About Black Holes
I have been knitting on this big lace shawl for weeks, but there still is no end in sight, no matter how many hours I spend with it… There is only one explanation: It’s a Black Hole on my needles. A knitting project that seams to eat time and apparently consists of anti-matter, such that it will secretly un-knit itself when resting in its basket… I have certainly wished to be able to switch on a “knitting turbo” more than once! Of course you can learn how to knit faster. Most knitters in Germany use the “continental” method or “picking”: They carry the yarn in their left hand and use the right-hand needle to “pick” the yarn through the stitches. This method is said to be on average faster than “throwing”, where knitters carry yarn in their right hands and “throw” it around the needle to bring it trough the stitch. There are several Craftsy Classes teaching you to “Knit faster with continental knitting”, so for the average knitter, this might be a faster way to knit.
But that’s just the average, as the fastest knitters (there are actually competitions to determine this!) are throwers. Apparently, if you secure one needle under your arm or otherwise, it makes your knitting very fast.
I have been a continental knitter all my life, and I doubt that I will ever reach the speed I have now if I learn a completely new method. I am not keen on breaking any record either. But I have discovered that there are two things that will help me to finish a project more quickly:
a) Always carry my knitting with me and knit whenever possible – instead of taking out my smartphone.
b) Choose projects that have parts, stripes or other milestones. It’s immensely motivating if you can always “knit to the next stripe” or “to the next loop”.
So no, unfortunately there are no real tricks here. But maybe a thought that fits very well into summer: Speed may not be what matters most in knitting. Having a good time and enjoying it is probably more important. What do you think? Take your Black Hole outside, expose it to sunlight and spend a few more hours with it in your deckchair. I am sure it will turn into a shining star and you will finish it just in time for fall.