I know most of you (myself included) knit either Continental or English, but most of us have heard tell of other kinds of knitting (if you can't tell, I'm using my pirate voice, ARRRRRrrr). Irish Cottage knitting, Peruvian knitting (which seems very similar to Irish Cottage), Gallifrian knitting (I made that one up, but maybe it exists), and Portuguese knitting.
I was knitting baby booties for a friend's baby shower and wanted to give her a couple pair of booties using different patterns to see what really fit babies best. While searching for patterns, I came across Andrea Wong's Baby Booties to Knit in the Portuguese Style. One of the parents', being of Portuguese decent, I thought they might get a kick out that pattern. As it turned out, the pattern itself was not Portuguese, but was written as a project to introduce the style of Portuguese knitting. Well why not?
As it happens, there is a great YouTube video from Knitting Daily with Andrea Wong demonstrating the stitches used, which was a great resource. I sat down with a scrap ball of worsted and worked on a swatch to get me used to the idea. It took me about two hours to really start feeling comfortable and get a good rhythm for it, but I didn't feel fatigued. Portuguese knitting uses a flick of the thumb to move the yarn and so is a good option for those with hand pain or arthritis.
Things I liked: It really was easy on my hands. I knit for hours with no muscle soreness in my hands as I would expect of a new style. It was easy to get into the rhythm fairly quickly, even as a beginner. You feel like you have better control over the needles. When my daughter brought me yarn the next time, I cast on for her and showed her how to knit using the Portuguese style and she knit more on that project than she has ever knit on anything. She didn't fumble as much with the needles.
Things I didn't like: Because the yarn was either around my neck or looped through a safety pin, I felt like I was trapped. As a mom of three kids, I need to be able to throw my yarn and leap off the couch at a moment's notice. Also, when I have anything on my neck, I tend to slouch my neck forward which causes tension and soreness.
Will I continue with Portuguese knitting? I haven't. Not because I don't think it is a good style of knitting, but just because I don't feel it is a style I can quickly pick up and put down. Currently my life consists of a few rounds here and there as I wait for school buses, sit in the pick up line at school or while giving spelling practice tests. Though as I get older and I have more time to do some deep couch sitting, I feel like I might switch. Arthritis runs in my family and I am keeping this in mind just in case.
Here is a video I did to show you some Portuguese knitting. Keep in mind that I am NOT an expert. I did this as an addendum to the Knitting Daily video as a continental knitter giving tips to others new to the style.