Just when you thought you had run out of interesting regional knitting traditions to learn about – Portuguese knitting!
This book is not primarily about knitting in the Portuguese style, using a knitting pin and so on. It is more about unique Portuguese items to knit. Some of the items are domestic things like rag rugs and cushions, and much of the rest are distinctive accessories – hats, socks, mitts and arm warmers.
The author includes a great deal about the knitting and textile history and traditions of the various regions of Portugal. There is a great deal of interesting history here, much of which was news to me. For example – did you know that you can get fibers out of aloe plants? Not only that, in sections of the Azores, those fibers were spun into thread called pita thread, and then used to knit delicate shawls and other lace pieces.
Portuguese Knitting by Rosa Pomar is a newish book, and an interesting one. It was originally published in Portugal in 2013, but has only been available in English as of earlier this year. I will also say that designs are mainly written out – there are very few charts, just minimal ones for the colorwork items.
Techniques in use for these traditional and tradition-inspired patterns include lace, colorwork and slip stitches, mainly. This knitting tradition is not as ornate and colorful as, for example, Fair Isle knitting. But it is interesting nonetheless. If you enjoy learning about regional knitting traditions, check this book out!