I post a lot of photos of my knitting, often with my Kindle alongside as that’s my favourite way to spend a bit of down time, and I’m frequently asked how I manage to knit and read at the same time.
I think it’s important to say up front that this isn't something that I do all the time and I’m certainly not some sort of multi-tasking guru. Only certain kinds of knitting is appropriate for this and only at certain times. But yes, with that caveat in place I believe it is perfectly possible with a little practice to teach yourself to knit without looking at your yarn. Your eyes are then free to watch TV, go to the cinema or indeed to read. I don't know about you but my reading time really suffered when I took up knitting and I really needed to find a way to bring it back into my daily life.
It really is a habit and we often look at our stitches just because they are there. We don’t really need to see what we are doing as we are relying on touch and muscle memory to do most of the work for us. A lot of the time I watch my stitches just because it is soothing and slightly hypnotic and because who doesn’t like to see pretty colours.
But if you do want to branch out a little and expand your skill set I put together a few simple tips for knitting without looking at your stitches:
Pick something simple - preferably all stocking stitch or garter stitch. Something like a sock or a hat knit in the round is perfect, especially if you are using a circular needle.
Start to knit and for a stitch or two try closing your eyes or glancing away from your work.
Use a Kindle, e-reader or a book that will stay open by itself. Put the book on a flat surface in front of you.
Just take it slowly, don’t rush the stitches and have patience with yourself. Don’t try to do any complicated cabling just yet or to read War and Peace. Just pick some lovely smooth yarn (something that doesn't split) and a good, relaxing read.
Have a go - just a few minutes every day - and you might just surprise yourself.