Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Mind is Blown

Do you know who is teaching in London Ontario this weekend? My local yarn store, Cotton-By-Post, is hosting the Yarn Harlot for the whole weekend.

Friday she gave a speech and did a book signing. The speech was on how knitting alters the brain and not only was it funny (in true YH style) it was educational. Several things I knew instinctively, Stephanie backed up with scientific research, giving me more ammo to use against muggles who may try to deride our noble craft.

Here she is preaching the gospel of the knit.

Saturday was a six hour class on Knitting for Speed and Efficiency. I'm already a pretty fast knitter, but I figured Stephanie is such an interesting person, who has rubbed shoulders with many other interesting people, that I was sure to learn a thing or two. Ah, hell ya!  I learned:
  • lever knitting
  • norwegian purl
  • a super fast and neat kind of ssk that Stephanie invented (well possibly, most likely)
  • a toolbox of techniques to make my knitting more efficient
  • sources for some really good needles
  • and that I'm a fast knitter for my area, but slow in terms of the world.
I started the class with a knitting speed of 33.3 sts per minute. I finished with a speed of 38.6. But that's a snail's pace compared to the world's fastest knitter who goes along at a clip of 118 sts per min. Stephanie says that a product knitter's average speed is 100 sts per min.

And I'd like to get my speed up, mostly for socks. I have more loved ones whose feet I'd like to cover in wooly goodness than I have time or patience to knit for. A sock knitting machine is one idea, but too pricey. Learning to knit faster sounds like the answer.

Well, actually, the answer is a whole new way of knitting. Lever knitting, which is killing my brain to learn. None the less, I do hereby solemnly swear to pursue my homework, which is to make a K1 P1 scarf using the new technique for some amount of time every day, for 21 days. I have Noro Silk Garden, 15 inch needles, and I will prevail!

Irish folklore holds that if a master knitter puts needles into the hands of a newborn, the child will have a talent for knitting. Do you think the skill can be passed on in utero?

Tomorrow's class is called Liking Lace. A whole 'nother day to blow my mind.


  1. Sounds like a great class to have taken. Enjoy tomorrow's lace class!

  2. What a great opportunity! I have to admit to being more than a little jealous!

  3. Wow 118 stitches per minute? Sometimes it feels like I am lucky to knit 8 stitches a minute :)

  4. She blew my mind too!! Such a totally awesome weekend!

  5. I heard of this weekend at the end of October and tried to register for the Lever Knitting class. It was full even then. Lucky you.

  6. Thanks for sharing, I just checked out the video link and it will come in very handy. I'm self taught so I hold my yarn and knit in the least efficient way possible I'm sure.