I am a beginner knitter and a new member of the group. I started knitting about 3 months ago. And I started out with the English or American style of “throwing”. Then, because I wanted to be able to do stranded knitting I tackled Continental. It wasn’t fun but I got it. Even the Norweigian purl! Then about 6 weeks ago Stan Stansbury showed up at Monday Night Knit in San Francisco and started knitting two utterly and entirely awesome red, white and green Christmas stockings in the Portuguese style with the yarn around his neck.
That night I went home and typed in “Portuguese knitting” on YouTube. That’s how I learned. It was that easy. And then Stan told me to type in “knitting around the neck”. It’s all about stranded knitting in the Portuguese style.
One of the things that makes this method (also known as Turkish and Arabic) so easy is that you don’t handle the yarn at all. The only yarn manipulation required is a flick of the thumb for either knit or purl. The knitter handles the needles and the work but not the yarn. I wear the yarn under my collar like a tie. The drag of the collar on the yarn enclosed within it provides the perfect, easy pull with the result that the yarn is both self-feeding and self-tensioning. This allows the knitter to focus more on the actual act of stitchery and on how the work is coming out. With this method yarn becomes something you no longer really have to fuss with. If you’re a beginner with big dreams and really want to get going quick, not having to fuss with the yarn anymore is kind of huge. For me this method has been pure knitting magic. I strongly recommend it to any beginner who is having trouble with Continental, check it out. For me it’s been far easier than either English or Continental and with stranded knitting there’s no contest at all.
I’d be real interested to know if there are any lads in the group who are living in either Portugal or Brazil or Turkey or any Arabic country and have seen native knitters knitting. (I’ve heard they knit this way in the Andes too.) I also wonder if there might be more men knitters in some of those places too.
Stitch on, Tom
PS Can’t help but feel that “native knitters knitting” should be one of the 12 days of Christmas.