knitters will appreciate this.
i taught myself to knit recently from the idiot's guide to knitting & crocheting and i learned the american basic stitch (sometimes called the english stitch).
on the way home from a business meeting with a co-worker today, we were stuck in traffic on the highway and i was knitting, she (who was driving) pointed out that there was a much faster way to do the basic stitch . . . a little something called the continental.
she showed me how and it was like a chorus of angels came down through the clouds and shone heavenly light upon us.
i'd say the continental stitch shaves roughly 2/3 time off of the american/english stitch.