What is a fast knitting speed?

Miriam Tegels, the fastest knitter in the world, can sew 118 stitches in one minute, a record that appears in the Guinness Book of World Records. An average knitting speed is around 20-30 stitches per minute. One of the fastest weaving styles is said to be lever-weave, a style used by production weavers. If you learn to knit this way, you can speed up a bit.

That is, until several weavers told me in my survey that they really wanted to be able to knit faster. The Heartstring Fiber Arts blog has a good explanation of the style, which the writer, Jackie E-S, refers to as a lever weave. I like the meditative aspect of knitting, but I don't think it would be any less so if I worked faster. These results needed a bit of fiddling with some weavers assuming a needle was steel when it was nickel or aluminum.

Irish Cottage Knitting with Yarn Harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (this takes a video of Stephanie's Irish Cottage knitting and slows it down, explaining what she does and how she does it). And by knitting every other row backwards you don't have to turn your work around, this also saves you a lot of time. I've tried, but I found it so uncomfortable that I gave up, although it's probably no more awkward than my English knitting style was when I first learned it. A fabric sheath or makkin belt can also be used to hold a stationary straight needle (and that's what you'd probably use if you were knitting while standing or walking).

The most compelling part of the 6-hour conference was hearing about the history of this style of weaving. In English knitting, the most obvious difference is between those who drop the needle when looping the thread and those who pass it over the needle without releasing it. The moment I switched to continental fabric, I thought there was continental point and English point, and that was it. After the industrial revolution, weaving became one of the “domestic arts” performed by upper-class women.

The most important thing was that you needed to be able to weave without having to pause to pass a cable through a magic loop or to make any pattern. She has a relatively small channel, so it's easy to get lost, but Carrie CraftGeek now has (IMO) the most extensive and well-explained tutorial on leverage knitting on YouTube. For example, I can estimate that the 60 rows x 64 stitches of my sock foot will probably take me a couple of hours of straight knitting.