, I was glad to learn Contintental. The rhythm feels smoother, even if it’s not faster (although I think it might be, for me). It’s kind of like a Sunday drive in a sports car. It’s not like it matters how far I get, but it sure feels nice to go fast around the corners. πŸ™‚

  49. I tend to knit rather slowly (I think) because I’m usually relaxing while I do it. But I’ve found that if I’m knitting stockinette while watching something exciting on TV I fly. Adrenaline knitting?

  50. Hey if you knit with your feet while standing on your head eating a chocolate covered avocado (how’s that for a visual?) as long as you like the end result, who cares? The knitting police are why I stopped attending my first SnB – I got tired of watching the “real” knitters bullying the meek!

    Knitting is my solace, why would I rush? The hardest act of my life was my Dad’s funeral in December and I actually had my knitting with me – it actually provided me a modicum of calm in a sea of chaotic emotion. Viva knitting!

  51. I knit slowly. And I refuse to get into a speed knit thing, because it would take the joy out of it. My knitting fashion is my own because my hands are perpetually dry and I am basically uncoordinated. And I do have tantrums when I mess up badly. That said, I am delighted in to do my own thing. We knit because it pleases US, not because it pleases others. Heck! It’s to much effort to knit and size a sweater, learn how to do cables, etc. just for another’s approval!

    BTW, I want to thank you for a moment of sobriety you injected into my life. Yesterday you mentioned the difficulty level increasing because of the rows to make a repeat in Cromarty. Yep, that did it! The St. Cairan that I was going to do has one cable that has a 60+ repeat. No way and I ready to tackle that one! Ms. Starmore will be revisited today. You have saved me from quite a few tantrums…the cats and dh thank you.

  52. Knitting is a personal thing, that’s part of why it is so special. But I must say one of my great pleasures is sitting at the yarn store and watching other people knit. Everyone seems to do it a little differently and it is fascinating and mesmerizing to watch others.

  53. If finished items are anything to go by, I’m a slow knitter. I’m not actually that slow, but I get distracted very easily. Knitting in front of the TV is very distracting, even if what’s on isn’t something I want to watch. I’ve noticed that if I knit with the Radio on (good old BBC Radio 4 is my favourite) I get a lot more done. I’ve just finished a sock in 3 days – a record.

    To be honest, I’m more concerned about how to even out the appearance of my work than the speed with which it’s accomplished.

    As for the coke bottle, all I could think of was “fridge magnet”. That just shows how un-techie I am.

  54. Hi Lucy! You’re so cute! My little guys send you meows…

    I’ve taken a snow day, we’re pretty much snowed under up here! Great excuse to knit, I say. You really said it – we knit for the joy of knitting.

    Cromarty is looking lovely! πŸ™‚

  55. I couldn’t agree more. I am a process knitter too. Also a process quilter for the same reason. I love a good pattern & a good challenge!! Hence the reason for eleventy bilion shawls & unquilted quilt tops!!

    As for the coke bottle–haven’t a clue. It’s not chocolate is it?
    And Lucy is much more interesting & entertaining than the news!

  56. I vote USB drive. Too small to be anything but. If I’m right, that little cap is just too cute!

    Stay safe in all this weather nastiness!

  57. I agree with all of the “so many projects, so little time” comments; other than that, who cares how it’s done if it comes out right?

    Here in Indiana we’ve just finished with the monster storm headed your way — two days of the teacher’s version of “unscheduled leave.” Unfortunately, we have to make it up somewhere in the school year. Fortunately, I have numerous WPIs and a very warm cat in the house, since it will be a while before I can get out of my driveway!

  58. Oops, I meant WIPs — so much for the “check your work” I’m always drilling into my students! πŸ™‚

  59. I really enjoyed reading the discussion that my comment prompted. Thanks, Wendy, for providing all of us with this wonderful forum for discussing our passion. By the way, I checked out that site that another one of your commentors mentioned, and it was really fun to watch all of the different knitting styles. I don’t think there were any two that were exactly alike.

  60. I think that knitting at a steady pace is much more important than speed, especially to get your knitting even. I used to knit a few decades ago, while I was in elementary & secondary school. Then, I stopped for many years. I just picked it up again this summer. It is like second nature to me–I use the English method.

    Lucy reminds me of my Lhasa Apso (dog, named Sunny). Sunny thinks nothing of being “transparodog”, getting between me & the TV or between me & my computer screen. She thinks nothing of walking on my keyboard, lying on my computer (laptop), or you name it! πŸ™‚ My two dogs have a lot of cat-like qualities.

    I love your toe-up socks. I knit a pair of men’s socks many years ago, toe-up. But, now I seem to be somewhat afraid to cast on socks for me now. I am arguing with myself as to which caston technique to use. Also, I guess I am going to modify the number of stitches so that I can knit them with #2 needles on a pair of socks, a gift for my youngest son.

    I hope you have an unscheduled day today to stay home with Lucy & knit, Wendy! Have a great day!

  61. Oh, what a lovely picture of Lucy – I’m not used to seeing her upright and rightside up! πŸ™‚

  62. Lucy’s fur looks beautiful!

  63. Hope that unscheduled day off from work happened! I dream about those days, but they never happen for me, just like winning the Powerball. Oh, well.

    Cromarty is just lovely, it looks so soft and comfy.

  64. I knit English and I don’t tension the yarn but rather hold both needles with my left hand and throw with my right and then go back to a needle in each hand(I really deserve the appellation of thrower!). It sounds odd, but it feels right to me. It doesn’t seem to slow me down at all, so I don’t worry about it. As I tell my students, there are no Knitting Police and it’s perfectly fine to adapt to a method that is the most comfortable for you.

  65. Hi Wendy, I’ve never commented here before though I am a devoted fan of your blog. But I just have to agree so much with you on this one. I tend to get fretful on occasion if projects aren’t moving along at the speed I want them to … but I remind myself every now and again that this is NOT a race. Nor is it a contest to see who is the best knitter. At least, not for me!! It’s a hobby and a relaxing pastime, one that I enjoy and am good enough at to please me. I like learning new techniques because it pleases me to do things well and in the easiest way … speed gains are secondary importance, or really not important at all.

  66. Hmmmm, is it a flash drive?

    I wish I could knit faster so that I could make even more beautiful items. My wish list is growing faster and faster. But I knit how I knit and I do what I can do.

  67. I live south of DC and we only got rain. πŸ™ I was so hoping for snow. (Enough to close the college where I work!)

  68. I refer to you as a “prolific” knitter. It’s the consistency that determines my “speed”. Whether I’m in a knitting almost every day mode or my project is collecting dust for weeks at a time determines more of my productivity than my actual speed per round.

    Time to graft a toe of my third sock ever. We’re having the snow/ice day off. And both kids are sick (one with a high fever) and glued to the couch and tv. I’m planning on wearing sock #3 for the rest of the day to figure out if I like the fit or not and what to do differently for sock #4. Once I get the hang of this, I’ll try your toe up.

    Question: What’s your preferred dpn LENGTH?

  69. Wow, that Cromarty – GORGEOUS! Someday I will work up the nerve to try that one …

    As I am [attempting to] type this, Garden Kitty is sitting right in front of the monitor, “chasing” the words as they appear. He said to tell Lucy that he does not understand what kind of point you are trying to make in your post … πŸ™‚

    Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone at your house.

  70. Who cares if someone else knits a project because it’s fast, or slow, or somewhere in between? Knit what and how *you* like, and all’s right with the world!

    Unless the point of the original commenter was to remind us that fast doesn’t always equal good. If so, then right on!

  71. Cromarty is looking beautiful. I took my first knitting class Saturday and it was easier than I thought it would be to get the motions down. I’m really looking forward to being able to knit socks but I have some practicing to do first. I’ve already got a good stash of sock yarn growing. πŸ™‚ Thank you for inspiring me to learn to knit.

  72. Well said Wendy. Hope you were able to stay home and enjoy Valentines Day with Lucy!

  73. I knit continental because it’s the way my fingers seem to want to go. When I started to learn, my fingers kept falling into their own positions. Later I found out it was called continental. However, I knit SLOW, and was happy to see you say that it’s ok! I knit and watch tv or listen to podcasts.

    Lucy reminds me of my late cat Amos. He had her coloring, and crossed-blue eyes, but he wasn’t as long haired or as skinny! He also enjoyed helping with the tv watching. He’d get on top of the tv and make sure his body hung in front of the screen. He also was sure that he was more entertaining than anything else. I actually took up knitting after he passed because it was knitting or antidepressants. He probably wouldn’t have approved of my knitting as it would have taken from his petting time.

    I enjoy your blog!

  74. Wendy,
    I agree with everyone else, in that you knit beautifully, no matter how. I learned to knit portugeese style, from someone in Ohio. It’s fun, and it’s the knitting process that I enjoy.
    Thanks for your blog. I read EVERY day.

  75. My kitties (Max & Jasper) send their greetings to Lucy! She’s their kind of girl – they’ve been practicing transparocat for years. Jasper and I have finally worked out a deal where he sits on my lap with his head toward me instead of that tail…since the tail wants to grab ahold of the yarn and play. For some reason, his head behaves better than his tail.

    Thanks for all of the knitting news and support – I’ve only been back to knitting (learned in grade school) for a couple of years and I’m gathering new information all the time. This group of amazingly wonderful people who knit is an inspiration and a comfort. I’m in a town that apparently has only closet knitters. I know they’re out there! No yarn store for nearly 100 miles, so I’m a’gathering when I can get to one. Thanks, Wendy, for all of your news and this great group!

  76. For a visual of speed using the English method check out the movie The Lavender Hill Mob (the old, black and white version with a VERY young Peter Sellers). At one point the elderly lady is knitting. I couldn’t believe that method could be so fast. (I knit Continental having taught myself from an old Child’s First Book of Knitting). BTW the pic of Lucy is the best I’ve seen of her–very elegant.

  77. Hey Wendy. Can I ask you to help me out? You don’t have a email address listed on your blog that I could find. I made a site to help the homeless and wanted to know if you could do a blog about it? The site is

  78. If that is a Coca Cola flash drive – I need one! As Coke is the ONLY soda…well, nowadays it’s Diet Coke.
    And I do agree – knitting for me, is akin to yoga, to meditation. If I try to hurry on something, it’s because I WANT TO WEAR IT!

    How we knit is soooo individual…I was just fascinated watching you do cableneedle-less cables!
    And you know, I ALMOST miss Channel 9.

  79. I agree my knitting is not about the speed at which I finish something but the relaxed feeling I have after knitting just a few minutes…on the train, subway, or bus. Your knitting wisdom really strikes home for me. Thank you for it, cecilia

  80. Man, am I a teen of the 80s. I thought the Coke bottle was one of those funky scented erasers we all had.

  81. I found out that if I knit ” fast ” then I have more mistakes than I care to deal with – besides, I knit to relax and how can you relax when you’re knitting fast? A friend of mine says I knit fast because I knit 12 blankies and hats for premies in about 2 1/2 weeks – it wasn’t that I was knitting fast, it was just small items in garter stitch for the blankies and stockinette for the hats. She also says she ” knits wrong “, because she learned how to crochet first. I keep telling her that as long as you make something that you like, then you aren’t ” knitting wrong “.
    I have a 60 pound transparodog named Chloe – since my old tv died the other day and the new one is on a lower table ( until I get it put where the old one was ) she will stand/sit/jump/bounce in front of the screen if there is something you really want to see ( read WEATHER ), making it hard to see around her. And of course, she gives comments about what is going on ( as she looks over her shoulder at the tv – maybe she wants to grow up to be a tv commentator? ).
    We ( in Indiana )had the weather you will be getting in the next couple of days – best to stay inside and knit.

  82. The Coke bottle looks like chocolate. And if it’s not, that’s one cruel joke.
    I’m a fairly new knitter – self taught. My ‘technique’ is a variation of Continental. (I’m also a self-taught crocheter, and I’m used to holding the yarn in my left hand and doing all the work with my right.) You know what I think about when I watch knitting shows and tutorials and other people knitting? At first I thought it was how fast they do it, but I realized it’s not how fast, but how FLUIDLY other people seem to knit. Which usually ends up being fast. I’ve seen people hold the yarn and needle both in their right hand, and the movement of the needle and the wrapping of the yarn, it just seems to be one fluid motion. I’ve tried to do it, but it’s like trying to write with my left hand (I’m right handed.)

  83. I too am a slow knitter, and I stop often to “pet” my work, and a piece that I’m particulary enjoying, with yarn that I particularly like, well, I stop even more often to fondle and admire, so this means a peice I’m truly enjoying takes me longer to finish… but who cares? It’s my project and I’ll work on it at my own speed, thank you very much! Oh, the coke thingy? looks like chocolate to me.

  84. I’m hoping it’s not a magnet….. lip gloss?

  85. While I certainly agree that there is too much emphasis on speed and we all need to stop and smell the roses more often, I find I must be a bit of an oddball because I *really* want the “thing” at the end of a project. Of course I enjoy knitting, or I wouldn’t do it, but I knit things because I want the finished object. I really love the sense of accomplishment that comes from knitting. You can see your progress with every stitch, every row. I spent most of my life practicing to be a classical musician. While I loved my instrument, it is impossible to measure progress at the end of a practice session. And music is a thing that is never really “finished”, which is as it should be. I guess I do like that aspect of knitting. The sweater or the scarf or the shawl can be “done”. And for me, if I can do something to get me to done faster, I’ll probably do it. Just my own $0.02.

  86. The coca cola container is a pencil sharpener! At Least mine is….

    I resumed knitting after about 20 years quilting. I started out knitting very fast, but then noticed all the tension and sores muscles from trying to be a speed-demon. It’s not worth it. Now I am forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the process. Knitting is my zen, I do it for my spirit, mind and body and I knit the continental style. I did not know that until a shop owner told me. It’s just the way that I tught myself when I was 10. What did I know??
    I love your kitty, I have a flame point torti.

  87. Thank you, Suzanne.
    Wendy, I marvel at how fast you (seem to?) knit, but speed is no longer a goal for me now that I’ve learned HOW to knit. While I was still learning, my knitting was impeded by having a diagram of how to make a knit stitch nearby and consulting it constantly, then referring back to my pattern to make sure I didn’t put a purl in the wrong place. Those were the days when I’d make a 3×3 ribbed scarf and had to put a stitch marker every 3 stitches because I hadn’t yet learned to ‘read’ my knitting.

    So yes, I’ve achieved a comfortable speed and I’m able to watch a sock grow off my needles and be happy about the process.

    The little Coke bottle looks interesting, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you what it is without licking it first.

    Holy weather fronts, Batman! You’ve got snow in DC, we’ve got snow up here in Canada. My mom and sister got stuck in it at the airport in Indianapolis yesterday, too.

  88. Is it a button?

    Stay out of the weather if you can avoid it!

  89. THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart!
    This may seem a bit odd coming from a grown woman who is pretty rational and for the most part, self sufficient. But it took your “permission” if you will… for lack of a better choice of words.. to spark the bug in me to knit from my stash for a few months (less sock yarn of course) WENDY I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH! I just piled up all my stash and am in the process of sorting (shame on me!!) all this beautiful wool sacked away like an old garment. I am humbled! and you are da’ bomb!
    Thanks Wendy!!

  90. I agree with the other “but I want to WEAR” it speed freaks out there. I do love the process – and part of what I love about the process is the progress – how this but of shaping unfolds, how nicely the heel turns, how the colors plant themselves, how it feels under my hands once I have a handful or more done.

    Being done means I get to have a lovely pair of socks to wear (and the only thing nicer than the feel of lovely handpainted fabric in my hands is having it on my feet!) or to give, which I enjoy every bit as much.

    Then there is the siren call of new yarns. For instance, I’m barrelling along on a pair of Interlacements Tiny Toes (yummy!) another inducement to hurry is my location in southern Calif., which means it’s too danged hot for my wool lovelies about nine months of the year. I have to go visit family near San Francisco to get reacquainted with my socks during the hotter months.

    How nice of Lucy to keep you company during the morning news. Our 10-month old puppy is NOT a morning dog. Once he gets his morning petting, he’ll go off and grab a nap while we bustle about the morning.

  91. Hi Wendy,

    I’m in the process of doing some massive ring maintenance for the FiberArts Bloggers ring and I am contacting you because there’s a problem with your code. The code you have up is actually alright, except that the ring’s home page on the urbanspinner site is long gone. The new home page is:
    You’re welcome to either switch out just that one part of the code, or ask me and I’ll send you the basic default ring code instead.
    Please feel free to contact me with any related questions/concerns. Once you have your code fixed, if you want to send me a note I’d appreciate it, so I can get you back into the ring that much faster. Thanks!

  92. We call our pup, Abner, the BBI. Big black impediment. Because he always gets in the way of the tv. I guess that would make Lucy the BKI. Big Kitty Impediment.

    I wonder if it’s because we draw our attention to the TV and they want our attention instead.