The celebration of the 100th episode season continues! This week on Tuned In To Knitting Daily TV's blog, we encourage you to try something new: Portuguese knitting! Guest Andrea Wong shares with you the fundamentals and history of this technique. Plus, Andrea offers one lucky reader the materials to get started! (See below for your chance to win!) Here's Andrea:
Watch Andrea's segment on Getting Started with Portuguese knitting, from Knitting Daily TV episode 307:
Watch Andrea's segment on two-color Portuguese knitting from episode 811:
Portuguese Style of Knitting, Andrea Wong:
Since there are significant variations in techniques and between countries, a geographic denomination is not an ideal way to name a knitting style, but I decided to do so because my mother and I learned this way of knitting from a native Portuguese lady.
Knitting with the yarn around the neck or around a hooked pin is the predominant style of knitting in Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Egypt among other countries.
All references I read indicate that knitting started somewhere in the Middle East and then spread into Europe and finally arrived in the Americas only five hundred years ago with Portuguese and Spanish colonization. This ancient style of knitting arrived in Portugal and it was done with hooked needles made of copper wire. These hooked needles are still used in the countries I mentioned above. Mary Thomas reported the discovery of five hooked needles and a sock in a twelve-century Turkish tomb (1390). They are similar to the ones French people used around 1930s made of umbrella ribs. Peruvians also knit this way and use bicycle spokes to obtain the same tool: knitting needles with hooks at one end. The other end looks like a regular needle.
A peculiar aspect of the Portuguese Style of Knitting though is the use of a knitting pin on their shoulder (alfinete ou gancho). The knitters thread the yarn around the pin instead of around the neck to keep yarn from rubbing directly against the skin and to maintain even tension. In the late 19th century these pins were made of bones or wood.
But what is different about the Portuguese Knitting? Because you tension the yarn around your neck (or knitting pin) this styles requires less maneuvering of your hands (very ergonomic) and make your tension even from beginning. The purl stitch is easier than the knit stitch and that's why the Peruvian uses the purl exclusively, working garments circularly and inside out. As you will see in the program 811 on the Knitting Daily series, knitting with multiple colors is also easier!
There is much more to tell you!
Enter to win Andrea's Portuguese Knitting book and a knitting pin!
One lucky reader of this blog could win Andrea's Portuguese Style of Knitting book and a knitting pin to get started. Simply by comment on this post before noon Central time on Monday, March 26th, and you're automatically entered to win. We'll randomly choose one winner from all the comments and contact you to receive your prizes!
Ask Andrea a question about the technique, the history behind it, or share your experience with Portuguese Knitting. Have you tried this technique? Found it easier? Anxious to try? Andrea would love to hear from you, and here's your chance to have your questions answered.
Read more about our 100th episode celebration and giveaways, online at KnittingDailyTV.com.
For more from Andrea, visit her website Andrea Wong Knits at AndreaWongKnits.com. Along with her book, she also has DVDs demonstrating Portuguese knitting for those of you that learn visually.
And see Andrea on Knitting Daily TV Series 800, now airing on Public Television. Get the entire Series 800 of Knitting Daily TV on a 4-Disc DVD Collection! Click here to purchase DVDs and individual episodes of this season or previous seasons of Knitting Daily TV.
ABOUT THE SHOW: Knitting Daily TV is an exciting needle crafts how-to program on public television covering everything from knitting and crochet to stitching, felting, and spinning. The show guides viewers in learning to make fun yet smart one-of-a-kind designs using the latest products in yarn and fiber. Download free patterns, meet trendsetting knit and crochet designers, and improve or learn new skills and techniques.
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