I’m knitting Portuguese I think I’m knitting Portuguese I really think so

Friday, October 6th, 2006
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I was knitting at the bus station a few months ago, and a very loud Portuguese woman started talking to me about knitting and how excited she was to see me doing it. She told me that she knitted Portuguese style, and almost without me asking she grabbed my knitting and showed me by wrapping the yarn around her neck and zooming down the row. (She made a mistake close to the beginning but I didn’t have the heart to rip back, so I just kept knitting and fixed the mistake on the way back.)

She was a bit condescending to me, advising that I slip the first stitch on every row, without even realising that I was already doing so. (She seemed to think it prevented your knitting from becoming a triangle, because you’re not really knitting the stitch and so it’s like a decrease.) All in all, it was a weird experience. When my bus arrived, I collected my luggage and she waved and told me to always remember that Jesus loves me. I mean, I’m as WASPy as the next anglican white girl, but that was a bit presumptuous. I smiled and thanked her awkwardly and left. I glanced at the ticket seller on my way out the door, and he seemed to think the whole exchange was quite chuckle-worthy.

The whole point of this story is that I found a cool YouTube video for Portuguese knitting. Despite the weird way I first came across it, it still fascinates me.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/uZ31pk05CBE" height="350" width="425" /]

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15 Comments to “I’m knitting Portuguese I think I’m knitting Portuguese I really think so”

  1. That is really fascinating. I want to learn more!

    Comment by
    October 6, 2006 @ 8:46 am
  2. That is very interesting. Besides continental and English, I didn’t think there were any other ‘styles’ of knitting. I had heard that there was a Japanese way of knitting, but thought it had more to do with the fact that they use charts rather than written patterns.

    Comment by Kirsten
    October 6, 2006 @ 8:47 am
  3. Holy cow! She grabbed your knitting? Violator!

    Comment by Carol
    October 6, 2006 @ 11:37 am
  4. Ah yes, you must have had you r”crazy magnet” on while you were at the bus station! My hubby has one too. I have an erratic or weak one. Occasional strange people approach me, but not like hubby! Although knitting always does give a great conversation starte, grabbing is rude! I guess her momma never taught her that!

    Comment by carol
    October 6, 2006 @ 8:41 pm
  5. WOW! Interesting video – I love learning about different knitting methods.

    Comment by NORA
    October 7, 2006 @ 3:26 am
  6. I’m amazed….my yarn would get all caught in my hair and I’d have a really mess of knots on my hands!!!!!

    Comment by Dawn
    October 7, 2006 @ 6:33 am
  7. Honestly, I would have been so freaked out by her rudeness. You have more tolerance that I do. I probably would have sat their stunned at first, then grabbed my knitting from her and walked away!

    Comment by Kimberly
    October 8, 2006 @ 9:26 am
  8. That video is really fascinating! Must go try out one of these days!

    Comment by Emy
    October 8, 2006 @ 10:47 pm
  9. Gah! That’s awesome! I love this style and I’ve already got 6 inches of a scarf done with it, Holy lightening speed, Batman!
    Maybe you finding that clip and sharing it with everyone was some sort of Karmic test – you made something positive out of a nutty experience – Maybe Kali loves you. :P

    Comment by Sara
    October 12, 2006 @ 12:22 pm
  10. not only an alternative style of knitting, but what appear to be circular needles with crochet hook ends. Don’t think I’ve ever seen those before.

    Comment by Bana
    October 13, 2006 @ 1:30 pm
  11. M-m-m-m, interesting to watch. I’ve never seen anything like that. And I certainly never heard of someone just grabbing another’s knitting to show how they do their style. How funny! But the style looks like one I’d try to get to know. hehe, you must of be totally stunned with her Audacity.

    Comment by Stitchingnut
    October 13, 2006 @ 3:34 pm
  12. Eh, I’m sticking with straight-up continental. That method only wastes slightly less motion than English. Could be amusing for a demonstration, but not really worth learning as a practical technique. Wish the video had shown purling.

    Comment by Liz
    December 11, 2006 @ 12:45 pm
  13. Can you tell me if there is a book of instructions on this knitting? i have dial-up so I can’t get the u-tube video. I would love to hear from you.

    Comment by Karen
    April 13, 2007 @ 8:28 pm
  14. Portuguese isn’t exactly what I would call politically correct term. This method of knitting is actually quite common also in the countries of Brazil, Peru, Greece, Turkey, and yes, in Portugal too.

    Here are my comparisons of (ahem) Continental and Portuguese knitting styles:

    Knitting is quite easy and fast when it comes to Continental, but purling is alittle tricky to manage for some of us who have a tempermental left index finger. Oh I know you folks are out there! But something has to be said about seeing your work blossom as you go. Excuse me? What do I mean by that? Read on.

    Portuguese knitting is the exact opposite of Continental. In Peru for example, knitting in the round requires you purl from the outside; meaning your work is done from the wrong side or inside out. Huh? You must take a peek inside the tube in order to see your designs come to life. P. purling is just as fast as Continental knitting!

    When if comes to multi-strand color work like fair isle (for example); you can manage your tension more easily when changing color or weaving across the row.

    As for the yarn around the neck thingy: this style of knitting came about in areas where people (men from what I gather) herd sheeps and goats. It’s not practical to knit English or Continental if your flock is getting away from you. You would have to put your work down in order to stop the stampede so to speak. This way your work will “hang” from your neck, uhmmm, at least the yarn (the balls are usually stored in a belt pouch or satchel) as one would shoulder the work thru the circle. A “knitting needle” (think coil-less safety pin) is the substitute for those who don’t like have the yarn going around your neck. The KP is usually placed on your left shoulder when using a single color; two pins placed on opposite shoulders are required (optional) if you wish to do colorwork.

    In the end, it’s all about what you’re used to and anyone who wishes to expand their knitting skills. Depending on the day, the type of knitting project, and my mood: I rotate between English (classic throwing), English Combined, Continental, Continental Combined, and Portuguese

    Final note, one can use regular knitting needles and afghan hooks to knit with in Portuguese. Circular crochet hooks are available but hard to get in a lot of sizes and lengths. Knitter and instructor Andrea Wong has made a DVD on Portuguese knitting for those of you who wish to learn. http://www.andreawongknits.com

    Comment by Elsie
    May 5, 2007 @ 9:07 pm
  15. Wow, thanks for all the information!

    German style (continental) isn’t knit in Germany only either. I see a pattern…

    Comment by Eve
    May 5, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

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