Knitting Health: Portuguese Knitting Helps Arthritis

Have you ever considered some of the alternative options to standard knitting? Portuguese knitting has proven to be one of my favorites. The style truly helps me continue where other styles have been more difficult to use.

An elderly woman knitting using the Portuguese knitting technique with a text overlay which says "learnknittingonline.com, Knitting Health: Portuguese Knitting Helps Arthritis, This knitting technique that dates back to 700 AD requires very little movement overall." followed by the LKO lettermark

There you are, knitting day after day and week after week, enjoying the soothing and near-meditating effect the craft has on you. Then, all of a sudden you start to feel the onset of a burning sensation in your joints.

The sensation might tend to come and go within the first few months. But as time progresses, the burning intensifies and it seems that the dreaded curse of arthritis might have paid you a visit.

Arthritis might affect a lot of things in your life. But your knitting may not have to be one of them. Portuguese knitting is proving to be a mighty popular alternative, a style that’s simple to use, even with your arthritis.

What is Portuguese Knitting?

The style of Portuguese knitting goes by several other names, including Andean knitting, Peruvian knitting, and Bosnian knitting.

Although differing names, the principle of the style is the same. The difference between Portuguese knitting and Continental styles being the tension of the yarn.

This original style of knitting traces all the way back to 700 AD. Portuguese knitting spread to many countries after the expansion of the Umayyad Empire. But this isn’t a history lesson. It is instead a way to help ease the effects of arthritis when you’re trying to engage with your much-loved craft.

What makes this style of knitting so efficient, is that it requires very little movement overall. Instead, it relies on a slight thumb flick with each stitch that’s processed. The yarn feeding your knitting comes from the front of the knitted item, instead of the back like other styles.

It is the lesser finger movements that proves to increase the efficiency of this knitting, translating into a much quicker stitch. Tension the yarn around the neck or through what’s called a knitting pin, attached to your clothes.

Why You Should Try Portuguese Knitting

There are several reasons you should give this fantastic style a try today. It’s so fun to use once you’ve managed to master it, although it may take a little to get used to.

Here are the Reasons Why

Reason #1: It’s Quick

As I stated before, there is very little movement when using Portuguese knitting. The longest action you’ll use when trying it is the quick thumb flick to re-feed the needle. It doesn’t take much effort and once you have the hang of it, will see you motor through hours of knitting. Just think of all the wonderful garments you’ll be able to churn out at this rate.

Reason #2: It Helps with Arthritis

The dreaded “A” word is one that most knitters fear. It’s not something that anyone looks forward to, but when you rely on your fingers as much as knitters do, the effects of arthritis often spell the end for some.

And it’s not only arthritis sufferers that benefit from Portuguese knitting. Anyone suffering the effects of carpal tunnel will also find this style to be particularly appealing. The style doesn’t require a lot of strength or movement and is super easy to pick up.

Reason #3: Colorwork is a Breeze

Do you ever find that you are put off knitting with more than a couple of colors because they tend to tangle a lot? The tangling might just be a thing of the past once you discover how easy they are to work using the Portuguese knitting style.

Loop each color through its own knitting pin, giving you the freedom and control to create colorful masterpieces you never knew you were capable of. No longer will you shy away from pieces that use 3, 4, or even 5 different colors, now as easy to use as a single one.

Something to Be Aware of With Portuguese Knitting

This style of knitting provides a lot of benefits.  There are also a couple of things worth knowing before you plunge headfirst into it. Firstly, if it is a style you’ve never tried before, it might take you a little bit of time to get used to it.

The best suggestion I can give you here is to stick with it. Feeling the yarn around your neck the first couple of times might feel a bit awkward. Having the yarn attached to you through the pin might also be a strange sensation. The yarn is coming at your work from a different angle and thus will feel off.

If you feel you are ready to jump in and try, why not check out this Portuguese Knitting book by Rosa Pomar? It contains not only some lovely projects that you can do, but also some very handy step-by-step illustrated instructions.

There are also some great knitting pins here to try out. It really is a fantastic style to try and well worth you checking out.

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