Knitting irony – counting stitches

I joined NaKnitMo because I fancied the challenge and wanted to see how much I knitted in a month. I also thought it might help me be more realistic about my future knitting plans. So on Day One I started counting….


A 25 minute car journey saw 752 stitches of my colour block jumper knitted.20150923_164456

But an hour and a half in front of the telly only clocked up 742 stitches of lovely eldest’s Christmas jumper.

Christmas Jumper

Spotted the difference? Yep, the fair isle yoke of Lovely Eldest’s jumper was far slower to knit than a bit of stocking stitch with a cable in the middle.

If I’d knitted the colour block jumper instead of the fair isle, at the same rate as in the car, I’d have knitted 2,600 stitches in an hour and a half. That would have almost doubled my day’s stitch total to 3832 instead of 1974! (I that know doesn’t add up if you do the maths – I also knitted 480 stitches of a Christmas tree square.)

So is it pointless counting stitches? I don’t think so.

Firstly counting stitches underlined that different knitting happens at different speeds. Yes, of course I knew that. But isn’t it easy to beat yourself up for not being able to whizz on with something that’s harder/slower than something else? It often is for me.

Also, acknowledging fair isle is slow to knit changed my perception of time. Knitting Lovely Eldest’s Christmas fair isle yoke seemed to happen much more quickly than when I knitted Lovely Youngest’s  – which had slightly fewer fair isle rows. Does that sort of thing happen to you too? Or is that just me?


So, while I’m not sure I’ve learned much for future planning, I think, ironically, all the manic knitting I’ve been doing this month will make my future knitting a more pleasurable, less pressurised activity.

Having said all that, it’s just over four weeks to Christmas – so manic crafting will reign for a while yet. How’s your Christmas crafting going? Any tips on being more Zen with that?

Bekki Hill








29 thoughts on “Knitting irony – counting stitches

  1. It’s too early in the morning Bekki!! I can see how your counting could be helpful but I think if I started counting stitches I would then be working out what I could have knit while I was counting stitches 😉 Zen and Christmas?….Hmm, I am aiming for it by just ignoring how long there is to go and telling myself it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t all get done although I know it will matter the week before Christmas!! Have a productive and happy week Bekki. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you don’t need to count stitches, you just calculate the number on the row and multiply it by the rows you’ve knitted. Only take s a second.
      The head in the snow it where I’m at with a lot of my Christmas planning too right now, although I’ve sworn I’m going to unearth my sewing machine and do some Christmas making tomorrow! Wishing you as a happy and productive week too xx

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  2. I am in awe of your knitting ability! You are clearly a goal setter and enjoy challenging yourself. Those jumpers look wonderful.

    I am rather slow – I enjoy the meditative comfort of crochet in front of the telly and as I can’t follow patterns I am usually working out a way of achieving what I hope to make. I don’t work well under pressure, but you clearly exceed at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Youy’re very kind. I guess I’m a bit of a Tigger with knitting and crochet, but I am more meditative with crafts such as embroidery and cross stitch. Mind I’m a bit like you with working out how too achieve things, as I’m so often working on my own designs and miss half of what’s on the telly.

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  3. this sounds amazing! my husband is doing NaNoWriMo and I usually bring my knitting along and knit at the write ins! I had no idea there was a NaKnitMo! So excited! I would have “knit wars” and while they were busy typing away I would knit as fast as I could! So fun! Yay! 😀

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    1. Thank you 🙂 Unfortunately it’s the project at the end of the queue and only getting picked up when I’ve nothing else I can knit in the car 😦


  4. Ooh, the fairisle is getting to the exciting bit – I love it when the pattern starts showing properly. I’m plodding on with my gifts and am hoping to have enough time to make some more decorations this year.

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    1. Hope the gifts are going well. You’ve made so many lovely things already. I confess I have finished the fair isle, but only showed the start as am thinking I might just try to sell the pattern next year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the support – it really is appreciated. I think I’m terminally addicted to hard work and low/no pay, so I’ll be making the most of getting a thrill out of people being interested 🙂

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  5. Such very pretty knitting. I love both your projects. lol I don’t count stitches, and your maths was way above me. 🙂 but I know what you mean.
    We all knit faster or slower, all depending on pattern and other activities happening around us. I knit slower when watching tv, no matter what I knit. I knit faster when just knitting.
    As for Christmas knitting, I still have a little bit of a way to go, although its summer here, and the knitting is for winter mainly, so I can always gift the goodies at another time and just spoil now with other gifts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I confess I do like a spot of maths – yep I’m a nerd – but I do wonder if making up knitting patterns for a young age, for my dolls clothes etc – has helped my maths skills.
      You’re right, there’s so many factors affecting how fast/slow we knit. I guess the real surprise for me was how much slower the fair isle was than any other knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 It may have helped your math skills, but did nothing for mine.
        Now I am thinking that maybe a lot of the beauty of fair isle (that I am still working on the get just as pretty) is in the slowness of the knitting. Lots of things that are slow or takes a bit longer, are so much better, like a good curry that slowly cooked to perfection, or a good stew or smoked dish. And even a good wine.
        There must be a secret there somewhere. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting thought. I’ve certainly blogged before about finding quick projects less satisfying, so I’d definitely say the process is better when it’s slow – but the object itself? Are there simple quicker objects that are just as good? Like an amazing sandwich you throw quickly together?

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  6. Math, counting…oh no not the pleasure side of knitting to me. That is the reason I place stitch markers every 10 or 20 stitches…so I can knit thoughtless in a blissful state of Zen and spot a mistake right away. Your knitting is absolutely beautiful! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Johanna. We are opposites on the stitch markers, I barely use them. Guess I like to live dangerously 😉 Who says knitting isn’t exciting?:-) xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never actually counted stitches, other than when knitting rows on which I need to ‘turn’ (necklines and so on). I’ve counted rows, usually with the aid of pen and paper. Perhaps I’ll try counting stitches once I’m knitting again. I’ve never been into manic knitting because I’ve never been involved with challenges, like you, but I often set myself targets and ‘completion dates’ when I knit garments. Your three projects above look wonderful and you’ve done so well with the fair isle. I think you can safely say you’ve had a successful year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw! Thanks Millie 🙂 Have half written a round up of my stitch counting, will post tomorrow once I’ve done my final lot of November knitting tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

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