New techniques

Hi there how’s it going? I hope this past week was a good one for you and that you got plenty of time to enjoy your knitting.

I feel like I have not been getting a whole lot done myself but that is mainly because I’m still struggling with my last test knit, the cardigan one. I am now only a sleeve away from finally being done and I am quite eager to be done with this one!

But on the topic of today’s title, new techniques. If you have been following my blog for a while you already know that I am an advanced knitter. I have been knitting for a lot of years and I do all kinds of projects.

But knitting is such an amazing art form. There are so many stitches to learn and so many different ways to just simply knit. Some of these techniques are linked to different cultures or linked to where you live and learn to knit.

One such technique is called Portuguese knitting. This in some way resembles Peruvian knitting and I do intend to learn more on that subject later.

I have known about this technique for a long time and I even purchased classes on Craftsy (now Blueprint) a while ago but then never actually watched them.

The classes I purchased are by Andrea Wong which I believe to be the best known authority on Portuguese knitting. Andrea has also written a book on the subject which is available on Amazon among other places.

When I possibly can, I knit for as many hours a day as I can possibly squeeze in. This sometimes means that my fingers get tired or that I find myself with like a deep welt in my forefinger after tensioning my yarn.

So a while back I started thinking about how I could go about knitting for longer periods of time and still avoid such discomfort.

I usually always knit continental style but I do know how to throw and I have sometimes used both techniques to give my hands a rest and so be able to knit for an extended period at a time if I’m in a stretch and need to finish something asap.

But I felt like I wanted to try something all together different from that and that is where I remembered Portuguese knitting.

I started out by reading the book by Andrea Wong- called Portuguese Style of Knitting, History, traditions and techniques.

The book has good photo tutorials that clearly show how you hold the yarn and the needles. This really helped me to visualise how this is done. I then watched my classes on Craftsy (Blueprint). And then of course I had to make a few purchases.

There is such a thing as Portuguese knitting needles but you do not need to have those. You can knit Portuguese stye using your regular knitting needles. I just was really curious about those and wanted to try them for myself.

Portuguese knitting needles have a hook on one end (dpns) or both ends (circulars). They look like crochet hooks almost.

I have a sock on my Portuguese dpns


I was able to find my supplies online in a Portuguese shop that is quite well known, Retrorosaria. There I purchased one set of dpns, one circular and my very first Portuguese knitting pin.

My baby Main Coon Odin is very interested in my Portuguese circulars

Here you can see that Portuguese circulars have hooks on both ends

A Portuguese knitting pin is used to tension the yarn but you can go without and just tension the yarn around your neck if you wish. However basic knitting pins are just over 1 EUR so very affordable. You will also be able to find fancier ones for a little more money and I did make a later purchase to try out a fancier version.

My two fancy knitting pins

And then I went to work.

This post is not meant as a tutorial in Portuguese knitting but rather just information about how I went about to learn this new style of knitting and how it basically works.

So as you can see from the picture above, I am using one of my fancy knitting pins and have attached it to my left shoulder to tension the yarn. I then weave the tail (the yarn going to/from my ball of yarn) around the fingers on my right hand. I’m not sure if there is a correct way of doing this, I think this may be as with any other knitting style where we each tension our yarns in our unique way.

Using this style of knitting, I use my right thumb a lot to help with the stitches.

I have heard statements about this being a method to knit quicker but I don’t feel I knit faster like this but then again that could be just because I am knew to Portuguese knitting.

I enjoy knitting like this both for the knit and the purl stitch. I have used this method quite a lot since I started learning and I’m very happy to have looked into this new way of knitting and having this added to my skills. I am not going to convert entirely to Portuguese knitting but I do feel it is an asset to have the ability to use it.

I think that for knitters such as myself, who often knit for more hours than some might consider healthy, being able to switch methods and so relieve hour hands is a great option.

As for gauge, once I got how to knit this way may gauge was back to normal and I now will switch between continental and Portuguese knitting within the same project and I don’t feel there is any difference in gauge or texture to be seen.

Learning a new technique has been a lot of fun and if you are interested in trying something new, I highly recommend you try Portuguese style knitting.

I recorded a little video of myself knitting this way. It is about 3 minutes which may be way more than you are willing to watch, but if you are curious it should be fun to observe how this works in real life:) I just want to emphasise that the video is not meant as a tutorial but as a glimpse at how knit when knitting Portuguese style.

With that I wish you a great week ahead and who knows, maybe this week you will start knitting Portuguese style 🙂

12 thoughts on “New techniques

  1. Interesting to read you are trying out a new technique. I might stick to what I know for now – knitting, with a foray into crochet pending (did a little crochet years ago, upon rediscovering a half made blanket I need to brush up my knowledge ie go back to basics!). Loving that your cat is joining in – what a cutie!

    Like

  2. Hi Bogga. I enjoyed this post. The sweater you are wearing in the first photo is lovely, by the way. I am curious, you describe yourself as an advanced knitter. What does that mean in terms of your knitting specifically? I ask because I have been knitting for almost 30 yrs but don’t feel my skills are advanced. I see the work of some knitters who have only been knitting for a few years and they are designing and creating like crazy. Maybe it is the projects I choose? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being hard on myself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Regina and thank you for the compliment. The sweater I’m wearing is my Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I knit this using my hand spun yarn.
      As for saying I am an advanced knitter, I say that because like you I have been knitting for many years. I am comfortable knitting all types of projects and able to use a number of stitch patterns and techniques. This was not meant as a boast but rather to say that I am not a beginner knitter. I don’t know if there is a definition of things a knitter needs to know in order to be qualified as “advanced” and I hope I have not offended anyone. My personal definition, I guess, would be a knitter that has been knitting for a few years and is able to tackle all types of projects and stitch patterns.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, no! You did not offend me AT ALL! I rather liked what you wrote because it really made me think about why I perceive my knitting the way I do. I am going to work to improve my self-esteem and to challenge myself more in my projects. I am thankful for your post. I do think you are very skilled, my dear! xoxo
        Regina

        Liked by 1 person

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