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Look inside Portuguese Knitting
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BB Hardback
  • Publication: 20 January 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217213
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 185
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: £14.99
More Information

Portuguese Knitting


A historical & practical guide to traditional Portuguese techniques, with 20 inspirational projects by Rosa Pomar (Author)

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Book Description

More than just a history book or a handicraft manual, Portuguese Knitting is a journey into Portugal's knitting heritage. Traditional patterns and techniques are brought up to date in the form of beautiful modern pieces such as socks, hats, shawls, cowls, pot holders and leggings.

Portuguese knitting differs from regular knitting in the way the wool is held; it can either be passed through a special Portuguese knitting pin attached to the knitter's clothes, or looped around the neck and then over a finger.

Easy-to-follow instructions and clear illustrations allow beginners or more experienced knitters to recreate historical pieces in an original, contemporary way. You can make the projects as they are shown, or use other colours to create your own unique and original gifts.

Table of Contents

Index 4
Preface 7
Introduction 8
The history of knitting 11
Knitting in Portugal 27
Introduction 28
Materials 30
Finishes 33
Raw materials 33
Types and traditions 38
Socks 39
Jumpers 53
Other pieces 59
Techniques 65
Materials 66
Yarn 66
Needles 69
Accessories 71
Other useful tools 71
Interpreting the labels 72
Knitting 72
Tension, density and samples 73
Starting 75
Single casting on 75
Portuguese style casting on 76
Knit and purl 78
Stitches and techniques 82
Patterns 97
Abbreviations and other terms used 98
Barrete de vilão (Villain's cap) 99
Algibeirinha pouch 102
Scarf ‘by music’ 104
Rag mat 106
Mirandês bag 108
Thrum rug 110
Minderica cowl 112
Montemuro cuffs 114
Minderica sleeves 116
Cushion 118
Poveira leg-warmers 120
Striped socks 122
Woolly hat 126
Caninhas shawl 128
Ilha do Corvo beret 130
Shell socks 134
Gloves 140
Lace collar 142
Algibeira pouch 144
Serra de Ossa leggings 146
Patterns 148
Useful Information 151
Yarns, reference books and links 152
Bibliography 153
Credits 157
Acknowledgements 159

About the Author

About Rosa Pomar

Rosa Pomar learned to knit at the age of seven and never stopped. As a child, she knitted mainly dolls and her family found it difficult to tear her away from her knitting needles. She took courses in medieval history, then subsequently in illustration at the School of Visual Arts in Nova Cirque. As the author of one of the oldest Portuguese blogs, www.aervilhacorderosa.com, she frequently addresses the subject of traditional Portuguese textiles. She carries out research in this area, especially in the field of wool, travelling around the country to visit shepherds and spinners. In 2008, she created Retrosaria, a store dedicated to the sale of fabrics and materials for knitting and sewing (www.retrosaria.rosapomar.com). Since 2009, she has created several new textile techniques, always finding ways of bringing the traditional Portuguese knitting methods into contemporary pieces.


The Journal for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers

Until I read this book I hadnt thought of Portugal as having a knitting tradition and, indeed, the author says that this is the first comprehensive study of the subject. The book starts with a historical review, setting Portugal in the context of the development of European knitting. The following section examines traditional equipment and materials and describes a range of traditional knitted artefacts including socks and stockings, hats and caps, jumpers, purses and rugs. The traditional technique involves tensioning the yarn around the neck or through a hook or pin on the left shoulder, with the yarn manipulated by the left thumb. This makes purl the easiest stitch and the section on techniques provides very clear instructions. There are 20 projects included, based on traditional Portuguese knitted items and most of them knitted in the traditional way, from the back in purl.

The book is well illustrated with photographs and diagrams and with a comprehensive bibliography. It is a rewarding read for anyone interested in traditional knitting. Originally written in Portuguese, the translation is clear and very readable.


If you have never seen Portuguese knitting in action, it's well worth finding a video to see. It is absolutely fascinating!

This book should be on every knitters wish list. It is filled with beautiful projects, 20 in total, and they all have stunning designs and beautiful colour choices.

The beginning of the book gives an in depth history of Portuguese knitting, with some interesting pictures. There is advice on pins, needles and most importantly yarn. The projects themselves are varied, including hats, bags, leggings and even a pillow, that all demonstrate how versatile and useful Portuguese knitting can be.

There are several techniques, stitches, hints and tips to help you along the way and you can even embroider your finished designs to give them a personal and individual flair.

I adored the Lace Collar, it's very vintage and really beautiful.

Machine Knitting Monthly

This is a journey into Portugal's knitting heritage. Portuguese knitting differs from regular knitting in the way the wool is held and these instructions are clear and easy to follow. Beginners or experts can recreate historical pieces brought up-to-date in an original and contemporary way.

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