Hi Charlotte! Did I say "Welcome!" yet? Welcome!
Ekgheiy, 98sts/3min.? That's not bad, actually! That's probably about what I knit, when I'm relaxed and not rushing. Maybe up to 40sts/min on average. I did try to time myself at my fastest, and after several attempts, I was able to reach 51 SPM (Stitches Per Minute). Mind you, that was in the best possible circumstances, and I could never maintain that speed! And it's nothing compared to the record holder's 85.6 sts./minute!
I consider anything over 30 to be quite good!
I don't know, I'm guessing, but I'd say if you're over, say, 17 sts./min., then you're at a good beginner rate, and I wouldn't consider that too slow. That's about three seconds per stitch. Not too bad. If it's 5 seconds per stitch, that's still reasonable, when you actually feel how long that takes, it's not that long. But it would definitely make for a slower project.
I wouldn't worry about your speed too much, Charlotte. I think the important thing is to figure out what GAUGE, and needle sizes you like to work with, and just stitck to that! An adult sweater on size 6 needles would take too long, to me, for it to be fun. Maybe a small adult sweater I might try, but I know my limits, and that's very helpful to know; that's really what it's all about! Don't think of it as stitch speed. Just think of it as guage/needle-size preferences. If a project is taking too long, then the problem isn't your speed, but the needles and yarn being too small! I like worsted weight yarn. Anything smaller than that, even for socks, feels like it's taking just too darn long! Check out a book called Chunky Knits, for some patterns you can make with really thick yarn and needles that will go nice and fast for you. Or do a search for "knit pattern bulky" and see what comes up.
Also, stockinette stitch is faster than alternating knit and purl, at least for most people. Not to mention, if it's ribbing, it contracts so much, that you literally have to make the scarf about twice as wide, to get the same size scarf! If you're going to go through the trouble of alternating knit and purl, then do seed stitch, because it won't contract, so you'll get to knit it at a normal width, and it won't contract.
Ekgheiy, I know what you mean about how English knitters can be very fast too. That's quite true. The biggest distinction comes when alternating knit and purl stitches. There's no denying that Continental knitters have a much faster, easier time, when it comes to bringing the yarn to the front then to the back, there's no extra step to do this when the yarn is in the left hand.