Thursday, 4 October 2007

On your marks, get set, KNIT!

In a comment on my post from yesterday, Trashalou suggested that we time our knitting in order to compare knitting speeds. I think she was joking, but she should know better than to say these things to me EVEN IN JEST, because LOOK! I only go and turn them into a ridiculous reality!

As it happens, this is something I have already been pondering for a while. So, in the spirit of striking while the iron is hot tepid, now would seem like a good time to conduct my little experiment. Gentle Bloggers, I present to you:

** VC's Completely Pointless Knitting Speed Straw Poll **

Not very snappy, I grant you - but I will allow you to shorten it to the KSSP, if you must.

At the outset, I would like to make one thing clear: THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION TO BE THE FASTEST. The intention of the KSSP is not to identify the quickest knitter so that they can be awarded with a shiny crown; equally, I definately won't be expecting the slowest to feel shamed into committing hari-kari using their own pointiest wires (not least because I fully expect to be the slowest myself - so no need to worry about being 'last' if you really can't help thinking competitively about this).

No, my general aim is just to find out how much these things vary, as I'm curious about how far the range of speeds extends. Incidentally, I'm also very interested in that strange phenomenon whereby you feel like you're knitting really fast, but somehow your work doesn't seem to have grown very much by the end of the evening (or, very occasionally, vice versa). However, I'm not quite sure how we could measure that, so it will probably have to remain a mystery. Do other people get this too, sometimes? Apologies if it's just me.

"But", I hear you cry, "get to the point, please - what do you want us to do for this KSSP?". Well, I'm glad you asked, as I was just about to tell you. If you are a knitter, and if you can be bothered to take part, I ask you to do the following things (and it would probably be best if you could do them in the order given. It's just easier that way.)

** Taking part in the KSSP **

1) Find some knitting that you already have on the go, preferably something not too complicated - I'm interested in your standard speed, which I might not get if you're following a fancy pattern. If you don't have any knitting-in-progress, it's really not worth starting something new for the sake of the KSSP. It's just not that important. Ooh, unless you want to start a square for Oliver's Blanket - a far, far worthier aim than the KSSP.

2) Look at a clock, and note the time.

3) Start knitting.

4) After a minute has passed on the clock, stop knitting (if, like me, you need to look at your hands to be able to knit, it may be necessary to find an accomplice who can watch the clock).

5) Count the number of stitches you have knitted during the timed minute.

6) Leave me a little comment on this post, telling me the number of stitches you counted in step 5).

And that's it. Admittedly, it sounds like quite a lot of work now I've typed it out (heck, you're probably thinking, "it's been hard enough work just reading this post"), so I won't be offended if you can't really be arsed. However, as a little incentive to give it a go:

** Anyone you does leave a comment with their stitches-per-minute count will be entered into a PRIZE DRAW **

I'm not sure what the prize will be yet, but it won't be anything too rubbish. And to give you all a bit of time to take part, let's say I'll do the draw and announce the winner on Friday next week.

Please note that it is NOT the fastest knitter who will get the prize - hence this is still not a speed competition. I will put the names of any participants in a hat, and pick out a winner at random. I'm not expecting many responses, so your chances are probably quite good if you do enter.

Oh pants, I've just thought of something else: I'm really, really sorry if you're not a knitter and you feel excluded. If any non-knitters are desperate to join in - which seems unlikely - you could just make up a stitches-per-minute figure. I'll never know, will I? (Truly, my pursuit of accuracy knows no bounds.) It might not be worth bothering, though, as the prize won't necessarily be very good. But please don't tell the knitters that.

So, to summarise for anyone who got lost amongst my verbal diarrhoea: knit for a minute; count the stitches; leave a comment about it; be in with a chance of winning a prize - winner to be announced next Friday.

The running of the KSSP will be governed by an equal opportunities policy, so I do welcome anyone at all to take part. If you've never left a comment before, then now is the perfect time to de-lurk! Please don't be shy. I'm very friendly. And if I get enough results, I'll make them into a lovely graph for you all to see (I do love a good graph). If no-one takes part except me, I'll probably make a very small graph anyway (ditto previous parenthesis).

So what are you waiting for? Go, dig out those timepieces, and knit...


Monkee Maker said...

I counted three stitches. Did I win anything yet?

A nice touch to encourage people to knit squares for Oliver's blanket - you'll get brownie points for that but I'm not sure if you'll get a whole cake :)

Viv said...

54 stitches. With stubborn yarn and 7 mm needles (yeah, I know...)

Random Reflections said...

So, I'm not a knitter but I'm going to say that I did 42 stitches because that sounds like the sort of number I might be able to do (based on no evidence whatsoever...).

jesi said...

I had 35 stitches with a size 3.25mm on a lace weight yarn at work watching the clock (and the door for my boss to catch me)

trashalou said...

omigod! I'm responsible for kickstarting a fabtastic (sp. mistake but I like it!) web competition thing.

Will have to collect needles, yarn and prise (not) monkey but CHIMP (he has a tail) from the clock but.... I'm in!

trashalou said...

Btw, K-SIP. Love it!

Monkee Maker said...

I can't stand the stress! Quick - someone mop my brow!

I thought I'd better properly take part in your KSSP as you'd so gamely stepped up to the plate with my social networking experiment.

But I hate tests of any kind .... my hands broke out in a cold sweat; my needle kept snagging; my ball wouldn't roll smoothly - it was a complete nightmare!

So I gave myself best out of three :-

First attempt : 34 stitches
Second attempt : 41 stitches
Third attempt : 38 stitches

But in fairness, I would like the following points taken into consideration :-

a) I was working on a monkey arm at the time ..... all that turning from plain to purl - it's bound to add seconds!


b) I am a baby

Sorry to leave such a long comment but heck - I was reading your post for a good ten minutes ..... call it payback if you will (and yes, I'm slow at reading as well as knitting)

lauren said...

i will have to find--and dust off--my current project, but then i shall report my findings. however i do already know i'm a SLOOOOOW knitter!

Zoebert said...

32 Stitches - on 3.25mm needles, lace weight yarn. I know it sounds kind of like I used Jesi's project, but nope was my own. I am not a fast knitter, just a diligent one.

Interesting idea...

trashalou said...

Feeling appalled and slightly embarrassed that I have to confess to only doing 29spm on 4mm needles with the gorgoeus variegated alpaca I am now using for my ISE5 scarf. Think I may go down the monkee maker route and offer up a median number. Once I convince CK to clockwatch some more for me. (He says he only does that at work).

Studio Christine said...

32 stitches, 4mm needles and ac(k)rylic yarn.....for a monkey!!

....must STOP casting on monkies....but it beats some of the other animals I have started

lauren said...

ok, so it's official: i am the SLOWEST KNITTER IN THE UNIVERSE!!! i think there may actually be people with ONLY ONE ARM who are faster than i am. this is *really* embarrassing, but i've said i would tell and so i will (sigh)

**25 stitches**

...and that's in garter stitch...with nice smooth yarn...and a warm up, it's the best of my THREE tries!

in an attempt to cheer me up, lovely husband jeff has pointed out it's better than *HE* could do. i suspect that would cease to be true if he sat down and tried...even without being taught how to knit!

ah well. if i ever decide to knit a monkee, i shall use grey yarn...because clearly we will both be quite elderly by the time i finish!

Melissa said...

32 stitches on 3.5mm 12" circulars and fingering weight yarn. I tried it twice and came up with the same number. I never knew how slow I was until I timed myself! Yikes.

trashalou said...

Am I too late? Apparently Sylv can knit 432 spm on 1.5 mm needles using 8ply tweedy, eyelash yarn.

Well, actually that is not true but she hasn't given me her time yet (too busy packing to come over here) but I didn't want her to miss out. I know she knits fast even under duress b/c I spent my childhood helping her find her cable needle (usually threaded through her cardi!) - and sheh still could create from go to woah a grown-up size Aran in two weeks!

Working Mom Knits said...

Is there still time to enter? I am registering a s-l-o-w, yet meditative, 27 spm on size 7US needles using glorious Alpaca Silk from Blue Skies Alpaca. Savoring each and every stitch! (Than goodness I love my sister otherwise I would NOT be able ti give this gift away when it is done. Seriously. The yarn is that nice.)