Knitting Help – Portuguese Knitting Style

In this video, I’m going to show you how to
work Portuguese knitting. And I’ve had tons of requests for this, and I don’t know why
I’ve waited so long to show you this. It is such a cool technique. Something really important about Portuguese
knitting is that the resulting stitches end up being identical to stitches that are worked
using either continental or English-American style knitting. So once you practice this for a little while
and your tension is good and matches the tension that you have when you’re knitting in your
normal style, you can interchange these, one for the other. The style of knitting is called
Portuguese knitting, but it’s the traditional style of knitting in lots of different countries.
We just stuck with Portuguese knitting for the name of it. And in these countries where this is the way
to knit, and the traditional way to knit, Americans aren’t going to believe this, but
when they’re working garter stitch, they pearl every row. Now i know that other countries
in the world aren’t as down on pearling as Americans are, but if you ask, 9 out of 10
Americans I think would prefer knitting the knit stitch way over pearl stitches. I don’t
know why. I think because a lot of us are right handed
throwers. Pearling isn’t as easy as it is for people who knit continental. Anyway, the
crazy thing is Portuguese knitting, Portuguese pearling is so easy that it’s easier than
knitting. And when they work garter stitch, they pearl every row. So let’s talk about getting set up to knit
Portuguese knitting. There are a couple of different ways, well there’s one way I’ve
learned to do this and that’s to put the yarn around the back of your neck, like this. There
are little pins that you can get where the yarn just hooks into the pin. The point is
that, everything with Portuguese knitting, the tension and the stitches are, everything
that happens at the front of the work. Nothing happens in the back of the work. So we want
the tension to come from the front, and that’s what this is going to do. The next thing you wanna do is with your right
hand, you want to wrap the working yarn around your middle finger. And all you really wanna
do is to make it so that when you look at the back of your hand it looks like you have
a yarn ring on your middle finger. So this is the setup here. This is how we’re doing
this. I know it sounds crazy so far. It’s crazy, but the stitches are so simple and
awesome, I think you’re really going to like this. Now, a disclaimer, when I’m working Portuguese
knitting, I end up with, I think everybody probably does, ends up with the work coming
closer and closer to me as I run out of yarn, and then I pull it back down again. I’m going
to try keep this on camera and try keep my tension loose enough so the work is always
going to be on camera and not up here. But it could prove to be a challenge. We’ll
see how it goes. Let’s go ahead and take a look. So here is my work. I am ready to work a knit
row, so the first thing I’m going to show you how to do is the knit stitch. So I have
an empty needle in my right hand, I have my yarn ring on my right hand. Go up under the
working yarn with your needle. I’m forgetting all the words. You just wanna start like this.
Go into the stitch like a knit stitch, but keep the needle upfront. Then take your thumb, flip the yarn over the
needle and pull that stitch through. Don’t worry, we have this whole row to go through,
so I’m going to definitely show you this lots more times. So go in as if to knit, but keep
the needle upfront. This is the normal way to go in, if to knit, right. We want to keep
the needle up front, take your thumb and flick that yarn over the needle, and then pull that
stitch through and off. Then when you pull that stitch through, all
we’re really doing is taking the tip of the needle and pulling it under the loop on the
needle, like that. Through the front of the stitch, flick the yarn, pull the stitch through,
and off. See how easy this is? I’m in a Portuguese knitting trance right now. We’re being so quiet knitting you can hear
a truck go by. Okay, now I’m going to turn the work and show
you the pearl stitch. The pearl stitch that is so easy. Okay, I’m all set up just like
before. Pearl stitch is surprisingly like working it as a continental or English-American
knitter. Put your needle in just like you’re going to work a normal pearl stitch, flick
the yarn with your thumb over the needle, and pull that stitch through. That is it. It is almost exactly like working a pearl
stitch, but just the difference of having the yarn coming from the front with the tension
being pulled forward, it makes the stitch so easy to work. Whoops. I need to free up some more yarn here. And you can see, with such tiny movements
to make a pearl stitch happen, why someone would want to work pearl every row pearl stitch.
Of course you would if it’s this easy. Woops. Okay, that’s both the knit and the pearl stitch.
I just want to show you, if i can here, I went really slow for demonstration purposes,
but even though this isn’t my primary way of knitting, I can get some good speed going
with this style… Woops! …with this style of knitting, and so I wanna
show you what full speed is for me. And this is not my normal style of knitting. If you
want to see my full speed continental knitting, it’s kind of pathetic. Portuguese knitting
is kind of, so easy to work. Woops, my tension’s off. Isn’t this fun? Anyway, this is probably too fast to follow
if you’re learning, so be sure to go back to the slow demonstration at the beginning
of the video. I’ll finish this row. Because I could do this
all day, because this is really fun. Okay, well that’s how you do both Portuguese
knitting and pearling. I hope you give it a try. It’s really fun to do. You might actually
find, I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s a good way to change up your style of
knitting if your hands are starting to get fatigued, or if you have issues with inflammation
in your hands. If you change up your style of knitting, sometimes that can help. I’m not doctor, this is just things I’ve heard
from people. Anyway, have fun with it, and good luck.

100 thoughts on “Knitting Help – Portuguese Knitting Style

  • You are so awesome!! I have got to try this. I hope you are well, and your 🐶🐶are happy and healthy!! Thanks and all the best to you. 😄🎶🎶💜🐶💜🐶🎶🎶

  • I've come across the Portuguese knitting technique by chance, and I LOVE it. It's fantastic for maintain a good tension, it makes alternating between knit and purl stitches (ribbing, seed stitch..) a breeze.
    If you are concerned that using the pin to hold the yarn might cause a hole in your garment, try a binder clip or make a soft tube with fabric (closed with snap fasteners so that you can insert and remove the yarn easily) to carry the yarn in the back of your neck.
    Thank you for the great instructional video!

  • It is so awesome that you've put these videos out Staci. I've been doing Portuguese Knitting off and on for about a year now and it's gradually become my primary method of knitting.

    I definitely have the issue of having too much tension and pulling the work closer and closer. I've found that I can sometimes just leave the yarn inside my project bag, cinch the project bag at the top and that seems to provide good, steady tension that is not quite as tight and so less prone to the push-me-pull-you problem. This is based on using a center pull ball.

  • I'm a Continental knitter and find this method very hard. The knit stitch certainly takes much more motion than picking my yarn for the knit stitch. Most people I've talked to who have use it started out English style. So, Continental knitters, did you find this method difficult at first?

  • This looks great! I have a question, how do you knit through the back loop? I'm making a scarf following k1 k1 ktbl p1. How should I do that back loop stitch?

  • hi Staci hope you're well please can you send me the link to your tutorial for the bror fairisle hat as I can't find it. I already downloaded the pattern.

    many thanks

  • That is so cool! It looks a bit rough on the carpal tunnels for those of us who already have the syndrome. I love the way you explain things. I learn something from every one of your videos that I watch. That yarn over the neck absolutely floats my boat.

  • Thank you for helpful teaching. Whole Anatolia knit that way. Colorful socks with 5 dp needles are knitted that way.

  • this is awesome. I'm so glad I looked u up. I will be trying the way the yarn is wrapped for my own knitting. I can't ever get comfortable w using the yarn from the right hand as I am a crocheter normally and am just getting into knitting

  • Oh my god! You're a life saver. I learned how to knit like this from my Grandma back in Romania when I was a kid. Trying to get back into knitting has been such a pain because all the tutorials use other techniques . I tried following some of the other ones but they feel so awkward but I felt like I HAD to learn in that way. I would have given up had I not purchased so much yarn already! So glad to learn i wasn't doing it "wrong" 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this video! I learnt how to knit from my grandma back in Greece right before I moved to Sweden. However, I only learn the purl stitch before I left. Once in Sweden I tried to come up with a way to do the knit stitch with the help of a friend who is a continental knitter. We came up with a weird way to do it that though it works, is no where near as easy as this!! I didn't even know my way of knitting had a name 😛

  • Try it with wrapping the yarn around the finger of your left hand. I do it this way and I personally think it is even easier (and again it may be just because I have always done it this way 🙂 )

  • This is the way I learned to knit from my grandma, but she learned it from a family member from Italy. I'm just wondering what you mean by doing the garter stitch by purling every row? The only way I know to do the garter stitch is to knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side.

  • So in a circular pattern that has a long stretch of stockinette, is there a way to flip my knitting so that I can use Portuguese purling for that stretch, but then flip back to do the 3 needle bind-off per original instructions.

  • I am portuguese, i didn't understood why everybody was saying that knit stitching was easier to do ???? All my life i saw the women of my family knitting like that!!! 👍

  • Please help! I knit the Portuguese style and am having trouble converting instructions for the "wrap and twist" stitch from "regular knitting." Also, to make the edge look like a crochet chain, they tell you to slip as to knit the first stitch, I get a bulky loop when I do this. I just can't figure out how to "translate" it into PK. thank you!!

  • Thank you for going slow enough for me to understand. I'll have to try this out as my carpal tunnel acts up sometimes. The purl seems simple enough but I'll have to watch the knit stitch a few more times before I try it.

  • This looks so much easier on my hands…I am a crocheter that just can't knit without major hand cramping, english or continental…

  • This finally makes sense. I have tried to follow other videos, but this is the best one demonstrating this technique, IMO.

  • That's the way girls here in Brazil learn how to knit. And yes, purling is a lot easier this style. I always wear 2 pins, one at the right and the other at my left instead of passing the yarn around the neck wich sometimes can be annoying.

  • I've just tried this for the first time. I grew up an English knitter, taught myself continental and am now embracing Portuguese. I do love learning all the different styles of knitting but don't know if I will ever be a successful flicker. Lol. Thank you for all these wonderful videos. In the last few weeks I have learnt so many alternative stitches….and have passed on your site to many knitting friends.

  • Interesting video ! Thank you ! Always neat to see how others knit.
    I would just like to point out that the Portuguese knitting method is not necessarily best for people with arthritis. I have rheumatoid arthritis and there were years I could not knit at all .. but with time and powerful meds my RA is fairly well controlled and I am able to enjoy knitting even though my right wrist never responded well to meds. I learned to knit the Continental method when I was a very young girl and have used that method all my life.. and knit quite comfortably even with my right wrist . The Portuguese method involves twisting the wrist to enter the knit stitch from the left and that movement shoots a sharp pain into my wrist.

  • Thanks to this technique I finally finished a project that had been a wip for over a year due to moss stitch being tedious because my tension is quite erratic. This technique totally solved it and sped it up tenfold. When switching between knit and purl I can still keep everything even and tidy. Thankyou!

  • Can you please demonstrate the casting on and knit and purl stitches done with circular needles. I tried and my yarn just keeps getting tangled up around my cord. Thanks

  • Thank you for this video. I like to learn interesting styles of knitting and crocheting. As well as the history that goes along with them.

  • Can you show the Portuguese bind off , I watched it from someone else's video but I like the way you teach it!

  • Oh my goodness! Why have I not learned this before???!!! It's so easy. Thank you Stacy for showing us this way of knitting.

  • I am normally a continental knitter, and I cannot seem to get the tension right with Portuguese knitting – it gets so super tight, and if I give the yarn a bit more slack it becomes really loose. Do you have any tips on how to get good tension? Is it just more practice?

  • Wow! Thanks so much for this great video. I'm actually doing it after struggling with trying to learn traditional knitting. Being a crocheter for many years, I just couldn't get the flow of it. This method is fantastic and not as difficult. Also, I appreciate Staci showing her hand movements which are easier to follow than Angela Wong's.

  • Right handed here. My ligaments are horribly swollen from doing an afghan. Told about this method I am going to give it a shot so I can finish the project.

  • I love love love ALL of your videos. I taught myself to knit by watching videos. I have to say you are the best. I learn so much from your videos. I just watched this video three times and am trying it on my grandchild's blanket. It is going slow but I'm sure I'll get better. It's definitely better than the other way! Thank you.

  • Thank you for posting this! I am loving it! Working a scarf with mixed stockinette and garter, and it's flying off the needles with way less effort!

  • I am new to this Portuguese knitting and have to ask…I have a pattern I want to make, but do I follow the same directions? I know that when purling each row in Portuguese knitting you get a garter stitch..

  • HI Staci, I love the Portuguese purling method, but I am having difficulty with the knitting method. I've watched several videos and I am having trouble seeing how to push the yarn through and I'm not sure how to position my working yarn. So, I'm knitting flat using circular needles. I'm holding the left needle in my left hand and the yarn is looped around my neck from L to R. The yarn leading to the ball is draped over my right middle finger. To start, I have the working yarn positioned between the needles and pulled to the front. Then I insert the R needle as if to knit, but I reposition it so that it is in front of the Left needle. Then I wrap the yarn around the R needle as I would if I were throwing the yarn. Next, I push the yarn down through the loop, pull it forward, and lift it off the needle. I know did something wrong because the R needle now contains a yarnover beneath the knitted stitch. Where did I go wrong?

  • I am an American. I am 75 years old and have always told myself that I would learn to knit. I taught myself to crochet in my teens. I have put it off until a week ago…and I am working on doing it now. I prefer the Purl Stitch myself. It is easier to control things for me. I am going to watch your video now and I am almost certain that I will be purling every row in my future. 🙂

  • I learned to knit when I was about 8 years old, from a grand aunt that came to stay a few weeks with us, I believe she thought me only the purl stitch at that time and she would pass the yarn over her neck. After that years have passed when I got to knit again. And now I picked up the habit again (40 years later…). So purling was OK since I do it (as I just found out it was a style) Portuguese way, but knit was kind of tricky so watching many tutorials (mostly continental and English styles) I kind of adapted myself to passing the yarn over my neck as usual but then instead of leaving the yarn in the front I hold it with my left hand in the back of the work and knit as usual. Works like magic and it's really fast, almost as fast as purling. By the way I'm originally from Brazil which explains my aunt showing me the Portuguese style.

  • Thank you for bringing this style to us…. I'm Portuguese and never knew about this…. can't wait to get started….again thank you so much!

  • Your teaching style is so natural and articulate. Such a wonderful format and you have THE best close up camera person. I have been knitting and crocheting since I was about 9 or 10 but have learned so much from your videos. Thank you for being here. Stay awesome : )

  • So glad you did these videos. I'm a long-time crocheter, and just couldn't wrap my wrists around standard or continental style knitting, but I have managed to cast-on "neatly" in this method. Now trying to learn the purling and knitting, so I can do the dishcloth. I've ripped it out so many times, as it just doesn't look right, but at least I have a little hope this time. lol

  • Yeepers, I'm still plugging away. First, I discovered that to "bind off" means that you purl two together, slip that stitch back on the left needle and purl it with the next stitch … and so on. So it is a lot easier than what I was trying to do at the end of the dishcloth. 😉 Thanks again, Stacy, for helping me learn something I've always wanted to do for years and years. 🙂

  • Am going to try this. I naturally knit using English technique with tight tension do have to always use one needle size up. Hoping this helps with tension.

  • As a seasoned crocheter knitting always was frustrating and never worked out. I tried English and continental, watched so many tutorials, my aunts helping me and I always ended up angry and disappointed, throwing my knitting needles in a corner and a bowl of yarn in knots. I have now, for the first time in my life, knit 3 rows without dropping one stitch. You can not believe how happy I am to have found this tutorial. Thank you so so very very much!

  • I couldn't do it with the "yarn ring" on my middle finger, but it seems to tension my yarn ok without any special hold. When I tried the "yarn ring," the yarn seemed to be in the wrong position to do the stitches easily with my thumb. Anyway, I got the hang of it by doing my own thing. Video was a huge help!

  • Please can anyone tell. me where to buy a pin for this way of knitting?
    I knitt like this for years but overhere in the Netherlands I could not find the pin.
    Even on hollidays I’m surching, but until now I haven’t found one

  • Please can you also make a video how to increase and decrease stitches or/ and a video for knitting with 2 yarns at the same time; I’d like to see how to change the yarn by knitting Swedish patterns
    Thank you for this video

  • I’m. Very very new to knitting. I was struggling with purling. My tension was way off and I struggled with knowing where to put the yarn. This video has made my life so much easier. Thank you!

  • Wow thank you for this…I just happened to come across your video. I had no idea there was such a thing as Portuguese knitting. My mother in law is Portuguese and this is how she taught me. I just thought it was 'her way'. I can't wait to tell her about this.

  • I will give this a try. I am normally an English style knitter but having pain in my right thumb which Dr says is arthritis , not carpal tunnel. The Continental style has given me relief, but this looks even better. Anyone know where to get the tension pin???

  • Excellent video presentation, very clear and well paced. I was looking for a way to knit that wouldn’t aggravate my arthritis when I came across your video on Portuguese knitting. So far so good, except that the first stitch on each row is always very loose. Any suggestions that might help me with this issue?

  • I was finding this so so frustrating and failing to learn from any videos. Then I found yours, and it was still frustrating ha. Then something clicked, I could do it, amazing. I understood from the beginning from your video but my hands didn’t want to play ball. Now this is the fastest way I have found I can knit. Thanks very much, very nicely done videos.

  • Thanks so much for this and all your videos. They are the best out there. Wondering if you would consider doing a slow motion video for Portuguese knitting as I am struggling. It's me not you. Thanks again.

  • I love the purl for this technique but still having trouble with the knit portion. Could this be put on your list for slow motion techniques?

  • Just a tip – instead of wrapping around your neck (and finding that your knitting keeps getting closer), use a portuguese yarn pin, thread the yarn through it – tension with your right middle finger (as you showed) and keep your yarn on a freely turning spindle. You'll find that your tension stays even, your knitting doesn't keep getting closer, and you don't have to adjust so often 🙂 Love Portuguese style!

  • awesome demonstration!! Thanks for going slow so we could visually get a clear idea of this technique and thanks for going full speed to demonstrate the fact you can knit quickly with this method!!

  • My mother taught me this style (we're Portuguese) and I never knew it was actually called "Portuguese style" knitting. I couldn't for the life of me remember how to do the "knit" part, so thank you for reminding me! Can't wait to tell my Mom about this!

  • OMG, this is incredibly easy. I learned how to knit Continental then Russian & I thought Russian was easy but this Portuguese knitting is wonderful. I just love it & can hardly wait till Monday to show my friends at my Stitch Group how I do it. Thank you so much for teaching this wonderful way of knitting.

  • I'm gunna give this a try, I have a lot of shoulder discomfort. And this style looks like it would work well for me. Thank you so much.

  • Love your teaching technique. One question: are you using bamboo needles just because you don’t want the click click click of metal on your video? Your stitches don’t seem to slide very well on these needles. I’ve never used wooden needles so any info is interesting. Thanks So Much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *