Embracing My Roots: A Personal Journey into Portuguese Knitting

Today, I’m thrilled to share something very dear to me – a dive into Portuguese knitting, a beautiful tradition that ties me to my roots as a first-generation American with a rich Portuguese heritage.

Why Portuguese Knitting?

My journey with Portuguese knitting began out of curiosity for my cultural heritage and a desire to connect with my ancestral craft in a deeper way. I taught myself this unique method, finding comfort in the rhythm and connection to past generations. It’s not just about knitting; it’s about embracing a piece of who I am and where I come from.

If you need a practical reason to switch, here’s a few!

  1. Less movement with your hands, better ergonomics: Because you are only moving your thumb the most, your wrists will get a much-needed break. Dealing with carpal tunnel? This is a wonderful way to continue knitting and tone down your inflammation.
  2. Less movement means faster too: Because a stitch takes less time, that time saved adds up! You may find your knitting speed increases substantially. This is especially true if you are switching from English throwing style.
  3. Excuse to buy pretty pins and necklaces: You’ll be more likely to buy additional tools to help your Portuguese knitting journey, whether than be a necklace or a pin! I prefer necklaces myself, just because I hold my yarn tight and don’t like the pin pulling on my shirts.

Getting Started with Portuguese Knitting: A Guide from My Heart to Your Hands

Gather Your Tools

  • Yarn: Choose yarn that speaks to you. I love working with vibrant colors that reflect the rich palette of Portuguese landscapes.
  • Needles: Comfort is key. I prefer wooden needles for their warmth and natural feel.
  • Pin, necklace, or just use your neck: This is essential for authentic Portuguese knitting. I use a pin passed down through my family, but any decorative pin will do.

Mastering the Stitches

  • Knit and purl with ease: I was amazed at how Portuguese knitting made purling so effortless, a stitch I once dreaded. It’s a testament to how adapting to our roots can bring unexpected ease and joy to our crafts. You do need to make some adapations and essentially relearn how to do certain stitches, such as increases or colorwork. Talking about colorwork…
  • Don’t flip your colorwork inside out: I see so many tutorials suggesting you turn your project inside out while you are working on stranded colorwork. I found the inside out method to be jarring; I couldn’t see the finished stitches, so I was constantly paranoid I was messing up the stitches I had created. You do need to make some slight adjustments to work colorwork with the right side out, but I’m willing to do the adjustments. I should also mention – I’ve only seen this offered on other video tutorials; my family doesn’t knit inside out.
  • Watch your yarn overs: Because you are switching your yarn back and forth from the back to the front, depending on if you are knitting or purling, you may find you might be adding yarn overs accidentally. Make sure you switch before you put your needles together to make the stitch. You need that space between your needles to move the yarn properly. That being said, yarn overs are easier to do because they happen so naturally!

Portuguese knitting is more than a technique; it’s a gateway to exploring my heritage. Sharing it with others is so much fun. It offers a comforting rhythm, ease on the hands, and a sense of connection to my ancestors.

FAQs: Knitting with Christina

Q: Can I use Portuguese knitting for modern projects?
A: Absolutely! It’s a versatile method that lends a touch of heritage to any piece, from trendy hats to timeless sweaters.

Q: How did you learn Portuguese knitting?
A: It was a self-taught journey fueled by my love for my heritage and a desire to connect with my roots. Online tutorials and lots of practice helped me master this beautiful craft. I learned how to knit and purl from Very Pink Knits on YouTube (fair warning: she talks a LOT – you will need to fast forward quite a bit to get to the actual tutorial), but outside of that, I have found very little, if any, online tutorials that provide a good explanation on different techniques. I had to learn a non-YouTube documented way to do colorwork, because turning my work inside out seemed silly to me!

Happy knitting! If you’d like to see some YouTube tutorials from me regarding Portuguese knitting, I’d be happy to supplement this blog post with some visual tutorials. Let me know in the comments what types of techniques you would like assistance with!



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