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Sunday, 6 December 2015

The need for speed – upping the knitting stakes

It's been such a long time since we talked yarn on here, and even though it's not the woolly season in Australia, I've been planning for cold days ahead – I am in Melbourne after all. Lately, I've been busy swatching for various projects – some to figure out the weight of various untagged balls of yarn, one to test out a pattern I'm designing and one to try out a stranded colourwork chart.

It's been ages – maybe even decades – since I did any real colourwork. So long in fact, it was before the days of learning on YouTube. I'd been planning to take a continental knitting class over the summer break, but last week I decided to throw caution to the wind and look it up on online. Honestly I don't know how we survived before YouTube… A few minutes of video watching and suddenly I was knitting stranded colourwork with both hands and mourning the hours I've wasted over a lifetime of English-only knitting.

But I didn't stop there. What if I could increase the speed of my everyday knitting too? How much faster could I get through projects? Now, as I've said already, I'm an English- or throwing-style knitter, and I've got a pretty good speed going after many years of practice, but I know it's not the most efficient way to go.

I don't know about you, but I follow Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog – the Yarn Harlot – and given the way she gets through those pairs of socks, I knew some kind of knitting magic must be going on there. And I was right…

But I'd also heard whispers online that the real black magic was happening over the water, in the lands where knitting began, and so after following a few links and trying various searches, I struck gold. Meet Hazel Tindall…

You know, I think you'd have a jumper (sweater) done in a day or two with that kind of speed. Imagine it? Here she is slowing down so you can see her technique.

I know this going to play all kinds of havoc with my tension and gauge, but I'm fascinated to see if it's something I can learn – old dog/new tricks and all that. Anyway, wish me luck, and I'll keep you posted with progress.

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