View Full Version : Knitting without looking

09-27-2006, 09:29 AM
So whenever I'm knitting in front of the TV, DH will occasionally bust out laughing at something that I've completely missed because I was looking at my knitting instead of the screen. (I never noticed before how many jokes are strictly visual.) So I've decided it's time to learn how to knit without looking. I know a lot of you do it because I've seen it mentioned numerous times. Do you have any tips? Does it depend on the complexity of the stitch pattern, weight of the yarn, etc? When do you do it -- while reading, watching TV, visiting KH? When else? TIA -- I'm really curious to see the results! :X:

09-27-2006, 09:34 AM
I can sometimes when I'm knitting in the round or just doing garter st... and st st on straight knitting I can handle that.. and some ribbing... but chart reading or something that I have to pay attention to the count/pattern.. then I miss things happening on tv :rofl:

09-27-2006, 09:37 AM
sometimes, but rarely...only when its JUST knit stitches, otherwise, i screw everythign up!!

09-27-2006, 09:41 AM
Stockinette or seed stitch, no problem...if I need to count or follow a chart, no way. :D

09-27-2006, 09:50 AM
In the car when it's dark. But it has to be an esay pattern like slip 1 knit one. Noting hard and not socks!

09-27-2006, 10:08 AM
yeah it really does depend on the pattern. i can do it most of the time but i am not inclined to WATCH the TV very much anyway. if i am not knitting i am surfing or doing some other thing that keeps me from actually looking at the TV. when i am at the movies or knitting in a lecture or whatever, i tend to knit easy-ish patterns so i don't need to look at the work very often.

09-27-2006, 10:09 AM
I wondered about this myself since I've heard knitters say they watch TV while knitting. I can't do it & don't know if I'll ever be able to do it. I'll have the TV on while knitting, but I keep my eyes on the knitting & just listen. Of course, if it's something I really want to watch, I put the knitting down.

09-27-2006, 10:20 AM
I can do knit and purl stitches with out looking. I freqently do this type of knitting at movie theatres and in the car. I knit mainly charity animal snuggles during these times that don't have to be "perfect".

I always have the TV on when I knit....force of habit. I can't stand silence at all and I am able to tune out the TV if I am knitting something difficult. Even if I'm doing complex chart knitting I still have the TV on. I may mute it to count and such. I also like to have easier projects that I can knit without to much effort while watching something I really want to watch.

09-27-2006, 10:24 AM
I wondered about this myself since I've heard knitters say they watch TV while knitting. I can't do it & don't know if I'll ever be able to do it. I'll have the TV on while knitting, but I keep my eyes on the knitting & just listen. Of course, if it's something I really want to watch, I put the knitting down.

DH and I watch Jeopardy daily and if I'm knitting, he'll often blurt out the question before I even hear the whole answer because he's already read it off the screen. I notice I miss a lot of jokes when watching the Venture Bros. too.

09-27-2006, 10:36 AM
I say sometimes...and I can watch TV or read something very simple (like I read the Chronicles of Narnia while knitting). The problem with reading is you can't hold the book, so it has to be big enough to lay flat.

But I can knit while talking to people or watching TV once I've memorized my pattern. And even then, I'm looking at my knitting AND the TV. Movies I've seen a gazillion times are best for this, because I won't "miss" anything.

09-27-2006, 11:08 AM
I probably do it about half the time. An easy pattern, like st st, garter or ribs, or a row that's plain, doesn't require that you look at the work. Even on more complicated pattern, I might only look occasionally.


09-27-2006, 11:10 AM
Are ya kiddin'??? I wish I could do that, but no way!

How do you do it? By touch/feel? I'm sure I would split stitches, skip stitches, drop stitches... :doh:

09-27-2006, 11:23 AM
If it's an easy or simple stitch pattern, I'll be looking at the tv or give my attention to something else, and not look at my knitting, but if the pattern has a lot of decreases/increases, cables or colorwork, I'll pay attention to the knitting then.

09-27-2006, 11:44 AM
I'm a 'sometimes' knitter that doesn't look, too. I am very much like SaraJayne, I have the tv on all of the time because I don't like the silence, but I'm not usually paying attention to it, but to my knitting. Although, I can knit easy things without looking without a problem, but, for some reason, I have to look at my knitting all of the time, so I don't do it often.

09-27-2006, 12:15 PM
I said sometimes but it's really not that often. I can do it, but it really slows me down so I usually don't. If I want to look at something on the tv or look at somebody while talking, and there is still a noticeable difference between how easily I do this for knit stitches vs. purl stitches. I can only do it for straight stockinette. Knitting stockinette in the round is easiest to do.

09-27-2006, 12:19 PM
I sometimes knit w/o looking, but only if it's a really easy pattern like stockinette or a k1,p1 rib.

...but i still can't watch a subtitled movie and knit. no matter how easy the stitch. Both require too much brain power to do together.

09-27-2006, 12:21 PM
I do sometimes.
I can knit, purl, rib, seed. That's probably it. Anything I don't need to really count.

If I know the pattern (like the Lucky sleeves I'm still working on) I can do the ssk, or the yos or whatever without looking at each stitch. I usually only do a row or two before looking though, because if I did screw something up I don't want to find out about it many rows later. ;)

09-27-2006, 12:22 PM
...but i still can't watch a subtitled movie and knit. no matter how easy the stitch. Both require too much brain power to do together.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. :rofl:

09-27-2006, 12:44 PM
I have started making me a booga bag so I sit in the livingroom knitting it and I watch tv. Then I start looking at my work and it is time to :frog: ! I am not even sure what I do but after trying to fix 3 or so stitches, I say forget it and start all over again, ugh. (Maybe I need to turn the tv off, nah that could'nt be it!)

09-27-2006, 01:01 PM
I can sometimes, but it has to be something pretty simple: stockinette, garterstitch, basic ribbing, stuff like that.

Generally, I prefer to look at what I'm doing even if it is simple unless I'm trying to watch TV or I'm in the car. We drove to Iowa over the weekend, and it was dark for 2.5 or 3 hours of a 4 hour drive; I knitted in the dark then because I can hardly stand to sit still for so long.

09-27-2006, 01:02 PM
I have to look at my knitting or things go terribly awry.

09-27-2006, 01:03 PM
I said sometimes, as well. I can knit/purl in the round in complete blackness, but knitting flat I have to look when I turn my work. Generally I look anyway, especially if I have to count, but if we're wtching a movie or TV I can watch the important parts without messing up my knitting. Actually, i use it more when i am at school--I can knit while the kdis are taking a test, and still watch them to make sure no one is cheating.

I just need to learn how to type without looking at my fingers, nowl (and you'd think I wouldn't make any mistakes that way, but heck no, i'[m the wueen of the typo).

09-27-2006, 01:09 PM
I'm jealous of people who can knit in cars! I get carsick if I try to do anything but drive, sleep, or look out the window! :( I brough some knitting on the bus into the city one day, and even trying to look out the window as I knit didn't help at all.

nadja la claire
09-27-2006, 01:18 PM
I said sometimes, like if I'm posing for a portait class or watching something good on tv. I can do St st or garter or an easy lace but that's it.

Nadja xxx

09-27-2006, 01:30 PM
Sometimes. With some projects most of the time. I try to do it as much as I can, because I find it straining on my eyes to look all the time. But there are many patterns where I wouldn't attempt it.

I do make a point, though, of always having an easy project on the needles that I can pick up and work on mindlessly, so that I always have something to work on while talking on the phone, or while watching a movie.

As far as tips go, I believe I use my thumb and middle finger of the left hand, to locate each stitch to work it. I also push the front of the stitch upwards with my thumb a bit, to make more room to get into the stitch more easily and precisely. Of course, the way to learn is to just close your eyes and see what works. ;)

Incidentally, a woman once told me that she knits with the Combined purling method, and I believe she must have used a standard continental stitch for the knit stitch. Anyway, she claimed she could work a knit and purl pattern without looking, because the purl stitches created "backwards" stitches on the needle, which she could identify by feel as different from the knit stiches. I've always wanted to confirm this for myself and try it out. Not that I'd switch to this method at this point in my life, but if my eyesight ever threatened to go in old age, it would be great if it worked, might be a good option for a blind/near-blind knitter.

09-27-2006, 02:17 PM
It really depends on what I am doing... if I am doing straight knitting I can glance up and keep going.

09-27-2006, 03:03 PM
With knit stitch I feel very confident. With purl I'll look back and check it after the row. Mostly in the dark in the car and when I'm watching a show.

09-27-2006, 03:24 PM
I said sometimes but that's the closest to my reality. It's more like I've gotten involved in watching something on tv and later realize that I kept knitting (garter st) and wow I hadn't dropped or split a stitch! :happydance: That's happened a few times. I don't really trust myself to not look or at least not look every few stitches. I want to work up to the not looking though. I find that I can only really enjoy knitting and tv watching if it's something I've seen before or if it is 'background noise.'

09-27-2006, 04:54 PM

Never - I can barely knit while looking :rofl:

09-27-2006, 05:00 PM
Sometimes look, sometimes dont... it depends on the pattern I think... I realized the other day that I can feel if I need to do a knit or purl by touching... :)

09-27-2006, 07:05 PM
stockinette or garter, simple rib patterns, fine. As long as I dont have to concentrate too hard on whaterver it is that I am looking at. Liek tv is fine. If I am doing soemthing where i have to count more careful, no way. and I have to check on it every couple rows incase i did mis a stitch!

09-27-2006, 07:20 PM
I wish I could knit without looking. I think that is the ultimate in multi-tasking.

09-27-2006, 10:22 PM
Most of the time. Except when I am in a real complicated pattern that needs a lot of concentration, like a Fair Isle or lace project. Or when there is nothing on TV, and I'm not here.

09-27-2006, 10:44 PM
I only don't look when I am knitting when i am doing stockinette stitch. Usually I am watching tv, or in a lecture class (I always as the professor if it is ok to knit during lectures). I knit at the movies as well.

09-27-2006, 10:46 PM
I find it hard to knit when I'm NOT watching teevee. I usually knit in class too. Knitting gives one side of my brain something to concentrate so that my other side of my brain focus on something else like teevee or someone lecturing or the radio or a conversation. I must be the only one :pout:

09-27-2006, 10:52 PM
I can do garter, stockinette, or ribbing, but anything else is asking for trouble.

Since I started knitting, I can't watch TV or a movie without knitting!

09-28-2006, 02:52 AM
well, I can do a few stiches without looking, but I have to check sometimes to see if I don't make any mistakes. when there are yo's or other difficult things I have to look. but when it's just knit or purlstiches or ribbing, I knit without watching

09-28-2006, 12:09 PM
Basic patterns I can memorize, yes. A new pattern- never. I would just end up frogging it if I don't pay attention...

Basic knitting I never look at anymore.


Pink Dandelion
09-28-2006, 12:22 PM
I can knit without looking when it's simple stockinette and garter, and look away for several minutes while ribbing, I still like to look down and check the work everynow and then though - I don't trust myself ;) . I could never ever read while knitting, too much focus in both places!! :rofl: ... and I usually watch DVDs and VHS since we don't have tv, so if I missed something I can always rewind.

09-28-2006, 01:00 PM
I can knit without looking if the yarn doesn't split and there is no pattern. So I can do st st and garter and that's about it without looking. :P