Riddle Me This

Have you ever noticed that some sock patterns are fast? Not just that they seem fast, like when a patterns so entertaining that you get invested and time seems to fly… but when it’s actually fast? Empirically fast?

I’ve noticed it with the Leyburn socks. I sit down to knit for a regular block of sock knitting time, and when the time’s up, I’ve got way, way more sock than is normal for me. I feel like I could bang these out a mile a minute, and I practically am.


That’s a sock and some in about 2/3 of the time that I would reasonably expect to spend getting a sock and some. (The picture also shows the rather dramatic and fierce swelling of my left ankle, kindly disregard. My ankles are usually as fetching as the one on the right.) Admittedly, having to sit around with my foot up (it is wearing so thin already) is granting me a little bit more knitting time than usual, but I swear that’s not all it is. There’s voodoo in this pattern. Fast voodoo. I had the same experience with the Monkey pattern, and Loskins is darned quick too. You would think that a patterned sock would be slower than a plain sock, since all that stitch manipulation has just got to be slower than churning out the knit stitch, but it just doesn’t seem to be true. The intelligent part of me says that it’s that I’m being charmed, and the charm eggs me on, but I have been charmed before.. this is knitting after all, and it can’t just be that.

What makes these patterns so fast? Do you find any fast? Which ones? Why do you think it is?


237 thoughts on “Riddle Me This

  1. The only pattern I have made more than once is the Monkey. I like it and it goes fast.

  2. I can’t believe I was first. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! PS. I posted a 2nd time because I am surprised.

  3. The only socks that go fast for me are the ones I knit with worsted weight wool while watching my hubby and his friends play tetris… πŸ˜‰

  4. I’ve found plain stockinette socks to be much slower than the few patterned ones I’ve done (knitty’s spring forward and monkey). Monkey practically flew off my needles. I don’t think all patterns will be faster as Pomatamus can only be done 4 or 5 rows at a time for me (though I have the patterned memorized it hurts my hands)
    So yeah- some socks definetly just want to be knit and fly off the needles for me too.

  5. Wow, those socks are mesmerizing! I’m a super slow knitter no matter what I’m working on, so I have no theories on pattern speed, but I had to comment on the awesomeness of the socks. Rock on!

  6. I thought Veil of Leaves (from New Pathways for Sock Knitters) was fast, which was surprising to me because it is patterned. But maybe I was charmed, like you said.

  7. (Or is that “so DO Fred & George”? Fred & George is the name of the pattern, so maybe it really is “does,” but that sounds weird.)

  8. Nutkin’s go by super fast for me even with a 16sts/10row pattern repeat. You memorize the pattern before the first repeat is over and you just knit those suckers fast! I’m on my second pair of them now!

  9. The JAYWALKER socks!!!! Those go by so fast for me its unreal! I think there’s some voodoo in those for sure. And I love them!

  10. Hey Stephanie – I have recently learned to knit two at a time socks on one round needle and found this gives me all kind of fast voodoo – no matter what pattern. I am entranced and go round and round and round never wanting (or knowing where?!) to stop. I look down and wham – there’s a pair hanging from the needles. I’m sure you’ve covered this before in your blog but why does an experienced sock knitter such as yourself not use this method? Just personal preference?

  11. the JAYWALKERS! Those go by so fast for me its unreal! And I love them so much….they are beautiful.

  12. Is it perhaps because you’re just knitting straight through instead of constantly having to get up and do laundry, or otherwise clean up after a household of others? Maybe you’re just able to actually concentrate for a long enough time to get into some sort of ‘hyper groove’ because you can’t get up! (which is a plus…the downside is the cost of said groove is a broken ankle)

  13. Yes, yes, yes!!! I do a pattern very similar to your Leyburn and it goes very fast. As does the Monkey; and, I’ve made 3 pairs of those–all extremely fast!! Loving knitting them, I think, accounts for much of the speed–they are, as you say, entertaining!

  14. Leyburn is TOTALLY a fast pattern. I think it’s because 1 out of every 4 rows, you slip 5 out of every 6 stitches.
    It also may be the most addictive sock pattern I’ve ever knit. πŸ˜€

  15. it’s magic. those are pretty fantastic socks…. I don’t know what it is about some patterns that are so exciting that it does seem that time stands still while you knit
    When I was working on the Rivendell socks, I was amazed at how quickly I got through the pattern… and I was using DPNs and only knitting one sock at a time. I’ve become accustomed to doing 2 socks on 2 circs and the *socks* are quickly produced, but I don’t feel like I’m knitting fast.
    knitting is like that.. it a time shifter. and I’m not surprised that I’ve met other knitters who happen to be geeks in ravelry…. I wonder if there are more geeks that knit than knitters that are geeks? know what I mean?

  16. Turning my first heel on the beach in Panama. Discovering that it really isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Losing myself in simple knitting, enjoying the color changes in the yarn. Mesmerizing. Everything is going way faster than I dreamed! And WAY better!

  17. Not socks, so much, but I knit 4 pairs of “Fetching” fingerless mitts for Christmas presents and boy, did they zoom along. I do think it’s just charm of the pattern, though, really. When the charm wears off, so does the speed.
    But you know what goes really slowly? TUESDAY.

  18. Looking at these socks I’m sooo sad that I don’t know how to knit in the round..not to mention the fact that I haven’t knit in a couple years and have probably forgotten how.

  19. The monkey sock was crazy fast for me, and so is the wavy lace one I’m working on now from Favorite Socks (Interweave Press). My theory is you actually work on the sock longer each time you pick it up because you want to finish a block of the pattern before putting it down again. I hate quitting in the middle of a repeat, so I find I do just a little more each time, and before you know it, it’s time to turn the heel. Love it!

  20. The monkey socks were fast for me because I didn’t want to stop until I had a whole pattern done. Before you know it you at the the heel.

  21. Oh, and don’t try to take a photo while talking to me on the phone again. That was a close call. And if you had slipped off the chair, I now know there would have been d.p.n.’s involved. Explain that one to the Dr.

  22. Hmmm, no fast sock input from here. And I may be a day late and a dollar short with this, but haven’t you written about the desire to have a debilitating, but not serious injury which would excuse, nay, nearly require you to sit around and knit all day? I’m must sayin’…..

  23. I find sock patterns with a short pattern repeat are the fastest, for me. The Hederas I made last year took no time at all, and I’m convinced it was because the repeat was so short. It was easy to say, “oh, I’ll just knit one more repeat” which turned into FOUR more repeats, etc., etc.
    Charades also went fast for me, because the psso was so much darned fun.

  24. Yoked ski sweaters seem to just fly off my needles. Last year between school starting and Christmas I made 4 adult sweaters with different themes. I made 2 between Thanksgiving and New Years this year. I sat down and watched an hour and 15 minute movie the other day and knit the entire yoke, fair isle and all, of a mans sized medium.
    I put in another movie and knit the leg and heel of a mans boot sock (made with worsted weight yarn).
    14 inches of color worked sweater vs. 8 inches and a heel of one color.
    I’m telling you, the sweaters just fly.

  25. Yes, it is that way for me too. I can’t wait to try this pattern. I’m working on some Seaweed Socks and they go very quickly compared to even sport weight plain socks.

  26. I can’t explain it, but I definitely had that experience when I made Monkey socks. those puppies just FLEW off my needles.

  27. I can chug out Snicket socks in no time, and I’m not generally a sock knitter. Plus they’re off the charts adorable…and the pattern is free! A search on Ravelry turns them up right quick.

  28. Beanies are like that for me. I’ll go at them during a Star Trek espisode (I said I was a nerd….) and at the end I’m staring at a beanie that seemingly appeared out of no where.
    I don’t understand this, but I don’t question it either…

  29. I must agree with suburbancorrespondent. Fast? Knitting? Not me. I feel unworthy of all you super speedy knitters! I am so slow… painfully slow. I try to speed it up but appear to have one speed. The afore mentioned slow. I have decided that I am a process knitter and not product.And that is ok.
    Here’s to all the slow knitters!

  30. I am hopeful that I will find them as quick as you do. I could really go for having a nice pair of hand knit socks for myself ready all lickity split. πŸ™‚

  31. In response to Jenny’s post about why you don’t use circulars-may I quote- “There are two basic approaches to sock knitting in the round. You may use a set of four or five noble, elegant double pointed needles or you can wimp out and get some circulars. Me? I have no preference.” Can you guess which Harlot book was on my Christmas list? Awesome socks!

  32. I find that patterns which flow into one another egg me on – there isn’t really a natural stopping point, so I want to keep going. Monkeys are like that. You’d think that the three knit plain rows would be a good stopping point, but they’re not! They make me that much more eager for more pattern.

  33. I can’t believe it!!! I’m knitting the same exact socks!!!! What are the odds? I mean with all the patterns and all the socks! What are the odds?

  34. I’ve not knit a patterned sock (yet). I just finished the Shetland Triangle shawl and man, that thing was speedy! A couple days and I had a whole lace shawl.

  35. I have had that same experience with the Monkey pattern & can’t wait for Cookie A’s book to come out. The Monkey pattern is not only fast & fun to knit, it fits my narrow feet really well & I love the way the heel seems to cup my heel & fit so much better than any other socks I have. Who can notice the swelling in your ankle when it is covered by that gorgeous (& distracting) yarn?

  36. Not a sock pattern, but I found the prismatic scarf just flew off the needles. (Pattern is on Ravelry) I did also find the stitch pattern charming, which I think is required for speed. A yucky pattern or reluctant knitting never goes fast!

  37. I found the “International Sock of Doom” pattern fast – but then dk yarn socks tend to be faster
    Intuitive, interesting patterns work for me, boredom or having to read a chart tends to slow me down. (Boredom means looking for other distractions while knitting, which slows the knitting process).

  38. I’m in the middle of my second pair of mittens in a week, that are going to be felted. (the first pair were a gift and are already on their way to my friend) I am just flying, getting them done much faster than regular mittens………..and they are just plain, with no interesting pattern. Now I know that I am using bigger than usual needles, but I am also knitting bigger than usual mittens. So it should all sort of balance out and be about the same, right? Not true! Maybe it’s the impending frigid air headed our way and my hope to wear these by the weekend.

  39. I am just now getting addicted to socks.. I’m a magic looper, though. I seem to have second sock syndrome. I have knit 2 socks, each the first of a pair. Now I’m smitten! I want to try so many sock pattens now. I’m so Knitting ADD, it’s sad. What sock yarn did you use? It’s so cute with the pattern!!

  40. For me it’s WendyKnits Nanners pattern, wow, I love doing them, they look gorgeous, the fit is superb and they positively fly! I would swear I’ve been doing them in my sleep!

  41. Wow, wish I had your doc….broke my right ankle in spring, and sprained the other at the same time (don’t ask….its embarassing….and it wasn’t snow/ice) and all I got was an evening…kept working, painting and working on kitchen, helping hubby install a new kitchen counter, all with a brace and a walking cast, and I am 10 years older…what gives?? I was hoping for bonus knitting time…..nope…didn’t happen…soooo enjoy it!!! πŸ˜‰

  42. For me it doesn’t seem to matter what I am knitting….the fastest I seem to be able to go is an INCH PER HOUR. Socks…an inch per hour. Sweater…an inch per hour. I guess this is becasue of the difference in gauge.

  43. I agree, there are some patterns that just go faster. I find that if the pattern is just complicated and fun enough, it goes faster. I think that it is the ounce more concentration makes the item fly by because the knitting mojo is so good, maybe it’s like endorphins or something. I have, however, not found this to be true of lace shawls but that is perhaps because the row currently is 340ish stitches…

  44. Self-striping socks zoom along on my needles, but solids, ombres or speckles are long slogs for me. I think it’s the section-ness of stripes or some patterns that make them fast. You can’t put them down in mid-pattern, or you can’t wait to see the next color come out of the ball and onto the needles.
    Hmmm, must try that pattern you have there. Pretty, pretty cool, and zoomy.

  45. Phineas went really quickly for me, even making those socks in an extra-large size for my brother; Monkey flies for me, too. I think the YO’s in Monkey have something to do with it–those may speed things up a bit. And Phineas’ purl stitches broke up the monotony just enough to keep trucking through even those large repeats.

  46. I like your socks!
    Personaly I find the pattern Jaywalker very fast and addictive.
    Knit long and prosper (geeks unite!),

  47. That’s funny, I just made a pair of Leyburns and they took for.ev.er. for me. I felt like the rows where you were slipping most of the stitches were such timewasters–no visible progress at all after working that row. However, the Stashbuster Spirals I’m working on are flying by. I’m mesmerized by the way the colors work together. AH HA! I was doing Leyburns in a solid color (by request)–I didn’t have all the rockin’ color coolness to entertain me….. So I guess cool colors make for fast knitting in my case!

  48. The Solstice Slip socks (is that the right name?) from the 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club seemed to work up very quickly.

  49. The Welsh Travelling socks from the book Shear Spirit are zip along quickly, too. I’ll agree with a previous poster, maybe it’s the 5x slipped stitches wyif. That and the “Oh, maybe just one more four row reapeat…”

  50. For me, it’s plain socks with a wee cable down each side of the foot, particularly if they’re in a stripy or colorful yarn. (Like the ones you knit in the woods.) The cable and colors keep it interesting, but the simplicity of it keeps me from having to think about it too much. Before I know it, the socks are done.
    That reminds me…I need to go and cast on another pair of socks…

  51. The spring forward sock had fast mojo for me (and the Monkey sock as well). Unfortunately I had to put the Spring Forward socks down and they lost their mojo… *sigh*

  52. WOW – Eye of Jupiter – that is truly perfect. Those socks are fab. Somehow though I think if I made them it wouldn’t be so fast! Thanks for reminding me about BSG. I met Starbuck for real in Mexico in January of 2008. I was in a bathroom in a restaurant waiting for my daughter to come out of a stall. She went in – I thought it was her so I hung around until she came out of her stall. Now that is truly geeky – stalking someone in a bathroom! I didn’t have a camera or I could have K’neered her!

  53. Spring Forward was like that for me. The were done crazy fast. I’m on my second pair now, but the second sock will wait awhile as I’m knitting it in spring yarn, so what’s the rush. I’m psyched to hear that Monkey is a quickie, as they are on my list!!

  54. Spring Forward was like that for me. The were done crazy fast. I’m on my second pair now, but the second sock will wait awhile as I’m knitting it in spring yarn, so what’s the rush. I’m psyched to hear that Monkey is a quickie, as they are on my list!!
    I’ve also made several pair of fireman’s ladder tops with stockinette foot – granted, on size 5s, but still. They were lightening fast, as well. I knit one whole sock in about 7 hours.

  55. I would expect nothing less than time-bending from socks when the yarn calls itself “Sereknity”. Add to that the “Eye of Jupiter” colorway, and you’re bound to be knitting at warp speed, right?

  56. A question–I’ve been knitting socks several years now but doing only plain patterns because of the fear that raised patterns will rub on the foot. It looks as though I’m going to have to try the Leyburn pattern, though, so I’ll find out for myself, eventually–but do they? Rub, that is? If you’re knitting for someone with sensitive feet, can you just do the pattern on the top and leave the foot alone? Thanks, randmknitter

  57. It’s true. A cute pattern with a short repeat always does the same thing for me. It makes you think ‘just one more?’. The advance warning comes when you look down and realize you don’t know what row you’re on but you haven’t made a mistake yet.

  58. I have socks on my ‘to do list in 2009’. I had started a pair a couple of years ago, and messed up terribly on the heel and ripped it all out! These socks are awesome! I know I have your original sock recipe around my stash somewhere! You rock! Thanks for the inspiration and dose of laughter, ever so often!

  59. I’m doing the Conwy Socks by Nancy Bush, and they are FLYING. I have no idea why, ribbing usually takes me forever, and this is cable-y ribbing, so who knows.
    I think I have just the yarn for some Leyburns…. might be next!!

  60. I am simply smitten with this pattern. Just as soon as I figure out how to cast on for a toe-up sock, I’m making me a pair!

  61. Monkeys have the speed factor for sure. I had only ever done the “plain vanilla” socks for the longest time before I decided to do something a little more “difficult” (if you imagine the previous statements with air quotes, it’s much more entertaining…ahem…) Little did I know that those Monkey’s would just fly right off my needles.
    Here’s another pattern that looks great with colourful yarn: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/show-off-stranded-socks
    I haven’t tried knitting it yet, so I’m not sure it’s a fast sock pattern to knit, but it’s definitely on my “Must Do” list (again with the air quotes…Hey, it’s been a long day. I’m entitled to a little crazy…heh heh)
    I really hope your ankle feels better soon. Watch out for those Canadian Snow Snakes when you are running! They get me on the ski slopes all the time. πŸ™

  62. I just finished socks with cables down the legs and the leg portion took a fifth of the time that the foot took. I’ve noticed that when I’m doing a pattern, I focus more and get distracted less than with stockinette, so the knitting goes faster.
    That’s far too logical an answer.
    The truth is, knitting a patterned sock, a gorgeous pattern that someone took hours to design and perfect, just to have it go onto feet, is such good knitterly karma, that the magic of it all just makes the knitting go faster.

  63. First socks of pairs go quickly for me, and I think to myself that I like knitting socks, and because this one took only x number or hours or evenings, the pair could be done by Sunday! But it never is. :/ Socks are slow for me, although interest in the new pattern or the colours in the yarn, make that first one go quickly. πŸ™‚

  64. I First off am so sorry to hear about your foot. I hairline fractured my patella and man it hurt. Secondly I think that patterned socks go allot faster because we short attention span type people find amusement and enjoyment with knitting said sock which 1 makes the time go allot faster and 2 you get allot more sock done, Well I am off to knit a pouch and rest as I have an upper respiratory infection. Hope things are well!

  65. Ooooh – Brainylady’s cabled and ribbed socks – 8 rows of k2,p2 and then “ooooh a cable!”.
    I churn them out without a problem at all. I guess it is b/c it holds my interest.

  66. I found the no-purl version of the monkey sock to be pretty darn fast.
    At first I didn’t believe that your ankle was swollen at all. Then I re-read your post and realized you were saying the LEFT one was swollen and I checked the photo again. Yikes! Ice. Ice is your friend. Go. Go now and get some. Better yet, have someone BRING you some.

  67. I think 8 row patterns go really fast. I’m sure it’s some kind of mind-game, but there’s something about doing “only one” repeat and having 8 rows done that seems to zip things along.

  68. I don’t know about patterned socks, but knitting socks from cuff to toe seem to go faster for me. Maybe because I get the leg portion out of the way first.
    My dilemma is I like the toe up sock patterns better, because I can try on and adjust as I go along…of course I then have to remember to write down any changes I make so I can duplicate it in the second sock.

  69. well…i’ve never attempted a sock before, much less a pair of them, but i do have recent experience with having to sit still and knit for long periods of time. I broke my foot right before christmas, so I have been able to finish 3 hats a scarf and a sweater…as of today i am crutch free, just hobbling in a boot. After dinner though, it’ll be time for another hat!

  70. I bet if you measured your row gauge on these you’d find there to be fewer rows per inch than your normal stockinette sock. They are fast! We’re having a Leyburn KAL in the Socks that Rawk! group on Ravelry. 133 members and counting. Almost all different colorways of STR. It’s awesome. And ever single person is thinking the same thing as you. Very fast!

  71. Yes ice that leg, woman! I love the socks but am worried about your leg.
    Also, someone better bring you more yarn to have within reach, b/c by the time you get this, you’ll have finished these supersonic socks.
    Why do they go fast? Because they engage your brain just right, in between rote repetition and tantalizing patterning. Plus these look like they don’t involve difficult needle maneuvers.

  72. There is no fast pattern for me, not because I am a particularly slow knitter, but because I stop to look at what I’ve done on EVERY round. If I could cease staring admiringly at the knitted fabric, I could produce a lot more of it.

  73. When I work in plain st stitch I find I count rows; when I work in pattern I count pattern repeats and hence the work seems to fly off the needles. At the moment I’m knitting in two colours and in pattern and no matter how long it’s taking me it’s so exciting I end up spending forever on it, but time just flies by!
    I hope you’re ankle is better soon!

  74. I find that patterns that have a rhythm to them go fast for me. They are not the easiest patterns, but ones that have a rise and fall to the stitch patterns. It doesn’t matter as much if the stitches are fiddly, but if they have a cadence to them, I can knit the pattern fast. Kind of like those tunes that get stuck in your head after you have heard them only once.

  75. I think this pattern is fast because you are done with your holiday knitting. If it were on your list of things to knit for Christmas, I guarantee it would take forever.
    It is a nice pattern. It’s in my que to knit & I’m glad you mentioned the speed.
    Hope your ankle is feeling better (or not if you’re enjoying sitting around and knitting too much)!

  76. Monkey and Nutkin…like somebody else said, for those I think it’s the length of the repeat…I keep saying to myself, “One more repeat, one more repeat,” and then half the sock is done. I’m flying through Charade, too, because it’s easy to memorize and I love watching the herringbone effect take place.
    Or maybe those patterns are just magic.

  77. I found the Monkey Sock pattern went amazingly fast. I finished a pair for my daughter and wondered what had happened, if I’d missed something, somewhere…Leyburn is on my list of things to knit, so I’m hoping your theory holds true.
    I tried to figure out why the Monkey pattern knitted up so quickly, but I admit to being stumped. Maybe because of the way the lace pattern spreads out? Doesn’t really matter–I know when I need a fast pair of socks, or just need to feel I’m accomplishing something, I’ll be making a pair of Monkeys!

  78. I have found that the leg of your Earl Grey socks goes dizzyingly fast, but the rest of the sock is pretty slow. I think it’s the little bit of interest that makes us go faster to see what happens next.

  79. A while ago you were knitting a lace/bead scarf called Amber Waves of Grain (I think). Has that fallen by the wayside? I would love to see a photo if you have finished – it is on my list of projects to knit.

  80. I’ve never made a pair of socks but I can say that certain stitch pattern seem to lend themselves to a smooth rhythm that makes your project appear to just fall off the needles. I think they call this “muscle memory” where your hands quickly find a movement pattern that executes the stitch design effortlessly. For me, Feather and Fan stitch is NOT one of them!

  81. I had the same experience with the Annetrelac pattern from Interweave Knits – the sock flew off the needles. Amazing stuff. Serious voodoo/mojo/magic pixie dust on some of these patterns!

  82. May I ask what kind of dpns you’re using?
    I have a set of Addi dpns, but they’re too short and keep poking the palm of my hand, which is becoming kind of bruised and sore.
    (Does anyone else have a knitting-related injury to report, or am I just really ‘special’?)

  83. I just about always find stockinette socks faster, but that’s because I can read a book/watch TV/talk/whatever while knitting those. Patterns I have to pay attention and that limits the second activity, and I’m one of those people that NEEDS to be doing at least 2 things at once. So my socks are almost always stockinette.

  84. Aren’t socks wonderful? And many thanks to all those commenters who directed me to new sock patterns–I think I’ve added about 20 to my collection. One that I find goes particularly fast (although it’s probably because it’s done in worsted weight yarn) is the pattern for Checkered Socks by Virginia Vaughn on freepatterns.com.

  85. I’ve had the same experience with the Monkeys (not counting the three times it took me to get through the first heel – NOT the fault of the pattern). I attribute it (for those of us knitting on dpns) to starting most rounds with knits sts on each new needle. The slowest rounds for me on the Monkeys are the first few with 4 and then 3 purl sts. Once you’re jumping right in to knit sts, they go faster (IMHO).
    And it’s an easy pattern to memorize.

  86. Dearest Harlot: I’m really sorry the stress and the fracture have you down. I’m glad you are “staying off of it” and finding some solace in knitting and television. I am, as you may have gathered over the years, a selfless, selfless person and would like to contribute in some personal way towards your recovery.
    To that end, let me just say that I am a US men’s size 9.5, I like my socks tall, and I’m in love with earth tones or shades of black.
    G-d bless, and if I can do anything else to aid in your recovery, you know how to find me.

  87. Those are lovely socks, but just by reading the pattern, I’m not sure I understand how to do them. Maybe if I had yarn and needles in hand, I could figure it out.

  88. I found the same thing with the Monkey Socks..Maybe it has something to do with pattern being predictable and intuitive. I am now working on Spring Forward from Knitty Summer 08 and am finding them fast as well.

  89. Your socks inspired me to browse through the Leyburns on Ravelry, and there were a few colorways that I liked alot. One was a socks-that-rock in autumn colors and when I checked, I saw that it’s the ‘Harlotty’ colorway.

  90. I don’t know what it is, certain patterns keep me moving along because there’s always something to look forward to in the next row, so you think “Oh, I’ll just do the next row” and next thing you know, you’re done. That’s why plain socks seem to take me forever, every row is exactly the same over and over and over, which makes me feel like a plain sock takes 30 years to knit.

  91. The first half of whatever I am making a pair of is the fastest knit ever. The second half drags on foreeeeeeeever. Woe! ::looks at second barely-started glove::

  92. I find that patterns can knit quicker because you’re concentrating harder on each stitch and making sure theyre in the right order, whereas plain knitting you sort of just stitch along, one after the other

  93. Nutkin socks are exceptionally fast to knit, i’ve knit an entire pair and half of another sock (the half sock had gauge issues and was frogged)and it just flies! I’m knitting 2×2 ribbed socks and have been surprised to find that they’re going quickly too, despite me taking longer to knit 2×2 ribbing…its a mystery.

  94. I think that you knit like a madwoman! Good grief!
    I have noticed that for me, the person who takes over a month to knit socks, my latest work, the Hawaiian Leis sock pattern, is actually progressing quite fast! I got one sock made up in a week…
    Go ahead and laugh, Knitting Goddess. But, that’s fast for me.

  95. Well, oh lame one, I’m recovering from right rotator cuff surgery Dec 24th, so I am JUST NOW getting brave enough to try to knit. You would think if you’re saddled with an injury for a few weeks, you’d get lots of knitting time, but NO! Suffering through magazines and pattern books to pass the time. I agree that Monkey socks are a fast knit – seem to go faster than the “vanilla” pattern. I’ll have to try these once my physical terrorist says I can knit again – but I’ve never done a toe-up pair.

  96. i’ve no idea whether or how you manage to read all these replies.
    and yes these sox like all your sox are too gorgeous to wear, except that on your feet in the photographs they look so wearably perfect that they just have to be worn, instead of being hung up as wall art.
    however it’s your ankle i’m writing about so i’ll just blurt out my nag …
    harlot, you’re a bit young to have a stress fracture without an accident you can clearly remember …
    get a bone density scan.
    furthermore (in for a penny in for a pound)
    here’s a 2nd nag …
    get and keep a copy of the entire test for yourself.
    it’ll be a baseline study for the rest of your life.
    hospitals & clinics are losing/mixing up records like crazy these days.
    efficient is the patient who can bring in her own records from 10 years ago.

  97. Wow, all these comments and I don’t think I saw anyone name Crusoe socks for their speed.
    Every second row, ever other stitch is slipped. Little buggers fly off and like the Leyburns, it’s a GREAT pattern for variegated yarn.

  98. HI Yarn Harlot–you are a “HOOT”–and this is my first time to comment on your blog–you have soo many that i am not sure mine is needed–but–i am from NY state and really am a quilter first and a knitter later!!! i did my first pair of socks about a year ago or so and have done just the basic sock–but will be looking up some of these patterns as i like to always be trying new patterns for things. i do have method i like when doing socks or mittens–first i like the 3-4 needle ones and second i do both at the same time-like the pair of socks i am working on now–i have started the ribbing for both–when both are at the right lenght i will knit both to he heel part–then do both heels–and so on–this way i have a whole pair of socks done at once!! take care of your foot and keep on keeping us smiling!!

  99. I thought that about my Monkey socks when I knit them, but I think the sock mojo you gave me at WEBS helped a lot πŸ˜‰
    I also thought that Twinkle Toes by Cookie A. flew off the needles as well. Those were my first toe up socks, so maybe that has something to do with it?
    I joined the Leyburn KAL in the STR group on Ravelry, so those are next in my needles after I finish my father’s Thuja’s. That pattern also went pretty fast for me.

  100. Maelstrom by Cookie A was the one that flew off the needles for me, with the added bonus that it looks really complicated and impressive when finished! πŸ™‚

  101. I always thought that if I had an injury that kept me immobilized that I would be able to entertain myself with my knitting for a very long time. But I believe that the reality of it would be that I would tire of doing one thing for so long, especially when I couldn’t do other things that I wanted to do. Do what your doctors say and you will be back on your feet in no time.
    Great socks!

  102. Hi there. Steph…put some cold green cabbage on that ankle to get the swelling to come down. It works@@@ not only for engorged and swollen breast tissue (lactation consultant to lactation consultant here), but also for fractures. I hope you feel better soon. Homeopathic Symphytum also helps for fractures. Heal quickly, friend. I bought that Cashmere, and am waiting for the cowel pattern. Patiently. : ) Love, Kathleen in FRigid Vermont. http://www.kbbspin.org

  103. I am knitting my first monkeys, and am speeding through them. I think it’s because there are a bunch of little victories in them–I get to finish one little “v,” and then I speed on to the next little “v” and before I know it they’re done. When I’m just doing straight knit, it drags on and on and I just knit at a steady pace. But pattern stitches, and sometimes exciting self-striping yarn–those go quickly!

  104. It’s the pattern — it makes you want to hurry to the next patterning row. You see your progress & want to get to the next spot where you see the progress. Measuring doesn’t count as you can always stretch it a bit, then not the next time so you think you’ve made no progress at all… I knit 2 pair of (worsted weight) knee socks in a week or so just because I kept trying to hurry to the next stripe. And that was the first year I’d learned to knit!

  105. Socks knit fast:
    It’s the pattern – if it’s a 4 row repeat, you will only pause after the 4th round, not in between. I find that if it’s a larger repeat (8 rows or so), I’ll just stop anywhere for a sip of coffee(am) or wine(pm), but with a small repeat like 4, I don’t stop & sip so often.
    Stress fracture:
    BTW, I noticed the comment above that stress fractures are unusual for your age – When I was 32 I got a stress fracture in my foot from ballroom dancing (no, my DH didn’t stomp my foot). It sometimes just happens when you don’t have enought support for whatever activity you’re doing (running, maybe you didn’t have good arch/ankle support). There was absolutely no arch support in my cute ballroom dance shoes. When you feel almost healed up, be sure to support that ankle with a nice brace of some sort until you’re sure it’s strong. Until then, be sure to enjoy plenty of pampering, knitting and sipping!

  106. Leyburns are cute and the stitch pattern makes it feel like you are flying (and dangit I worked out a sock pattern for that stitch a year later, called it reticular). Seeing how the lifted colour works against the round under it is magic πŸ™‚ Colour keeps me going – what is next and next and next! The yarn I gave you would work for them too.
    Do you get a bootie or anything for that ankle? Hope it settles soon!

  107. What makes these patterns so fast? Do you find any fast? Which ones? Why do you think it is?
    I had a similar experience with the Monkey pattern, and my theory is twofold:
    1. I normally knit socks on size 1s and get 9 stitches to the inch, so something that produced 7 stitches to the inch really *does* go a hell of a lot faster.
    2. The charm either:
    a. Really does egg you on. Think of the last few pairs of plain socks you made – the ones with cuter or cuddlier yarn probably knit up at least marginally faster than the ones with less desirable yarn. The same goes for patterning: a plain sock is boring, whereas a patterned sock is exciting!
    b. Makes you think they’re going so much faster than they really are, and you just don’t want to believe it. I’m sorry, but denial *is* still a possibility.
    Plus, you’re probably have Post-Christmas-Knitting Stress Disorder (or, Christmas Knitting Crud), where one spends so much time trying to get things done on a schedule that it stops being fun for a while. Sure, one might have finished a pair of socks in a week for Christmas, but if one had a million other deadlines to hit that each stitch seems to go in slow-motion. Once one starts to get over The Crud, and there’s no stress to knit, it all seems to go a lot more quickly. At least, I know that happens with *me* (and every year I swear that no one’s getting anything knitted next Christmas).

  108. I didn’t see if someone had already posted this, but I find the firestarter socks to be very quick. Not too much patterning, but enough to be charming.

  109. When I made the Argosy scarf (Knitty.com) it went so fast it seemed to knit itself! Maybe it was the colors of Noro Silk Garden, or that there was always a next step to do before I put it down — a few stitches to bind off, or to cast on, or just one more eyelet row.
    I remember a past blog post where you wished for a leg or foot injury, resulting in more knitting time! Is the reality not as good as you were hoping for?

  110. My plain socks go something like this:
    Knit, knit, knit about 3-1/2 rounds…
    “Wasn’t there leftover cake in the fridge?”
    15 minutes later: knit, knit, knit one-and-a-half rounds…
    “Laundry! D*mn.”
    Lather, rinse, repeat.
    No wonder I only get 10 rounds of mindless knitting a day, whereas lace or a Selbu Modern can bewitch me for HOURS.

  111. Yes they are fast, even for me, a novice sock knitter. I’m trying to work a short row heel I found online, without wraps too, so I hope to finish them this weekend.
    My first socks, Swan Song Toe Up by Wendy Johnson, has lace pattern but I found them to be faster than the doomed Jaywalkers. Oooh, Thujas are fast, okay it’s just ribbing with a twist but I am new at this.
    Your ankle looks fine from where I’m sitting. Take it easy though.

  112. Gorgeous socks! BSG is lucky that you will be so stunningly attired for the final episodes!
    For me, knitting that seems to go extra fast is either because of a pattern or because of a particularly beautiful yarn. In the case of your socks, I can see it being both.
    Then there’s socks for my husband. Who likes muddy brown socks. Muddy brown socks with not enough pattern to be interesting, let alone keep me awake. Knit very tight so they don’t wear out quickly, so I break out the 2mm needles. And he likes 12-inch-long (30.5 cm) legs. Just kill me now.

  113. Oh man, fast? A sock? Even the world’s most easy sock? One day for me I hope, one day…. πŸ™‚

  114. I have no preference for any pattern, socks go fastest on five dpn long needles of 35 cm. I can do short bamboos 20 cms, I can do magic loop, but consider the last two way slower, good for trainjourneys, I hate the time it takes to pull the needles through eacht time with the magic loop, in that time I can knit a whole needle of stitches away. I have big hands, those tiny needles get a bit lost in them. For Rebecca above, knitting in the round is sooo easy when you know how to knit and you can relearn by watching Youtube how-to’s. I consider that time workshop on line! And second sock-syndroom, when knitting with dpn’s. Well, cast on on two sets of dpn’s and alternate between them, first the legpart of both, then he heels, then etc. Margreet.

  115. What about Francie by Bowerbird Knits?
    I was introduced the pattern and seduced by your pictures of Ken in these socks in this here blog. Knit mine up in a week, which is unheard of in my workaholic guppie lifestyle with so few knitting hours available.
    The yarn may have helped. It was a perfect storm of pattern and new-to-me yarn: Sockrates by Alpaca with a Twist. They demanded they be knit, and so I did. A true joy, those charmed moments.

  116. Hmm..Warp speed, wormholes, what did you EXPECT with that yarn, that pattern, and that REASON?? Shee…some geek you be! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  117. I’m working on Dolomite socks (by Knitspot) right now and they seem really fast too. Good, because they are man sized.

  118. Stephanie, first of all, hello from Budapest, Hungary!!! I ‘ve just spent the small “off times” at work (used to work in a call center, now I am an assistant in a bank) to read through your blog…Yes, from the very first post. (Not all the comments though, I do have my limits :-))
    I have to tell you I enjoy it tremendously, I always happy to open up a new post and find out what you come up with… I also saw a couple of videos on youtube, and I literally fell of my chair laughing about the bits about stash…
    As for knitting going fast… not just socks, but any knitting… maybe you’ve heard of the FLOW theory, when things connected about something you DO (it can be work, knitting, sewing, even computer programming, whatever…) anyway when things come toogether and you are so “deep” in what you do you get into the “flow”. (If you knitting it is just “flows” off your needle)… It is like you get into a different dimension where time goes differently…Sometimes I experience the same. Sometimes something happens that breake the spell. Like I knit a sock all the way through, and when I am at the cuff the mailman rings… then the last ten row takes just about as much as all the rest…

  119. Wow. I don’t know if it’s the pattern, the yarn, the needles or the knitter (my guess is knitter), but whatever it is, can you send some of that fast-knitting juju my way? I swear I could knit straight off the sheep and the poor thing would grow another year’s worth of fleece before I was done. Sloooooow. The socks look awesome, though.

  120. The free PDF Saucy pattern http://www.cidermoon.com/cm0127.html
    from Cider Moon is amazing. I flew through the pattern and just wanted to keep going. Weird. I think that keeping track of rows is actually faster. Unlike a plain sock you don’t keep holding it up to the first sock to see if it’s time to move on to the next section or measuring to see if it’s long enough yet. You do the number of rows and you move on. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m thinking about keeping track on my next plain sock.

  121. The comments are SO interesting to read when you ask for specific feedback like this- the cooperative group mind of the interknit at work!

  122. For me, the fastest were Monkeys and Jaywalkers – also the Thujas, but I knit those with Cascade 220 superwash – a much thicker yarn! Are you keeping a tally? We want to know the results of your little survey here! Also, Cookie’s BFF socks – a simple cabled pattern, but very easy to memorize and churn out!

  123. Here with my two cents! I’m knitting Embossed Leaves socks right now and they are really moving along! The pattern keeps my interest without being a pain in the arse.

  124. Go With the Flow from 25 Favorite Socks is one of those fast ones. It has a 4 row repeat and it builds so quickly. After making 5 pairs for other people, I finally made (and kept!) a pair for me.

  125. That is one swollen ankle and one very white leg. Too bad you can’t prop that leg up and knit on the beach. Take Care.

  126. I like the Froot Loops pattern. It is a simple, easily memorized pattern that requires my attention but does not hold me hostage. I think it is fast because I develop a cadence as I knit. My mind does not wander as it often does with Plain Boring Knitting and I make fewer mistakes which also speeds the process as I have less frogging.

  127. If I like a yarn, knitting goes faster. I am hypnotized by the alure of pretty yarn. I am currently knitting plain ribbed socks on yarn that is not all I’d hoped. Don’t like the pinnochio look (fake pattern) nor the lunchy colors at this point. This is knitting agony. The silent mantra – “must finish and jettison to brother-in-law” – must slow me down, too. I really need to break out and try a sock in a pattern as in your post. And some yarn that delights. I am a newbie to anything but simple knitting so I have a case of pattern fear. I am lucky I have a friend that coaxes me along. You’ve convinced me to to search for an unscary pattern later today on the ‘Net. Sorry about the ankle. I understand. I am nursing a outraged hamstring. I miss exercise. And freedom.

  128. I really love slip stitch patterns for this very reason. I recently completed some Zig-zag slip stitch socks from the Little Box of Socks and they were really fast. I loved working on them! You will have socks to watch BSG in for sure.
    I have to say I have really sympathized with you over the last several entries. We recently moved into an old house and my husband and brother-in-law had to dismantle (i.e. break) some of the shelving leading into the basement to get our washer and dryer down there. They have some scratches on them now but they are there to stay. I really love my frontloader though and have tried to see how much I could fit in it. The record is currently one king size comforter, sheet set, mattress pad, and pillow liners. And my dryer plays a song as well. I think it was an awesome addition to modern appliances. I want my appliances happy.
    Take care and I hope you have got all your bad luck out of the way at the beginning of the year and will go on to have a fabulous 2009!

  129. I can’t contribute as I have never had a patterned sock go faster than a regular stockinette one. But I’m hoping it will happen, and then I’ll let ya know!
    Take care of that ankle! It looks pretty swelled.

  130. As much as I love your new socks, I’ll be skipping them I think. For some reason Monkey sock was the slowest sock I’ve ever knitted and when I say sock, I mean sock. Never ever started #2!!

  131. I wish I knew–I’m using your comments for ideas myself.
    I’ll tell you what isn’t fast–Cleopatra’s Stockings. Yikes!

  132. Erin- I can’t report *recent* knitting injuries, but I once fell over my knitting basket (don’t ask) and impaled my calf on a single point. I think it was a size 5. Ouch! (Fortunately my tetanus shots were up to date- I was just as happy not to have to explain it to anyone.)
    Jenny- I can’t speak for anyone else, but I spent twenty years knitting on straight needles before I encountered circulars…I do use circulars for things like sweaters in the round, but I’m still happier with straight needles. Also, like another previous commenter, I have large hands, so a 7″ dpn is more comfortable for me than a 5″ point on a circular. And last- I tend to carry a sock-in progress in my pocket and whip it out and knit a round or two in lines and things- the four needles fold up quickly and neatly, and I don’t have two partial socks and a cable to manage when I go to tuck it back in my coat pocket.
    And I agree with the folks who said short repeats and interesting yarn are key to a fast pattern. I knit a plain stockinette sock while watching TV more slowly than a simple patterned sock that I just watch all the time to see the pattern unfold. Colorwork is excellent- the speed of stockinette and the interest of patterned knitting!

  133. I think Monkeys go fast because (for me) rows 10, 11 and 1 are plain stockingette, which feels like a ‘reward’ so I think ‘ah, now I’ve done a pattern repeat…ooh, now I’m on the next pattern repeat, and before you know you’re done. Plus they are so cute, you want to wear them so maybe find a bit of extra time to knit them?

  134. 1. Battlestar Gallactica is so close. Soon we’ll know who the final cylon is. Soon…
    2. monkey was fast for me, but not nearly as fast as “jaywalker” which I’ve flown through twice now.
    the socks look great!

  135. I agree with Becky from VT- Feather and Fan from Socks, Socks, Socks! I have knitted probably a dozen pairs, sometimes with the pattern down the heel and toe for my Birki-wearing friends, and it ALWAYS flies off the needles. Also love the way it makes wavy stripes!

  136. I have to say the Jaywalkers… But I think the patterned socks go fast in general because you think and work in pattern repeats, not rows… (ie, possibly four repeats of a pattern for leg, four repeats of pattern for foot etc…) It is much easier than reading “Row 128.” I would liken it to swimming, if you breathe every other stroke, you virtually cut your time in half.
    Jayswalkers are a four row repeat, I’ve seen quite a few eight row repeats online, it would be a good experiment to see if those go twice as fast for me!!! πŸ™‚

  137. Ugh, the socks I’m knitting now are taking for-FREAKIN’-ever. It’s a simple pattern, the yarn is soft & cute (Koigu KPPPM in a colorway I’ve called “mermaid”), the needles aren’t terribly small (US 1.5), and I’m on the second one (so it’s not really SSS). Still. Taking forever!
    I have the opposite experience from you: I find my plain socks soar off the needles while patterned ones take an eternity. That could be because I’ve been knitting for ~6 years & you’ve been knitting for longer. Or maybe time moves differently in Canada than Pennsylvania. πŸ™‚

  138. Flicker socks by Cookie A were a quick knit for me as well as the Mystery Sock by kristen Kapur

  139. I thought Cedar Dancing socks knit up pretty fast, even though it took a couple of times reading the pattern to understand how to complete the heel turn.

  140. You know what’s not fast? Twisted stockinette ribbing. Pretty, subtle, but slow! (I’m making some socks for myself, the foot takes forever…N1 and N3 are fast, the top of the foot just drags on).
    What’s really fast for me is raglan sweaters, whether top-down or in pieces. Unless they are colorwork.
    Just keep knitting. Think of how productive this time really is.

  141. I’ve discovered that Noro Scarf madness that you pointed out goes very quickly. The k1-p1 is soothing, I’m moving the yarn back and forth so part of my mind stays engaged… and yet I can look down a bit later and have more scarf than I expected – and much more than usual. (Of course “usual” tends to be Gryffindor scarves, or Dr. Who scarves… so maybe it’s just the fact that the end product is unlikely to be eight to fifteen feet long…)

  142. I have two projects going right now. Two that I’ll admit to at the moment. One is a 2X2 ribbed baby hat. The other is a pair of black-and-white women’s size 10 socks covered in music notes and words. I whipped out the leg of the first sock in two hours. The hat is half finished after a WEEK. Pattern over plain, baby!
    It’s gotta have something to do with the curiosity factor. Seeing how the Fair Isle words will turn out, or how the butterfly stitch will look when a particular color change comes around… “What’s next?” is also the reason knitters suffer from a weird combination of OCD and ADD. We get caught up in the details of swatching and such, only to be swept away by “Oooh, look at THAT!”
    Any pattern that not only holds you, but works up fast, is a Good Thing.

  143. Ouch, your ankle must hurt. I didn’t know a fracture would cause that much swelling.
    The sock is beautiful and perfect for watching BSG while wearing.

  144. I don’t knit socks, but I have the same experience with double stockinette scarves. (Row 1: *K1, sl1 pwise w/ yarn in back; k1. Row 2: *K1, p1; K1.) I know the slipped stitches are fast, but even while the row and stitch gauge are much tighter, because it makes such a dense fabric, I can fly through them and make the same length scarf as I could in garter stitch in half the time. It’s way more stitches, but that’s pattern magic. (I do know how to knit other things, I just have a fascination with scarves.)

  145. Wow, thus far there have been ~42 different sock patterns reported as quick knits by various commenters. I think I’m going to create a Rav queue/favorite group of “Quick” socks and add all 42 patterns to it. Thanks for the ideas, commenters! πŸ™‚

  146. My theory is that there’s always a good “stopping point” at the end of the repeat – Let me just finish these two more rounds and then I’ll put it down. Sort of like saving your change in a jar – it adds up after a while.

  147. Monkeys, definitely. I’ve made them 3 times and each time they seem to get faster and faster. I don’t know if it’s because I memorized the pattern so fast, but each pattern repeat seems to take no time at all!

  148. I got that with the Monkey socks too and Hedera (and would with Pomatapus or whatever it is called if I didn’t keep working on other projects). I think certain patterns make the row gauge just very slightly larger or something, because the same amount of stitching seems to go so much further.
    Granted, I haven’t taken any measurements to see if this is true. Maybe I’ll do that with my next pairs of socks.

  149. I started a knitted headband (“Calorific” from “Knitty”) last night and I’m nearly DONE with it! Part of it is, it’s easy (I’m not a fast knitter); also it’s NOT a Dr Who scarf; also I was watching “The Mentalist” and then “Real Housewives of Orange County” and I knit faster when I’m a) enthralled; or b) astonished. (And now my dirty little secret’s out…….oy!)

  150. Oddly, I sometimes have that experience with something that starts off really slowly. The Gillian scarf from threeirishgirls.com was one of those for me. The first few inches took forever and then suddenly it was done!

  151. Having never knitted a patterned sock I have no idea if they go faster but the plain ones take me a LONG time. Your’s are some nice and I’m glad for you that you can knit so fast and get such good results.

  152. They look like the quick bang for the buck type socks where you get a lot for a few rows. You do something simple for one row, do a couple of rows in a nice steady rhythm, then the bang row. I can see these being very addicting.

  153. For the swelling- you might want to take some time to make a knit bandage: bedspread cotton size 10, size 1 needles, cast on for four inches wide, and then knit until the end of the ball. This makes a stretchy, breathable bandage for sprains and swellings and so on. You just safety pin it to close it.
    It’s cotton, so it’s not fun, and it’s not easy on your hands. But, it’s useful, and your ankle will be grateful. After using it, you can wash it, and keep it in your first aid kit.
    It has a different “give” than ACE bandages. It’s useful, also, if you are latex sensitive, which you might be, after having worked in a hospital.
    I do hope you feel better soon. all of you, your own whole family.

  154. I think it is because it is engaging enough to keep you knitting but mindless enough that it doesn’t wear you out. I find the exact same thing with fair isle. Relatively small needles, tiny yarn…whammo…faster than a plain worsted yawner (or a complicated aran).

  155. It must be the needles. Question for you on the lovely signature needle arts needles. I purchased the eight inch double points and have found they are just a little too long. Are you using the six inch length or the eight? Follow up question: What do you think about the length?

  156. It’s funny that you brought this up, since I JUST finished a pair of socks so fast I swear I heard a sonic boom. They are the Marlene socks by Cookie A, in the new knit 1. And ohmigodtheyaresofrickinggorgewousthatIjustwanttoeatthemsomaybethenIcanknitsomemore. I finished the pair in five days. Five. It usually takes me two weeks to make a pair of socks, so that’s really saying something. Plus they are in 1×1 rib, so you’d think that would slow me down. Nope. Anyway, everyone ever should knit these socks, even people who don’t knit. They are that good.

  157. Brooke’s Column of Leaves scarf pattern flies off my needles. Pattern is free on the net, and done with Handmaiden, it is lovely. I’m usually a sock/kilt hose knitter, but this scarf is divine.

  158. Besides Monkeys (especially the no-purl variety), the Feather & Fan socks from Socks, socks, socks does something to mess with the space/time continuum. I’ve made at least 5 pairs of these puppies in record time.

  159. Steph, I love the Leyburns so, so much, but I have to ask — do you modify the heel/gusset in yours at all?
    I tried these when you made a pair last year and loved the pattern and the pickups so much, but then I got to the heel and it…just didn’t work. I can’t even specifically remember what the issue was aside from “This Pattern Didn’t Work at the Heel.”
    I’ve knit countless pair of socks, so I could likely fudge this to work myself, but I’m curious if there’s a trick to getting the heel to work on this pattern, or if my row gauge may have just been off.

  160. I had the same experience with the Monkey sock and the Pomatomous (is that how it’s spelled???) Plain stockinette takes an eternity. Solution – never knit a plain sock!

  161. There is this parallel universe we enter when knitting, where space and time take on different properties, and those properties are directly affected by the particular project we are working on at the moment we enter. For example, I’m knitting a pair of plain vanilla socks. normally these whosh by while watching TV or whatever, but for some reason this one sock is taking forever. On the other hand, I have this lacey shawl I work on when in the mood, and it’s humming along nicely thank you very much.. not moving at the knitting equivalent of the speed of light exactly, but for ME, knitting lace, with laceweight yarn is something I’m notoriously slow at.. but this particular project, on these particular needles with this specific yarn… all combine in that parallel universe to make the project move right along at the knitting equivalent of 55mph on a straight road. Also, this afghan I’m doing on size 9, in garter stitch? slow as molassas on a cold morning.. go figure…

  162. Oh, those are awesome. Just awesome. And now I’ve ordered a skein. How did that happen? πŸ˜‰ I will miss BSG, but I just can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

  163. I am convinced it has to do with the length of the repeat… there are certain patterns where the repeat is just perfectly satisfying and you want to make another repeat so badly (and making that repeat seems to easy) that it spurs you on.

  164. wasn’t there an essay in the last book about how you dreamed of exactly this situation, where you just had to sit back and gently rest, like a lovely victorian lady with Battlestar Galactica?
    kofkofkarmakofkof πŸ™‚
    really, I’ve never figure out what makes some socks go so quickly. If I could figure it out, i’d bottle it, and then use it to knit the ribbed sleeves of my imaginary favorite cardigan. Imaginary because I think two full sleeves of ribbing would kill me. Just kill me.

  165. My all-time favorite quickie sock pattern is called Tidal Waves. I received it free with the purchase of Tofutsies yarn from PatternWorks. I have just finished my fifth pair of these beauties and was just about to cast on another pair when I saw Monkey. They look intriguing so I will try those next.

  166. As I was reading this post, I was thinking “Monkeys” the whole time. When I was knitting my monkey socks it seemed that time stood still and I finished a pair of socks in two days. And it was only my second pair of socks. The first pair of socks I made were stockinette and they were a slogfest. Those monkeys got me hooked on socks. Maybe then I was “charmed” that day too.

  167. sorry- tried to comment on your most recent entry (january 14) and can’t get it to open. i read “housekeeping” on cari’s recommendation, too and thought it was quite brilliant. good reading to all!

  168. Have to say I’m finding Lenore an exceptionally fast knit. I got it and the yarn for Christmas and am almost finished (a major record with my knitting speed!) – thanks for such a fun, fast, easy to knit pattern!

  169. I was looking at the Leyburn picture again and thinking about speed/accomplishment/perception. When knitting a tube of stockinette or ribbing there is little gauge of progress. How much further did I get in the last 30 minutes? Unless I put a marker on it it’s hard to tell. With a pattern like this or say cables you can see that you have done another 5 or 6 rows and be please with yourself.

  170. Okay, okay, at your insistance I started a pair of Leyburn today. It was my reward for cleaning the severely trashed living room (when oh when will my children be able to play outside again?). I am completely smitten. Oh, those charming little X shaped floats. Now back to them.

  171. Here’s the tally so far:
    1 2×2 ribbed socks
    1 Annetrelac Interweave Knits
    1 Artichoke
    1 Beanies
    1 BFF Cookie A.
    1 Brainylady’s cabled and ribbed socks
    1 Cedar Dancing
    2 Charades
    1 Checkered Socks Virginia Vaughn on freepatterns.com
    1 Circle Socks Anne Campbell
    1 Conwy Socks Nancy Bush
    1 Crusoe
    1 Dolomite Knitspot
    4 feather and fan pattern Socks socks socks
    1 firestarter
    1 Flicker Cookie A
    1 Fools Rush http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fools-rush-socks
    1 Francie Bowerbird Knits
    1 Fred & George
    1 Froot Loops
    1 Gentleman’s Winter Sock with Dutch Heel Knitting Vintage Socks
    1 Go With the Flow 25 Favorite Socks
    1 Hawaiian Leis
    3 Hederas
    1 International Sock of Doom
    5 Jaywalkers
    1 Lenore Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    8 Leyburn
    1 Log Cabins cheating? Worsted or bulky?
    1 Loskins
    1 Maelstrom Cookie A.
    1 Marlene Cookie A
    31 Monkey knitty
    2 Monkey no purl version
    1 Mystery Sock kristen Kapur
    1 Nanners WendyKnits
    5 Nutkins http://www.knitzi.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80&products_id=245
    1 Phineas
    1 Pomatomous
    1 Primavera http://sonnentaler.blogspot.com/2008/09/new-home.html
    1 Rivendell
    1 RPM Ajia Goto
    1 Saucy http://www.cidermoon.com/cm0127.htm
    1 Seaweed Socks
    1 Snicket
    1 Solstice Slip 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club
    4 spring forward knitty
    1 Stashbuster Spirals
    1 stockinette
    1 Swan Song Toe Up Wendy Johnson
    1 the wavy lace one Favorite Socks (Interweave Press)
    3 Thuja
    1 Tidal Waves PatternWorks
    1 Twinkle Toes Cookie A.
    1 Veil of Leaves New Pathways for Sock Knitters
    1 Vinnland http://theanticraft.com/archive/beltane07/vinnland.htm
    1 Welsh Travelling Shear Spirit
    1 Zephyr
    1 Zig-zag Little Box of Socks

  172. I think you said one time that Monkeys seem to bend the space-time continuum – I definitely agree. I’ve had to force myself to stop making them cause it’s just not fair to the other sock patterns out there.

  173. Another vote for Monkey socks. Totally whip through those things. I’m knitting a pair right now, because I have someone I need to make socks for and the yarn is doing absolutely nothing for me personally, so I just want them finished! (Well, that and I really do like the pattern.) I thought those Leyburns looked interesting, now I will *have* to try them, to see if they go as fast for me as well! πŸ™‚

  174. Thank you Auntiemichal!
    For once it pays to start at the end of the comments. I just had a feeling someone would make a list…

  175. I’ve got a ton of experience sitting in bed. I was on hospital bedrest last summer while I was pregnant. Six and a half weeks on my bum. In the hospital. Everything seemed to knit fast–except in the late afternoons when I would go slowly crazy. I often remembered what you wrote about the injury that would render you unable to move about, but still able to knit. I also remembered what you wrote about how you didn’t knit because you were patient, but that you were patient because you knit. Good words. They made me feel better.

  176. I must knit the Leyburn socks. I gasped when I saw them and immediately texted my best sock knitting friend, who naturally had already read this post. πŸ˜‰
    I found Jaywalkers and Monkey go super fast.

  177. I’m making Masonic Lodge socks by erqsome knits for my fiancee’s size 11EEEE (very wide, Fred Flintstone-style) feet, and they are flying off the needles as well. Something I didn’t expect for such giant socks with a cable (if a simple one).
    Embrace the geekdom!

  178. Toe-ups seem to go quickly for me, although I love the thrill of the kitchener on top-downs. I think 2-color patterns keep my fingers flying as well. I’m off from teaching today due to EXTREME COLD (wusses) so I’m going to troll Ravelry for some of the patterns mentioned here.

  179. I have found that if I am really excited about the pattern the socks seam to fly. Examples: Mad Color Weave and My Boyfriend Socks. Plain Vanilla though seams to just drag even with self striping yarn. Really excited about trying the Layburn pattern. lol.

  180. You want house’s cane; I want his tennis shoes he’s wearing on that cane web site. They’re kinda gold and platinum at the same time.
    I think I may use that Leyburn pattern with the Kauni EQ. Or maybe I will use Ruth’s sweater pattern to make a pair of socks, but I think I will have to order more yarn to make the contrasting blocks.

  181. I know when I do some patterns, they seem to knit faster because they frankly allow me too. A sock pattern that’s mostly knit stitches will fly, but add some SSKs and K2togs and I slow down (and god, forget it if you add purl stitches in there). While I enjoyed Knitty’s Spring Forward socks, they weren’t the fastest, but immensely fun. It all had to do with the stitches it forced me to do.
    A fast pattern for me is the Endpaper Mitts. While smaller and less construction than a sock, they still go lightning fast and that startles me, being that I’m forced to English knit in that pattern and I’m a crappy English knitter.

  182. It must be so fast because you’re resting. When I worked on my most recent pair of socks, they seemed to go by fast, too. (however, I didn’t do a sock in a day, but hey, I didn’t have the luck of having down time all day). Sorry about the ankle, but at least it wasn’t your wrist. πŸ™‚

  183. speaking of charmed… have you tried one of those Noro striped socks yet? I started one and it’s hard to put down, plus it’s FAST!
    hope your ankle feels better soon!

  184. Here’s another vote for Saucy from CiderMoon. I flew through these and have made 3 pairs! I also love Monkeys and Nutkin as well.

  185. Well this explains why I have a pair of plain socks on the needles for 14 months and counting, while numerous other socks have been completed. I think I just get bored with the plain ones. When I was knitting Cat’s Spring Thaw socks, I had to be knitting in every free moment. Plain socks? Yawn. Pass the lace.

  186. Oh, and I forgot to mention the Rivendell socks flew off teh needles for me. To date, I’ve never knit a pair of socks as fast as I knit those. Great pattern. And it didn’t hurt that I was knitting them out of a semi-solid Koigu!

  187. So glad to know that someone else thinks Cleopatra’s socks are slow! My second one is going a little faster than my first, but I also had a three month gap when I refused to even start the second one!
    Take care of yourself, Stephanie–keep your feet up and your knitting handy!

  188. I am finding that these socks crawl off the needle. They are indeed magical but it seems to me that they are taking forever. Thanks for the link to the pattern, though. They are a wonder.

  189. Some go super super fast, but only half the time. I find sometimes that I suddenly “get” patterns like Pomatomus for a while and then bling the light goes out for a few weeks.
    Generally though, Monkey was really fast as were Baudelaire, Embossed Leaves and some cabled patterns like Widdershins. Perhaps there is a time warp caused by the “one more repeat” phenomenon. Other fast socks for me were the Rapid River Socks, Zombie Socks and the Retro Rib Socks. I’ll have to think on Leyburn. For some reason I find that type of stitch fussy to do.

  190. I know this is a bit late but I find RPMs super fast. I’ve done two pair and I never repeat a sock pattern! (although Jaywalkers may yet be repeated…they were quick too)

  191. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, I’m like the millionth commenter, but I’m making a coat with the same stitch pattern as the leyburn sock.
    It’s knee length, the largest size, knit in dk yarn on 3.75mm needles, and it too seems to be flying off the needles. I vote it’s the pattern that’s quick, like others have mentioned.
    So if you wanted a coat to match your socks, the Ivel coat by sublevi is the one. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16547527

  192. Sugar Maple, from 2-at-a-time Socks (Melissa Morgan-Oakes) FLEW off my needles and I am so NOT the world’s faster knitter. Since I discovered knitting socks two at a time, I am in serious love with sock knitting. I prefer two circulars as opposed to Melissa’s one, but knowing that when I am finished I am REALLY finished makes me want to knit another pair.
    Had some surgery this summer and knitting was the only fun I had and I never got tired of it. I have been knitting with a vengeance ever since and there are no signs it will stop. If you’re on the disabled list, that is the perfect time to dust off all those patterns you were going to knit “someday.”
    Thanks for a great blog, Stephanie!

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