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Learn the Portuguese Style of Knitting & Get a Free Pattern for Baby Booties!

Aug 6, 2009

Have you heard of knitting with a knitting pin or with your yarn around your neck? You'll have to see it to believe it, and lucky for us we have a video of today's guest blogger, Andrea Wong, who is on a mission to share with North American knitters the Portuguese style of knitting.  

I believe life is about love. And one thing I love to do is to knit! I have been knitting since I was seven years old and teaching the Portuguese style of knitting for the last six years. This is one of the oldest styles of knitting, but still very new to knitters in North America.   The major difference is that you “wear your yarn”—either the yarn is tensioned around the neck or you wear it around a knitting pin placed on your left shoulder. 

People always ask me what the advantages are of this style compared to the American and German styles. In my opinion, with Portuguese knitting:

1)  Purling is easier than knitting—and I know a lot of knitters who avoid purling! In fact, in Portuguese knitting, the purl stitch is so easy to perform that many people who knit in the Portuguese style make the purl stitch the dominant stitch, enabling them to work hats and garments inside out.

2)  It requires very little maneuvering of your hands. You do not have to keep your index finger straight up and tire out your left arm as in the Continental style. Likewise, you do not have to move your right arm and right shoulder with every stitch like in the English style.

3)  Even for beginners, tension tends to be even because you wrap the yarn around the needle consistently.

4)  Vision-impaired knitters rejoice that they know exactly where the yarn is at all times during their knitting.

(Click here to watch the video on if you can't see it within this blog post.)

I hope you enjoy this video clip of me knitting in the Portuguese style from Knitting Daily TV Series 300. I demonstrate this stitch with a very easy beginner’s project—these adorable baby booties that I originally designed for PieceWork magazine, now available for free download on Knitting Daily.

My DVD has the same title, The Portuguese Style of Knitting, and it covers the knit stitch, the purl stitch, ribbing, increases, decreases, knitting with beads, and knitting with two colors—plus many basic knitting techniques.

Although I have been teaching all over the country and abroad, this was my first time teaching on TV. It seemed so intimidating at first but it was a very good experience! The hosts are great and made me feel very comfortable and welcome. Behind the scenes, I met the most interesting and inspiring knitters. I hope you are inspired to learn more at

Yours in knitting,
Andrea Wong

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SmileS wrote
on Jan 20, 2010 6:20 PM

I saw this particular show last Sunday (for the 2nd time) - & I'm very intrigued about learning it.  However, I do not have a dvd player (and even my cd writer/dvd player on my computer don't work :( - so I'd have to find a book on it..  Anyone know where I can get a book on this??

klynn wrote
on Sep 26, 2009 12:26 PM

i find this very intriqing and cannot wait to try it. thanks you KAren

LesleyI wrote
on Aug 12, 2009 10:50 AM

I watched Andrea's video on the Portuguese style of knitting and decided to give it a try.   Well, I can't work fast but I love it and have been practising a little at a time for the last 2 days. and already my tension is improving.  I have done stocking stitch and Irish Moss stitch and now plan to try out the baby booties.  Thanks to Andrea and Knitting Daily.

Aquila wrote
on Aug 11, 2009 7:28 PM

Hi:  Is she using any particular type of pin?

TammyE wrote
on Aug 10, 2009 4:59 AM

While I don't do the Portugese style of knitting, I can vouch for Andrea's skill as a teacher.  She used to be a teacher at my local LYS and is a genuinely warm and wonderful person.

KlausW wrote
on Aug 9, 2009 10:26 AM

Wow, a great way to do all the purling back-rows for a shawl. Thank you for sharing this on video.

MarilynJ@12 wrote
on Aug 8, 2009 8:20 PM

Is this the same thing as "thumb knitting?" I have heard about thumb knitting and have wanted to learn it.