Portuguese Knitting Teacher Andrea Wong

Portuguese Knitting Teacher Andrea Wong made time out of her busy schedule to visit the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird. Her first visit to the show makes our HAPPY FRIDAY!Andrea Wong profile pic

Born and raised in Brazil, Andrea learned to crochet from her mother at age 7. Later a neighbor taught both of them to knit, and the neighbor had been taught to knit from someone from Portugal. In Portugal, both knitters and crocheters carry their working yarn around their neck, but as they already crocheted they only knit that way. Later when she worked in a yarn shop, it was amazing to see her knit this way. She learned about knitting continental (holding the yarn in the left hand, picking up stitches) and the English (working yarn held in right hand, stitches are thrown on the needle), because in order to teach Portuguese Knitting, she had to learn both. Portuguese Knitting is controlling the tension by keeping yarn around the neck. It’s considered very ergonomic, reducing the strain on the index fingers. It’s not just knitters in Portugal that knit that way, but many cultures knit this way, Peruvian, Greek, Bulgarian, Italian… it’s considered to be the oldest way of holding the working yarn.

Andrea finds that new knitters enjoy purling with Portuguese Knitting, because the yarn is held in front of the work. It also reduces ‘rowing’ which is where there is an inconsistency between knitted rows and purled. When Andrea teaches at local yarn stores, knitting guilds or knitting events, like the upcoming Stitches West, she find about half convert to Portuguese Knitting, for the rest it’s always a good thing to have an understanding of. Andrea Craftsy

Craftsy (Awesome Yarn Thing Podcast Sponsor) has created a class featuring Andrea Wong teaching this method, called Knit Faster with Portuguese Knitting which offers another way of learning than books or in live class. Andrea appreciates the camera angles that were achieved in filming which may not be something a student may get in a class or a book. She believes most people like to see how to do it, as we all have learned to knit or crochet — sitting next to a friend and watching their hands.

The experience of making the class for Andrea has been very different than her earlier methods. She had gone to Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp and Meg approached her to see how she knit, because it was unique. Meg even suggested she make a video and share this. Andrea went home and worked toward self-publishing her videos and books. In the knit shop, the saying was often heard that there is no right way or wrong way, that there is even a WONG way! Andrea took that Andrea Wong vertical logopun and titled her publications ‘The Wong Way’ which received negative response. Andrea went back to Meg and said she did it wrong, Meg’s response was that sometimes the cutesy titles don’t go over very well. Good lesson for us all!

Next up, Andrea is working on a CRUISE to Portugal! Imagine exploring crafts in May 2017 with Andrea. Very Exciting! You can follow Andrea at her website: www.AndreaWongKnits.com, she is also on Facebook, Twitter and patterns listed in Ravelry.

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  1. Lori Biamonte says:

    Sure hoping the prize is the trip to Portugal! I’m seriously interested in learning Portuguese knitting since I am recovering from shoulder surgery and also have carpal tunnel syndrome. I looked into it a little after I broke my arm and tried to knit with one arm which was not my dominant arm. I think it would be easier to do with two arms!

  2. Rose Ruffolo says:

    Hi Ladies, what a wonderful show! I enjoyed it sooo much! How I would loooove to be able to be able to join Andrea on her trip to Portugal…it sounds like it would be AMAZING! It would be great to learn “PORTUGUESE” knitting if only for the ergonomic benefits. It would be a useful skill to add to ones knitting repertoire. Not to mention it looks like fun! Thanks for all your work Andrea in bringing this form of knitting to the public’s attention

  3. Audrey says:

    Thanks, Andrea, for your Craftsy class. Portuguese knitting solved my gauge issues and made knitting faster and even more fun!

  4. Audrey Abbott says:

    I was all set to take a class on Portuguese Knitting with Andrea at River Wools in Terre Haute, IN but was unable to go. 🙁 Now I can just go to Craftsy and add another class to my queue. Thanks for reminding me of those pins in my stash!

  5. Mary Kay says:

    Some of my friends from India use the Portugese method of knitting, and I also saw some of the local ladies knitting this way when I lived in China. I am very curious to learn how!

  6. Shannon Notestine says:

    I have just recently heard about Portuguese knitting (apparently I’ve been living under a rock) and would like to learn. Andrea’s knitting cruise to Portugal sounds fabulous. My mothers family is from the Azores islands of Portugal and it would be fun to see the country as well as how a different culture knits.

  7. Linda C says:

    I really enjoyed the show, as usual. I’d love to learn the Wong Way of Portuguese knitting. I need to learn to knit faster. I’m a thrower and it takes me forever.

    I also really enjoy taking Craftsy classes. I will have to take Andrea Wong’s class.

  8. Heather says:

    Meu marido fala Portugues; ele me ensina.
    Você pode me ensinar a tricotar. 🙂

    For a while we thought we might move to Brazil, so I know only a little. I’d love to learn Portuguese knitting- I type all day, so anything to help my hands feel better!

  9. Amy L. says:

    I am looking for a new way to knit – I am too slow and have overuse problems in my neck and shoulders from my current English method. Portuguese knitting sounds like a great alternative!

  10. Michelle says:

    I have learned to knit because I always wanted to make socks. Now I want to continue my sock adventures by learning how to do Portuguese Knitting. I’d love to learn the “Wong way”, LOL

  11. Trisha says:

    I have a couple of Andrea’s Portuguese knitting DVDs, but haven’t watched them yet. This interview might be the push for me. It’s always great to learn different ways of knitting, including the Portuguese style.

  12. Thekla says:

    I did not know that the Portuguese knitting was just a name and the technique is actually from a number of different cultures. See, you always learn something from Marly’s podcast! Thank you.

  13. Ramona says:

    I’ve been wanting to try Portuguese knitting for awhile as a way to even out my purl rows when knitting stockinette flat (after knitting in the round). And on a silly side note, I’m happy to hear the story of why Andrea is a Wong. I used to get confused as well. 🙂

  14. Valerie says:

    I have disk issues in my neck and carpel tunnel in my wrist. I wonder if Portugese knitting would be a good option for me. I’ll have to check out the Craftsy class

  15. savannagal says:

    I totally need to learn Portugeuse knitting. I’ve had painful elbow tendonosis for over 4 years. This looks promising as a way to knit without putting so much strain on my tendons. Thanks for a great show. I’m really looking forwarding to trying this method.

  16. Lauren Priegel says:

    I really enjoyed the show on another style of knitting-Portuguese. I am fascinated by this technique & would like to explore it further.
    Thanks for the great show!

  17. Jessica says:

    I look forward to learning Portuguese knitting because my carpal tunnel flails with too much knitting and there really shouldn’t be a thing such as too much when referring to knitting because I cannot get enough! Thank you, Andrea Wong and Marly Bird for this podcast!

  18. Rachel says:

    Thanks for talking about Portuguese knitting. Sounds like it would be fun to learn, and help with muscle pain and strain.
    I really liked learning that purling is easier this way.

  19. Katelyn M says:

    Thanks for sharing about Portuguese knitting. It is not something I have tried yet. I am starting to look into new ways of knitting to help make me a little faster. I think it would be really cool to learn this technique.

  20. Amy says:

    I’m behind on podcasts so I may have already missed the drawing for this prize. I hope not! I was so excited to hear Andrea on the show. I bought her Portuguese knitting book a while back and have played with the technique on and off. I’d love to take her Craftsy class and have put it on my wish list. I broke up laughing when I heard her talk about knitting the Wong way! Love it.

  21. Rachel Catherine says:

    I tried taking Andrea’s Portuguese knitting class at Stitches Texas last year but the timing didn’t work out. I’m glad there is the option to take the class on Craftsy!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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