The re-spun yarn sweater, progresses. But at Madrona this last weekend I was stunned to learn there's a way to knit not taught in books. Eeek!
And to make matters worse for Ms. Efficiency (that would be me), it's faster -- once you've really learned it -- than all my efficiency-in-motion studies on my own knitting. Me -- 32 stitches a minute, throwing (English style). Picking (Continental), about the same, really. I knit whichever way my wrists say is less stressful at the time, which means 10 minutes in, I switch styles. That helps keep both wrists limber and happy - yay!
You know, I did my homework:
North America's fastest knitter (Canadian), just 1 stitch a minute slower than the world's fastest knitter (oh so close!)
UK's fastest knitter ... seeing anything in common yet?
And, drumroll please,
The world's fastest knitter, from the Netherlands, 118 stitches a minute.
Notice, they are all holding one needle steady. And all have minimized their movements. Miriam Tegels has her yarn in her left hand while the others have their yarn in their right.
This style of knitting has a name -- Lever Knitting. Also sometimes called Irish Cottage Knitting. And, I'm learning it.
The class at Madrona was taught by none other than Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who very graciously showed us how to do this, and in the process gave us tips for improving our regular knitting (an SSK in one stitch? wow! and it's prettier, too!) Her basis is the yarn in the right hand. If you want to try an on-line lesson, KnitPicks has Miriam Tegels showing her yarn in the left hand version here and teaching to a student here.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's advice was to keep at it every day for 28 days. I'm now 4 days into my own lever knitting journey -- only 24 left to go -- the motions are getting smoother, I expect to see them getting smaller soon as well.
50 stitches a minute, here I come!
posted 20 February 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/