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!
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.
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 pun 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.
If you missed getting to hear this live, you can still listen to the archived episode where it aired originally: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/01/15/portuguese-knitting-teacher-andrea-wong or in iTunes, Stitcher Radio or with your favorite podcatcher service.