13 Ways to Add More Time for Knitting to the Day

The most common answer to my survey of what you are struggling most with in knitting:

“I wish I had more time for knitting.”

A twenty five hour day isn’t coming any time soon. As long as your feet stay planted on earth, twenty four is all you’re going to get. However, with a bit of skill you can squeeze out a couple more hours to add to your day – which means more knitting time for you!

Here’s how.

Step One: The Big Time Eaters

  1. Television. This is a really good starting point if you need more time. If you can’t completely eliminate it, cut it down to only the key shows you enjoy viewing or news you need to hear. Otherwise just power-off this big time waster, or knit while watching TV.
  2. Internet. As we see a replacement of TV entertainment by the internet, it has become a big time consumer quickly. Try to go on an internet diet for a week: cut your time spent online in half. I tried it myself and although it was very hard at the beginning, it really paid off in the end and I got used to it quickly.
  3. Email. Do you really need to check your email every ten minutes? Devote some dedicated time – maybe in the morning and the afternoon – to reading and answering email. Turn off your email client in between, or you will lose your focus on each and every “you’ve got mail” notification ping sound.
  4. Games. I got totally lost in playing World of Warcraft a while ago, so I know how it is when you’re just sucked into a computer game. Cut your gaming time and use the saved time for knitting instead.
  5. Work. Cutting time spent at work is the most difficult challenge for most people. The most effective strategy is to increase productivity to get more things done in less time. If you are feeling really adventurous, read the 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. If not, consider turning your daily commute into knitting time.
  6. Chores. Beyond just hiring a maid, there are ways you can reduce time from your chores: Cooking meals in advance, keeping things perpetually tidy, maintaining an organizing system to reduce the need for overhauls can all cut down your time usage. Establish habits.

Step Two: Use Gap Time

  1. Knitting. Bring your knitting project with you at all times and get a few minutes of knitting in.
  2. Problems. Solve problems in advance during gap time so you won’t waste as much time on them later.
  3. Creativity. I use gap time to come up with new knitting pattern ideas. You can use it to come up with new ideas for work or life – or your next knitting project.

Step Three: Focus

Focus on what’s important and ignore what isn’t. The easiest way to waste hours of your day is to do “work” that isn’t getting much done at all. Here are some things to think about:

  1. E-mail. Consider an auto-responder for common messages. Use concise yes or no answers for questions that don’t need a lengthy explanation.
  2. Reading. If your purpose for reading is information, learn to change your pace from a knowledge absorbing crawl up to a fast skim over unimportant details. Ignore whole chapters and focus first on the ideas that are crucial to understand, especially in textbooks.
  3. Television. If you still watch TV, tape in advance and cut the commercials. You can save up to fifteen minutes from an hour program by doing this.

Final Tip: Prioritize

The final question isn’t just of doing things faster, but of doing the right things. Constantly measure and be aware of the actual value each of your activities brings. Those that don’t add much should be simplified or eliminated entirely to focus on those that do.

Reclaim More Time For Knitting

By following at least a few of the tips above, you should be able to reclaim more time for knitting. If this article was helpful for you, make sure to let me know by leaving a comment below!

30 thoughts on “13 Ways to Add More Time for Knitting to the Day

  • Dorothy Warner

    Thank you for the list. My days consist of part time phone canvassing and renting out rooms for income. I now work with a diary and insist that everyone, including family/friends/work colleagues, etc must give me 24 hours notice or longer to organize my side. Less interuptins gained me more time. (I was a softie) This year, pruning, internet/cellphone/tv/radio time. !! in that order. now to pick up knitting after 25 years. I missed knitting.

  • Cassia

    TThank you so much for such good tips. I have changed my iPhone settings to tell me when my social networking time is up. I’ve gradually cut it back.

  • Mrs. Kathryn Nissen

    Heck! Am I the only one who finds all this organising, rearranging, cutting out and reducing rather scary and manic?
    I understand that there are as many reasons for knitting are there are people who knit and there are those whose knitting provides an income and perhaps involve deadlines and that is one thing. For those who knit for pleasure however I feel all this is rather over the top and completely unnecessary. If one enjoys watching TV then why not simply relax and watch TV? It seems to suggest that everything but knitting could be raced through in order to knit. I realise that these are suggestions and one can pick and choose which, if any, one might find useful but.. where does knitting for pleasure and relaxation fit into this? After reading this I feel rather worn out. If one simply knits and does not find pleasure in other things as well then that would be a very limited outlook on life.
    I love knitting, therefore, I knit. I watch TV and knit, I listen to audio books and knit. I knit in waiting rooms etc, OK, I am retired now but I haven’t always been. I always have at least 2 projects on the go.. one for mindless knitting while chatting at knitting group, that can be picked up and put down without losing track of where one is in one’s row etc. and then my main love of knitting intricate lace weight projects which need more attention. In my experience those who knit already do these things if they want to.

    To “Constantly measure and be aware of the actual value each of your activities brings. Those that don’t add much should be simplified or eliminated entirely to focus on those that do’. ??? Why??? This is so extreme and, it could be argued, wastes knitting time. Leave the time and motion study for more appropriate situations. It would all be much too regimented for me to introduce into my life The world is already very busy and can be stressful, so slow down, relax, knit, repeat as necessary. Simply enjoy.

  • I think these ideas are fantastic, I have patterns on my iPad so need that nearby. But iv got time too. Feet up and sit. I’m left handed and keep trying with the wool over my work but can’t get the hang of it yet. I’m stubborn so will keep trying. Purling is hopeless. I knit for charity and trying hard to get as much done because winter isn’t too far off. People are going to need warm things. Now I’ve got a circular knitting needle I can knit faster. Trouble is iv only got one . So now , I’d love a changeable set keep dreaming they too expensive for me .the chai goos and addiand. Hya hya . I’m dreaming of a nice rich person saying here you are dear .a set for you. Yes I know dream on thankyou .gteat tips

  • A few more possibilities:
    -Call people instead of emailing or texting. Fewer emails/texts. More substance for your time. Knit while you talk. Bonus: personal connection.
    -Have a knitting group. A dedicated time period for knitting each week can carve a big chunk out of those projects and you can learn new techniques with someone that has already done them.
    -Give yourself 20 minutes with your knitting and your morning coffee. A nice way to ease into your day.
    -Give yourself 20 minutes with your knitting before lights out at night. A good way to quiet your mind before sleep.

    • fifnocas

      My tv is always shut down and i knit sitting down or walking or talking, in the plane or the bus or the train or metropolitan, in meetings or even at the restaurant or the cafe with friends or alone, i even sometimes forget to eat (not so good)

      I’ll always take my knitting when i have to go somewhere where I know I’ll have waiting time, it always helps.

      And thanks for sharing your projects and experiences and advices. I like to share and also people who share.

  • Karen Alho

    It always delighted me that my daughter knit everywhere. Even standing in line at the grocery she would have a sock in progress in her purse. A year ago ago she opened her own LYS and now it’s truly non-stop. This year on a motorcycle trip to England and Wales she was knitting when she wasn’t riding!

  • Danielle Boots

    Appreciate your time, thanks for the practical read!

  • Most interesting and helpful. Worth a try

  • Linda Ayling

    I love this article. I’m 70 and addicted to the internet. I have a timer beside me right now and I’m going to try to break the habit.

  • Frandelia

    My husband and I seldom watch TV. He prefers to read, and I like to knit or read. I sometimes listen to podcasts while knitting. I could knit while watching TV, but I really don’t like TV except for PBS. If we go somewhere in the car, he drives and I knit. My friends in my knitting group think I am a fast knitter, but I think it is just that I knit a lot because I love to knit.

  • Thank you. Really good suggestions for managing time better.

  • Agree. 1project for knitting at TV, one for sitting in the car while the husbond drives… ect. And knit whereever You are sitting or staying still ..or walkingyou can always find some small things to knit!

  • docious1

    I have trouble cutting down on tv and internet and games. I am working on it and my family helps by telling me to get off the computer if I’ve been on a couple hours straight.

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  • lewishaca

    Good advice, I will try to incorporate into my day. Thanks!

  • Marie Claude

    I find more time to knit by keeping my ipad right beside me while I knit, as I turn my work I flip through pages of pinterest for new patterns, surf on the internet, read emails and read my facebook newsfeed. So my hands are knitting and my mind reading! Of course it is for an easy knitting pattern, would not do this while making lace lol!

  • Clare Cohen

    I do many of things that you suggested, will cut back in my computer time! Always have a project with me!

  • Anna Mäkilä

    Good points, thank you! I always knit while watching TV or listen to music. And I bring my knitting project to different seminars or training sessions.

  • Venette Schafer

    Very, very good list! And I really like the additions made by Nancy C.. My problem is I am learning too besides trying to find the time. I can do basic stitches and knit the continial way. But i want to learn lace. That takes concentration. Thank you for the article.

  • Angela

    I recently broke both bones in my lower leg which severely restricts my mobility, I have to sit with my leg constantly raised…… more knitting time… yippee ….however I would NOT recommend this strategy, be careful of what you wish for, but I do agree with all the other time wasting we all suffer from, however I am enjoying surfing through knitting blogs…need to pick up my needles now x

  • Sue Lowe

    Good list. All these items (except for work, for me unfortunately), are simple, common sense ways to get more time. I’ve seen and heard them all before but having them all together in a straightforward list is a help to really look at how I spend my time.

  • This is a good list. I would also suggest:
    1. Learn techniques that help you knit more efficiently, such as Continental instead of Throwing. (I just learned and in only two weeks I can knit Continental as fast as my usual method, which leads me to believe soon it will actually be faster because it is a more efficient movement.) While faster doesn’t mean “more time,” it does mean more output, which might be what you are really hoping for.
    2. I like that your list was not only thoughtful, but concise. You might also suggest that readers opt for a once-a week email instead of daily, which helps them stay in touch and learn, yet cut down on that pesky Internet time.
    3. Make Gratitude your companion. Being present to what you are doing and appreciating the time you do have is one way to make it more fully real and enjoyable.

  • Good pointers! I ALWAYS take my knitting bag with me! I have spent many hours in doctors’ waiting rooms. Pulling out a fancy piece often generates oooohs and aaaahs…and opens the door to make new friends!.
    I can knit a basic pattern while reading, but if its more complex, I get a good book on Audible and let someone else read it to me! That shuts out the world–for hours. Bliss!!!

  • norgraf2179

    When I worked I was very organized and at work and home everything ran much smoother. After being retired I have let myself get very disorganized and frustrated that I am not getting done the things that I want to do let alone the things I need to do. Thank you for your tips, I see a lot that I can do to change my life for the better.

  • Mary Bragg

    Another is to always have a project going you can do by feel..simple knots and purls. Things like scarves, bags, dishcloths, etc. Take it with you when you go out. You can knit while waiting for a table (unless it’s a date night). I knit while I’m watching a movie in the theater. I’m not a popcorn eater so that’s not a problem. It’s fun to look at a project and think. I watched Wonder Woman at this point, Guardians of the Galaxy at this point, etc. Drives me nuts just sitting and watching a movie anymore.

    • Pamela Gross

      The only problem with this it can upset others who want to watch the movie not hear the clack or see the movement of needles

      • Bwestby

        Good smooth bamboo needles don’t clack. Movement would actually be less than hand from popcorn bucket to mouth.

  • Mindy

    Love it…and oh so true. Reclaimed time =more knitting time.

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