Thursday, July 2, 2015

Portuguese Knitting

The June challenge for a Ravelry group I'm in was to learn a new skill. There aren't that many out there for me to try anymore (knitting ADD for the win?) so I decided to go with Portuguese knitting. I got sick and then poison ivy the last two weeks of June, so didn't get to it until July, but I still learned a new skill! The Denver level prize for the Loopy rewards club this year was a perfect fit, 35 yards of worsted weight yarn in a simple tube with alternating knit and ribbed rows.

Pattern: Loopy's Phone Case (mine)
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Rouge Red (I think - no label)
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Timeframe: July 1 - 2, 2015
Mods: Judy's Magic Cast-On instead of seaming, worked until the yarn was gone.
Problems: None!

Some say Portuguese knitting is easier, but I use my thumbs to anchor and control my needles, so it took more effort for me and my tension was a bit loose. You run the yarn up to something that looks like a bent paperclip on your shirt (I used the Denver pin) and your thumb wraps the yarn around the needles. You tension the strand coming from the ball to the pin and knit with the strand going from the pin to the needles. I found I was not tensioning the yarn well - I usually use the same finger I knit with to also tension the yarn. Instead of allowing yarn to flow from the ball to the piece, I would find my hands creeping up toward the pin as I knit up the slack - not exactly what we're going for here!

I tend to knit fairly fast, using my right pointer finger to flick the yarn around the needles in much the same way Portuguese knitting uses the left thumb, so I don't think I'd gain much speed by switching my style. Interesting technique, glad I tried it out, but I probably won't be using it in the future!

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