How to Knit Faster

Learn to knit quickly and with more flawless results. Make the most of your precious knitting time using these tips:

  • Knit sleeveless or short-sleeved projects. This cuts the knitting time by 1/3 or more, and saves yarn to boot.
  • Choose slim tailored designs. Baggy sweaters mean more stitches to knit. Tight sweaters save yarn!
  • Knit for yourself to save time and reap rewards. This way, you always have easy access to your fit model. Waiting to fit on the intended recipient can add weeks, even months to your completion time.
  • Knit for kids. They're smaller.
  • Knit for pets. They don't require sleeves or pockets.
  • Knit continental style, for higher top speeds. The speed knitting world record-holder, Miriam Tegels knits continental style. In continental knitting, the yarn is usually carried in the left hand, so it is a natural for left-handed people. In my opinion, continental should be the first method taught to every knitter, regardless of which hand is dominant.
  • Knit tubes on circular needles whenever you can to save time turning the work and purling.
  • When working tubes, take advantage of a modular knitting needle kit like Boye Needle Master or Denise and use a smaller needle on the left so that the stitches slip off the needle more easily. You can also buy Addi turbos that are made this way, but I find the kits to be more cost effective. Take care when you put down your needles, though. The stitches will slip right off the left needle without any help from you.
  • Avoid yarns finer than DK weight, especially if the project is large. Bulkier yarns mean fewer stitches which lead to faster results.
  • Use a knitting swift. You can wind hanks into balls much more quickly with an umbrella yarn swift and ball winder. You'll never again need help holding the yarn while you wind it.
  • When fixing major mistakes in your knitted piece, separate the good work from the bad and graft it back together after correcting the problem. Also consider unravelling down several stitches for a few inches to fix increases or details in the wrong spot. If you can accomplish the fix with a little surgery, you will save ripping and re-knitting all those perfectly good stitches knit after the mistake.
  • When working cables, dispense with the cable needle. My video on YouTube shows how to do this technique step-by-step. It only wastes time and doesn't add much to the result, unless working in a very slippery yarn. Simply move the right needle in front or behind and insert it into the stitches to be crossed while they are still on the needle. Then slip the left needle out of all the cable stitches briefly then use it to pick up the loose stitches behind or in front to complete the crossover. Pass the sts back to the left needle and knit the the cable. It feels like you're cheating. What a thrill, huh?