Fast, Ultra-Efficient Portuguese-Style Knitting Just Might Change the Way You Stitch

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So many amazing things to knit! So little time!

What if we told you there was a way to knit a lot faster and more efficiently that is actually less tiring for your hands? You might say that sounds too good to be true. But it's legit.

While most of us are familiar with the Continental and English styles of knitting, there's another way to get stitches on a needle. It's called the Portuguese style ( Check it out in action! )

The Portuguese style changes the way you hold the yarn, insert your needle for the knit stitch and move the working yarn for both knit and purl stitches.

Portuguese knitting uses small movements, so it puts less strain on your fingers and wrists than other knitting styles. Portuguese-style knitters are also famous for preferring the purl stitch over the knit stitch. You'll see why in a minute!

Holding the Yarn

With this knitting style, the yarn doesn't go straight from the ball or skein to the project. Instead, you wrap your yarn one of two ways:

1. Wrap the yarn behind your neck around your left shoulder. The working yarn and your project should be on your left; the ball of yarn should be on your right.

2. If you don't like the feel of yarn sliding against your neck, try using a pin instead. Simply place the pin on the left side of your shirt, then thread the yarn through so the ball of yarn is on your right side and your work is on the left.

Portuguese-Style Knit Stitch

This stitch is pretty different from Continental- or English-style because you'll change the way the needle is inserted into the stitch, as well as the way you make the loop around that needle. Let's take a closer look.

1. Insert the Needle

Insert the right needle into the stitch, staying in the front of the work. Do not insert it front to back like you would with a Continental- or English-style knit stitch.

The needle should look like it's running perpendicular to the left needle, going straight up and down.

The working yarn is still coming from the back, so keep that in mind.

2. Wrap the Yarn

Wrap the working yarn around the needle with a simple flick of the thumb. The idea is to move the yarn with as little movement as possible until it's between the two needles.

3. Form the Knit Stitch

Pivot the right needle just a bit so that the loop goes through the stitch on the left needle and forms the knit stitch.

4. Drop the Stitch From the Left

Before you drop the needle, pay attention to how you formed the stitch. A stitch that's too loose or too tight will mess up the gauge, so take the time to really form your stitch here.

Drop the stitch from the left needle. That's a knit!

Portuguese-Style Purl Stitch

Many Continental and English knitters aren't big fans of the purl stitch. Portuguese knitters, on the other hand, typically prefer it. That's because the way the stitch is made only requires a little flick of the thumb, and it can actually move quite fast.

1. Insert the Needle

Insert the needle into the front of the stitch, just as you would for the purl stitch in other styles.

2. Wrap the Yarn

Use your left thumb to flick the yarn around the needle.

3. Form the Purl Stitch

Push the right needle through to create the stitch.

4. Drop the Stitch From the Left

Just as you did with the knit stitch, take time to form your stitch before you drop the stitch from the left needle and move on. We don't want stitches that are too loose or too tight.

Drop the stitch from the left needle. That's a purl!

Put it all together and you'll be flying through all those projects on your knitting to-do list!

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