In this comprehensive article we’ll discuss the best time saving tips for knitters. Although it’s a long read this will help you save countless hours through the years. Both beginners and experienced hobbyists will benefit from the tips we’re about to discuss.
Here are those amazing tips that even some of the pros are not yet aware of:
- Use the right kind of needle
- Buy the best quality yarn, needles and knitting accessories
- Read and study the pattern before starting
- Learn how to knit without looking
- List at least 3 projects you can finish this week
1. Use the right kind of needle
Wooden and bamboo needles give a better grip which is why they’re ideal for cotton and silk yarns (slippery yarns). On the other hand, metal needles are recommended for sticky yarns (especially bulky types such as wool and alpaca yarns).
The key here is finding and maintaining the balance. For slippery yarns, use needles with better grip. For sticky and bulky yarns, use needles with looser grip. Using the right kind of needle for each project will make a huge difference. It’s the case especially when you’re knitting a full adult sweater.
Aside from making knitting a smoother experience (when using sticky and bulky yarns), hobbyists choose metal needles for the following reasons:
- Metal needles are durable (often made from brass, aluminium or steel)
- It’s the traditional choice (e.g. grandma used metal needles and so am I)
- The classic “clicking” sound (knitting feels incomplete without that characteristic sound)
On the other hand, many hobbyists prefer wooden or bamboo needles because of:
- It’s the more eco-friendly or sustainable option
- Wooden needles provide some warmth while knitting
- Bamboo needles are also lightweight while still being durable
Aside from needle material, experienced knitters also consider the shape and design of the needle. That’s because those factors affect the overall knitting experience (e.g. less frustration if you made the right choice).
For example, circular knitting needles are getting more popular because they hold more of the project’s weight. As a result, the whole knitting experience becomes lighter on your wrists. These can result to time savings and a lot less frustration during and after the knitting session, which is why these needles are ideal for heavy and large projects such as full sweaters and blankets.
Some knitters still prefer the straight needles. They can also be used for heavy projects but prepare for more strain when using them. It’s recommended that you use the straight needles for small projects such as making a scarf or baby beanie.
In the end it could still be about the knitter’s preference. But if you want to get faster and get more done, it’s good to try different types of yarn (or follow the advice above). Notice the difference and you can always go back to what you’re used to anytime.
2. Buy the best quality yarn, needles and knitting accessories
What does quality have anything to do with saving time when knitting? Using high-quality knitting supplies will save you from rework and frustration. The needles and yarns you use won’t break while knitting (even when knitting for 4 hours each day).
Almost nothing is more frustrating than interrupting your momentum. It takes several minutes before you get “into the zone.” Once you get into it you don’t want anything to interrupt you. You might even want to finish knitting the sweater in one sitting if you could.
But when the needles break or the yarns start to appear fuzzy, your momentum gets disrupted. You get frustrated as a result and you might put off the project for a while (or permanently). In addition, it’s difficult to get into something if you’re using shoddy materials in the first place.
That’s why most knitters take extra time in choosing the best quality knitting supplies and accessories. They go to the established and reputable stores. Once they found the supplies are really good, they repeatedly purchase knitting supplies from that shop.
For instance, The Aussie Knitting Co has been providing high-quality products for over 23 years. It’s a result of dedication to quality and supporting the hobbyists’ goal of perfection in whatever they knit (whether it’s a small baby sock or a full adult sweater).
Anyway, how do you ensure that what you’re buying is of high quality? Here are a few tips:
- First, make sure the transaction is secure (crucial when buying online)
- Choose a store with long solid reputation
- Take note of the care instructions (e.g. Is the yarn machine washable? Maintaining quality is also about knowing what to expect)
- Start small and buy from different stores (you’ll quickly see the signs of quality once you start using their products)
In other words, quality is buying from a reputable store and keeping yourself safe. You might need to visit different stores and use the products to verify their claims.
3. Read and study the pattern before starting
Apart from choosing the right kind of needles and the best quality supplies, practicing excellent habits will also save you a lot of time in the long run. For example, reading and studying the pattern first can make you finish the project faster.
How is that possible? First, your mind gets prepared about the task. As a result, the consecutive tasks become smoother. You can also better anticipate the potential problems as you go along. You can then better prepare for them or solve them in the first place.
Studying the pattern first will also prepare you about the tricky parts of the projects. It will also give you an idea of how much time it will take (e.g. does it require a huge daily commitment from you?).
In addition, along the way you might get stuck in some parts of the pattern and instructions. Perhaps unfamiliar abbreviations are all around the page. This will break your momentum and make you slower on your progress.
That’s why it’s wise to invest time in studying the most common stitches and knitting abbreviations. It’s laborious and painful at the start. But once you’ve mastered the basics, the whole process becomes easier. You gain a solid foundation which better prepares you for larger knitting projects (and long and focused knitting sessions).
4. Learn how to knit without looking
This is probably the hardest and yet the coolest thing to master about knitting. It’s the sign of a professional because it requires countless hours of dedicated practice of the craft.
Learning how to knit without looking can also make you a lot faster. You can finish more projects in less time. Also, time flies faster because even when your attention drifts away from time to time, you can still get the stitches done. The hobby might then become more enjoyable because you stay productive no matter what.
Although many of the knitting enthusiasts think that it’s all about the process (the joy of knitting and not the speed), knitting without looking is still a nice skill to have.
So how do you learn knitting without looking at the yarn and needle? Here are a few practical tips:
- Start small (make a few stitches with eyes closed or while looking away)
- Pay extra attention on the movement and feeling of the needle
- Practice doing this for small projects (so you won’t get intimidated or frustrated)
- Do this every day so you gain muscle memory (your brain and body learns to do the task without conscious thought)
In other words, it’s about practice and commitment. You might not notice any improvement in speed. But you’ll get more satisfaction from your craft because you know you’re getting better at it.
5. List at least 3 projects you can finish this week
Accomplishment is still one of the best motivators out there. After all, accomplishments will fuel you to do more (which create a positive feedback loop).
To take advantage of this psychological principle, it’s good to determine the projects you’ll finish this week. For example, you might want to knit a baby beanie, socks and a dog coat. Once you’ve finished all them and see the results of your work, you’ll get motivated to do more. Truly, accomplishment can further increase your energy for the whole day or week.
It’s also good to have a dedicated area (with all the supplies and patterns ready). This way, you can get started immediately and quickly build your momentum. You don’t have to spend the initial time getting ready. You already know what to do once you sit down and hold the needles. As a result, you save time and you make knitting a much smoother experience.
Time saving tips for knitters
To save time and get more things done, knitters often have to form new habits (knitting without looking, studying the pattern and preparing all the materials first). They might also have to use the best materials so they can better focus on the craft instead of the quality of the supplies.
That’s why here at The Aussie Knitting Co, we specialise in providing quality products for the knitting enthusiast. We have a wide range of needles, yarns and patterns for beginners and experienced hobbyists.
Contact us today and enquire us about our Specials and wide range of Patterns. You can also visit us at Mooroolbark Wool, 6-8 Brice Avenue, Mooroolbark, VIC, 3138 and our friendly staff will provide you with excellent recommendations.