A lot of knitters are affected by arthritis pain. It limits the time they can knit. The Portuguese purl stitch is an easier way to purl, with less finger movement and easier tension. Learn this before the Portuguese knit stitch, as it is the easier of the two.
Video: Portuguese Purl Stitch
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To tension your yarn for Portuguese knitting, hold the needle with the stitches to be knit in your left hand.
From the needle, wrap the working yarn around the back of your neck, or a knitting pin pinned to your shirt, from left to right. Weave the yarn lightly through the fingers of your right hand. From your right hand the yarn will go to the ball of yarn.
Tension can be controlled by pushing your hands away from you or bringing them closer, as well as feeding more yarn from the ball through the fingers of your right hand and readjusting the distance from your hands to your neck/knitting pin.
To do the Portuguese purl stitch, place the right-hand needle tip at the first stitch. The yarn should come from the left needle, under the right needle, and around the left side of your neck/knitting pin.
- Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from back to front as if to purl.
- With your left thumb, push the yarn away from you over the top of the right needle-tip.
- Rotate the right needle-tip to the right to catch the yarn.
- Push your hands away from you to maintain the yarn under slight tension.
- Push the right needle-tip and loop of yarn through the stitch on the left needle.
- Remove the stitch from the left-hand needle, stitch slides to right-hand needle.
- The yarn is now coming from the right-hand needle, underneath the needle.
- Repeat steps 1-7.
Learn and practice the Portuguese purl stitch before you learn the knit stitch. In Portuguese knitting, the purl stitch is the basic stitch. If you were to do a Garter-stitch scarf Portuguese-style, you'd purl every row. For a sweater, you'd purl every round and then turn "right side" out.
You can use the Portuguese purl stitch in conjunction with a "regular" knit stitch at any time. You don't have to do Stockinette Stitch all Portuguese-style.
Once you learn the Portuguese purl stitch and enjoy the easy tension and hand pain relief, learn the Portuguese knit stitch.