Portuguese Knitting

The other day, at Knit Fit, I took a class from Lisa Ellis (if you live in the PNW and get a chance to take one of her classes- do it!).  And in it, I learned two things:

  1.  How to spell Portuguese.  (Did you know it has two u’s in it?)
  2.  How to knit in the Portuguese style.

Have you ever seen someone knit like this before?  It’s crazy!  I’ll try to explain it, but I can’t promise it’ll make sense:

You have your ball of yarn on your right side, and kind of weave the yarn through the fingers of your right hand, then wrap the yarn over your neck or through a pin (like this one) attached to the front of your shirt. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then, instead of throwing the yarn like you would while knitting continental, you kind of… flick the yarn with your left hand.

It blows my mind.

Here’s a video (if you want to teach yourself, this YouTube-er has some pretty good videos, but they’re not all in English):

The craziest thing about this style of knitting is that you end up knitting inside out!  Since your yarn is basically tied to the front of your shirt, it’s hard to get it behind your knitting (for the knit stitch).  So, since it’s so much easier to purl, when you’re working in the round, you just purl all the time!  I started making a hat, and it’s inside-out!


Then, when it’s finished, I’ll turn it inside-out!


And, bonus, knitting stranded color work inside-out like this means that you don’t have to worry about your floats making the fabric all pucker-y.  Don’t ask me how- it just works!


Have you ever done Portuguese knitting?  What style do you like to knit?

5 thoughts on “Portuguese Knitting

  1. itwasjudith

    The hat looks nice 🙂
    I started watching the video, but my head refused to follow… If one practiced on it for quite some time, I’m sure it’d be possible to pick it up, but it’s not probably the first I’d go out and learn 😉
    I admit though that the colour work results are very good!

  2. chappytrails

    I have been Portuguese knitting for 3 years after checking out a book from my local library. Watching a couple of You Tube videos helped. It really works well if you have arthritic hands or carpel tunnel problems cause you only have to flick the yarn with your thumb….less maneuvering with hands and fingers. It only took about 30 minutes to master. Highly recommend it.

    1. onemilljellybeans Post author

      Awesome! I’ve heard that about it being easier on the wrists, but I found it made my hands hurt a bit. (Though, if I’m being honest, it was probably more due to the learning-a-new-technique death grip than the actual Portuguese knitting.)


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