Knitting News: The World’s Fastest Knitter

This fascinating story is reposted from, where it appeared on 12/04/18.


How Do You Compare to the World’s Fastest Knitter?

How Do You Compare to the World’s Fastest Knitter?

Photo Credit: Dave Donaldson

Hazel Tindall’s ears were pierced by their first swear word (uttered by a woman) due to a rejected jumper. Her neighbor failed to sell it, the buyer had all the power, and she was not described in favorable terms.

When Hazel was a child, Shetland knitters relied on knitting to supply an income and basic necessities such as tea, sugar, and more. A rejected jumper meant money lost. The Shetland style of knitting was developed for efficiency: to produce quality garments in less time. It’s the Shetland style to which Hazel credits her title of “World’s Fastest Knitter.”

Growing up in a home with knitters provided Hazel with a unique opportunity, and it was her mother who first commented on her speedy knitting. After returning from school for the week, she helped her mother by knitting the yokes onto machine-made bodies and grafting the machine-knit neck ribs. She did this all at the age of 12. Once complete—on Saturday night—they were wrapped and ready for her to deliver after school on Monday.

Kolla, a double-sided pillow cover, was designer by Hazel Tindall and knit with Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight yarn.

“I have no memory of learning to knit,” Hazel said. “Since the day I could focus, I had 3 adult knitters in the household to watch, so by the time I tried myself, I would have known how it should be done, even if my fingers still had to acquire the muscle memory.”

Her first foray onto the stage of fast knitters was in 2004. A friend stumbled upon the 2004 fastest knitter’s stats, roughly 180 stiches in 3 minutes, and neither she or Hazel were overly impressed. As members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers, they organized a competition for their annual fundraising day. The majority of participants knitted well over 200 stitches in 3 minutes.

That same year, Hazel was touring England and on a whim detoured to participate in the world championships in London. She entered and failed in her first attempt to qualify but succeeded on the second. The very next day she beat the titleholder with 255 stitches in 3 minutes.

Locking Down the Title

In 2008, she represented the United Kingdom in a competition held at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, knitting against people from Canada, France, the United States, and the Netherlands. She knit faster than the Guinness World Record holder and beat her previous record with 262 stitches in 3 minutes.

According to Hazel, there’s no secret trick or technique. She knits the same way she started, with Shetland style, and champions the knitting belt.

“Using a knitting belt supports the knitting, and I don’t suffer any pain—the only times my hands hurt were after I was knitting on large needles (6mm) where I was frequently and irregularly switching from knit to purl in a row, and after using a circular needle,” Hazel said.

The Scallafield hand warmers were designed by Hazel Tindall and knit for the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2016 in Jamieson’s Spindrift.

We might not ever match Hazel’s speedy fingers, but we can certainly speed up our personal knitting with her tips.

Hazel’s Tips

1. Practice and establish a rhythm.
2. Consider switching to, or trying, Shetland knitting.
3. Keep the yarn on a finger at all times.
4. Don’t lift your hand off of the needle.
5. Use a knitting belt to support your knitting.
6. Check out 50 Tips from Shetland Knitters.

You can keep up with Hazel through her blog and website.Her favorite thing to knit is Fair Isle, and she has an instructional DVD on the subject called The Art of Fair Isle Knitting.


Ideas for Small but Special Christmas Gifts: Little Felted Snowman

Over the years I’ve occasionally added felting articles to Dances with Wools, but except for mittens, not very many actual patterns. Several years back, I subscribed to another fiber arts blog, Crafts n Coffee, and while I enjoyed my explorations over there, the site appears to be no longer active. This adorable needle felted snowman made its appearance, and it looked like so much fun to make that I saved the photo for future crafting. It’s simple enough to make without a pattern, and if you’re not into needle felting, the two balls that make up this little guy could be made by wet felting some fleece (rolling it around between the hands like making dryer balls or cat toys.)  My granddaughter wants to call him, what else, Frosty!


Glam Knitters: Catherine Zeta-Jones



Though I’ve been a fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones since seeing her amazing performance in Chicago, I never knew she’s Welsh until today while reading about her knitting in one of my email sites. In this photo, CZJ was captured knitting behind the scenes on the movie set of  Mask of Zorro. Further, she’s rumored to have taught costar Antonio Banderas to knit .  And apparently, in 2004 she knitted ponchos for her entire family!  Hmm… Michael Douglas in a poncho?




Ideas for Small but Special Christmas Gifts: Pipsqueak Polar Bear Hat

imageThe most adorable hat pattern I’ve seen all year! Requires only one skein of Bernat’s Pipsqueak yarn, which is light and soft as a cloud. And it knits up fast on size  10 (US) needles. I’ve made several of these charmers and they’re always a hit. What a cool gift for any little person living where it gets cold in winter.

Find the free pattern at: .


Ideas for Small but Special Christmas gifts


Not just for Christmas, but for any occasion. Today I found this pretty pattern for mitts on’s collection of Halloween items to knit. What attracted me to them is the simple yet elegant pattern, knitted in garter stitch with a pretty picot edge. The pair in the photo is made in fingering weight on size 2.5 mm/1.5 US straight needles. This is a great site with lots of helpful features. There is, for example, a conversion chart for changing between mm and inches, another for adapting the pattern for different weight yarns, and there are nine tutorials for this pattern alone. Drops Delight is the yarn used, and as the mitts require only one 50 gram skein, they can be made for less than $5.00!

I’m going to whip up several pairs to have on hand for last minute gifts. Starting tonight while watching the World Series. Go, Red Sox!

Link to the pattern:


Knitting Tips: How to Repair a Torn or Snagged Cable


Oh no! That beautiful cabled sweater you worked so hard on has a hole in it!

No worries. It is possible to make repairs using this article from Interweave Knits . Appears to be a technique similar to closing the  toe of a sock using Kitchener stitch. The article also includes helpful suggestions for finding the right yarn for the repair if you no longer have any that the item was made with.


Shakespeare in Song

Interesting article with a poem about the knitting a sweater for your boyfriend jinx!

Janet's thread

Pam Ayres Thoughts of a Late Night Knitter


Shakespeare in Song – that is a misleading title for this blog.  Last night we went to a concert and Shakespeare in Song was indeed the title but the songs were interspersed with poetry.  The concert and the readings of the poems were performed by the Gaudete Singers.  A very enjoyable experience.  Much to my surprise, one of the poems was about knitting.  It was called Thoughts of a Late-Night Knitter by Pam Ayres.  “I had a lovely boyfriend, Knit one, purl one.  Had him for a long time, Cast on for the back.    Had him all the summer, Loved him, cuddled him.  Push it up the knitting pin, And gather up the slack.     Well, he knew how much I liked him, Knit one, purl one.   I made him seven jerseys, Never did him any wrong.   And he told me that he loved me, Knit one, purl one.  …

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