Portuguese Knitting

I've just begun to try to learn this method. Can anyone offer any comments about this type of knitting? Do you think it eliminates rowing out? I wonder if it has any benefits over combination knitting which I like.

Comments

Bill's picture

there are two guys in our knitting group that do Portuguese...and they love it. Seems to be mostly purling.

kiwiknitter's picture

Which group? This one?

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Bill's picture

ooops...sorry.
I meant our San Francisco knitting group.

I think that the purling is great, but I don't like having it around my neck. I know there is a pin, or you can make one out of a paper clip, but it is still an adjustment to switch from one to the other. And although the purling is great, I am not crazy about the knitting part. To me, knitting Portuguese style is taking an extra step like purling Norwegian style. But it's all good.

I am a closet knitter. I like to make scarves, mittens, socks, aphgans, a sweater now and then,
oh, and I like (love) opera, Eric

kiwiknitter's picture

Yes, purling is a breeze, much like in combination knitting. The knit stitch takes a bit getting used to. The Norwegian purl is pretty fiddly, more than in other styles. I don't mind having the yarn around my neck but I use a pin for more satisfactory results.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Tallguy's picture

If you want to learn Portuguese knitting, you should look at the tutorials (video) put out by Staci at verypink.com. Right now, she is doing a whole series of tutorials on the technique from the very beginning to more advances techniques. And she absolutely loves this method of knitting!

True, it is easier to do purling in this method. It is great for garter stitch. You can do knitting as well, but it requires a very odd manoeuvre, but it does work.

As with learning anything new, it does take time, and a lot of repetition to make it a habit and then you can get fast enough to rival your older style. I know how to do several different methods, but I still fall back on what I first learned when doing something a bit more complicated. However, it is good knowing several different methods and they do come in handy for different types of work -- or when you really want to make an impression!

View Staci's tutorials here: http://tinyurl.com/gl2pk2l There are five tutorials in the series right now.

kiwiknitter's picture

I have watched Staci's videos and enjoyed them. I bought the class by Andrea Wong on Craftsy and really enjoyed it. She is a good teacher and I was able to pick up everything I needed to know. I also bought the Craftsy class by Patty Lyons called "Improve Your Knitting". She gives a 40 minute lesson on Portuguese. The rest of the class is full of interesting and valuable knitting tips; it is well worth the cost. I agree that it's best to have a variety of knitting styles to chose from. I learned the Portuguese knit and purl stitches quickly but tensioning the yarn was another story! I practiced over and over, knitting 2 skeins of knitting wool into swatches before I finally could say I could knit this way with a degree of proficiency.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

kiwiknitter's picture

Hello Gentlemen and thank you for the comments. I thought I'd explain a bit about my interest in Portuguese knitting. For the past 10 years I've done only knitting in the round and I learned picking (continental) for this. The problem was that my gauge went wrong because I knitted so loosely (purl rows mostly) so I had to size my needles down significantly to accommodate this issue. Now, I find myself having some projects which are knit flat and continental style didn't cut it for me. In order to even-out my stitches and to prevent rowing-out, I learned combination knitting which was very effective but I was still rowing-out at times which drove me crazy. Now that I've got Portuguese knitting under control, I find I'm no longer rowing-out and my stitches are beautifully even. I like the economy of movement, too. I am excited to try out the stranded 2 colour knitting in this method.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

For a closer look at color work and stranding with Portuguese knitting, watch some videos of Andean men knitting hats and such. It is amazing to see what they create and the carry of yarns on the outside of the work helps ensure even tension and resists puckering. I'm glad you found a way to create the type of fabric you've always wanted. I've been experimenting with a similar thumb-based throw for my purl rows to help ease hand/finger strain and improve tension for my stitches. Mixed results but I may have to do a swatch of purl based garter stitch to really get the hang of it.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

kiwiknitter's picture

Thanks for the advice; I'll watch the videos on Andean men knitting. I've seen the pics, now the vids. Which other "thumbing" have you tried? It's early days, but the more I Portuguese, the more I find my hands to be more relaxed while knitting. I suppose the proof of the pudding will be when I knit an actual garment and not just swatches.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Basically, I've dabbled with Portuguese knitting and the recent trial was where you carry the yarn across the hand [like you normally would] but wrap it around the thumb to "throw" it. It seemed to work okay but felt a bit awkward. That's why I think a purl garter swatch would be helpful whether with the thumb method, or actual Portuguese style.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

I heard was faster or quick was the advantage but never tried wanted too.