Knit for a Life­time With Por­tuguese Knit­ting

For knit­ters, tak­ing care of our hands and wrists is es­sen­tial. Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted at the Mayo Clinic, 8% of women will have wrist is­sues in their life­time. I’m part of that 8% and was un­able to knit for three years. Dur­ing re­cov­ery from reco

Creative Knitting - - CONTENTS - By Rachel Frank

Por­tuguese knit­ting is one of the old­est styles of knit­ting; it orig­i­nated in the Mid­dle East and spread to Greece, Egypt, Por­tu­gal, Peru and Brazil. This tech­nique in­volves wrap­ping the work­ing yarn around a pin or the neck and us­ing the thumbs to com­plete stitches. It min­i­mizes hand move­ments and re­duces stress on the fin­gers and wrist joints, mak­ing it ideal for knit­ters with arthri­tis or wrist in­juries. Tip: While us­ing a pin isn’t nec­es­sary, it makes main­tain­ing ten­sion eas­ier as the yarn glides over the pin. In a pinch, a coi­less safety pin can be used.

Place the pin high on the left shoul­der. Pick up the work­ing yarn, wrap it from left to right around the pin (or around your neck), and run the yarn un­der a fin­ger on the right hand which will feed the yarn from the ball.

Cre­ate firm ten­sion by ad­just­ing the fin­gers that are wrapped by the yarn. Al­ways keep the yarn ball on the right side of your body. The yarn and stitches al­ways stay to the front of the work. Be­fore the knit stitch is worked, the work­ing yarn should be rest­ing on top of the right nee­dle.

Step 1: In­sert the right nee­dle from left to right into the front loop of the stitch on the left nee­dle.

Step 2: Use your left thumb to wrap the yarn coun­ter­clock­wise over the tip of the right nee­dle.

Step 3: Move the right nee­dle from right to left, scoop it down and pull the stitch off the nee­dle.

The Purl Stitch

Por­tuguese knit­ters pre­fer work­ing the purl stitch to the knit stitch; in fact, when they work garter stitch, they purl ev­ery row.

Step 1: Po­si­tion the work­ing yarn so it’s sit­ting un­der the right nee­dle. In­sert the right nee­dle into the stitch from right to left as if to purl.

Step 2: Use your left thumb to wrap the yarn coun­ter­clock­wise around the tip of the right nee­dle.

Step 3: Move the right nee­dle from left to right, scoop it down and pull the stitch off the nee­dle.

Por­tuguese Cast-On

The cast-on takes ad­van­tage of the purl stitch and is sim­i­lar to a long-tail cas­ton. This method cre­ates purl bumps on the cast-on side. When the work is turned to start the first row, the knit side is fac­ing the front of the work.

Step 1: Hold a nee­dle in your right hand and leave a tail that’s long enough to cast on the re­quired num­ber of stitches.

Step 2: Hold the tail against the palm of your left hand. Make a loop around the in­dex fin­ger of your left hand go­ing un­der the work­ing yarn from back to front. Use your fin­ger like the left nee­dle. Step 3: In­sert the right nee­dle into the loop as if to purl.

Step 4: Wrap the yarn coun­ter­clock­wise around the tip of the right nee­dle.

Step 5: Move the right nee­dle from left to right, scoop­ing it down, then pull the stitch off your left in­dex fin­ger. Re­peat steps 2–5 un­til the de­sired num­ber of stitches have been cast on.

Por­tuguese Bind-Off

This bind-off takes ad­van­tage of the purl stitch; it’s elas­tic and makes pick­ing up stitches a breeze.

Step 1: In­sert the right nee­dle into the first two stitches on the left nee­dle as if to p2­tog.

Step 2: Wrap the yarn coun­ter­clock­wise around the right nee­dle.

Step 3: Move the right nee­dle from left to right, scoop it down and pull the stitch off the nee­dle.

Step 4: Place the stitch back onto the left nee­dle.

Re­peat steps 1–4 to bind off all stitches.

Step 3

Step 2

Step 1

Step 3

Step 2

Step 1

Step 3

Step 3

Step 1

Step 5

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