Friday, May 30, 2008


What's this ? why, it's my Anais blocking, of course. I can't wait to finish this, and wear it outside. The weather has been so unreliable I'll probably still be able to wear it next week. I finished the lace motif and sleeves last night and now I only have the daunting task of seaming it all together ahead of me. I did knit this in the round, so at least no side seams for me this time.

I haven't mastered the art of continental knitting yet, but I'm much, much faster now, so thanks for all your motivational comments on the post below. I can almost do it with my eyes shut now, although I still miss some stitches now and then. Anyway, that's the reason why Anais was such a quick knit. The bulk of it was done during the car trips last weekend, and now I can say I knit almost as fast as I purl.

The Leafy Pull has been put on hold, but the body has been done and now I need to start on the sleeves. I can't say I'm terribly happy about it, I had forgotten how knitting in cotton shows all of your mistakes, even the tiniest ones. The difference in my tension between knitting in the round and back and forth is quite noticeable when working in cotton and reverse stockinette, so I have an almost perfect sweater below the armholes and not so perfect in the back above. Oh well, at least my next one will be in wool for sure, since I do love the design.

Since we're leaving for Iceland in a couple of weeks, I was a bit worried about the earthquake news yesterday. Apparently some property has been damaged but thankfully no major injuries. It seems that the South of Iceland is a highly seismic area, which I guess will make this trip even more adventurous...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It had been years since the last time we'd been here, so the long weekend was a good excuse to go back for a couple of days. We arrived with the fog, visited the village in the rain, but were rewarded with some sunshine later in the day.

It was as lovely as I had remembered it. Breathtaking views all around, of course. We stayed at the pousada, but this place also seemed nice.

More photos here

Monday, May 26, 2008

shop update

Finally, a shop update !
Sorry it didn't happen last week, and it's a small one, but I forgot we were going to have a long weekend and we'd be out of town. Anyway, I hope I can have updates more regularly from now on, so let's see how that goes. Despite the bad weather we had a great long weekend in Marvão and I'll post some photos later. And later tonight, I'm in for a treat (Cat Power in concert, it should be good ...)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Thanks for all the nice comments about the dresses. I'm really into dress making this season, just hope the weather improves somewhat so I can actually wear them one of these days. Not that it will stop me from making more, I already have a couple of new ones planned out ...

Knitting wise this has not been the best week. As you can see above, I decided to frog what I had of the Frock Camisole so far and start again. Not sure what happened but it was getting way too large, even if I'm knitting the smallest size. So now I'm doing some math and adjusting the pattern for fewer stitches and hope it turns out ok. It's a very easy pattern, mainly stockinette stitch in the round which for me doesn't work so well. You see, I knit the Portuguese way, with the yarn around my neck, and purling is so much easier than knitting when you do it that way.

So I decided it was high time to learn Continental knitting, and I've been watching this video over and over again trying to figure it out. It looks so easy, right ? I think I more or less got the hang of it after a zillion tries, but I have to do it somewhat slowly for now, and definitely I can't knit this way without looking at the needles (yet). For those of you who knit Continental, please tell me it gets much easier with practice, I'm needing some motivation here !

Monday, May 19, 2008

the polka dot dress

Remember I once said I wasn't the biggest fan of polka dots ? Well, I guess I've changed my mind. I actually made a polka dot dress, a chocolate brown polka dot dress, as you can see ...

The pattern is yet another dress from this japanese book. I chose it because I loved the raglan puffed sleeves, but after I tried it on I just had to make a few changes. I inserted darts in the front and back, so it wouldn't look so baggy, and decided to dismiss the pockets in the end (although I do love pockets so I saved them in case I change my mind later on). And the tie-on ribbon around the waist was a last minute inspiration, which I happened to have in hand. Perfect for going out for tea ? Yeah, I think this will probably do ...

Friday, May 16, 2008

on the needles ....

I've been obsessively knitting the Phildar Leafy Pullover recently. It helps that I love knitting reverse stockinette, but to see the leaves design taking shape is even better. I'm knitting this in mercerized cotton, so I can use it in warmer days, and I think I'll probably make it short sleeved (or a 3/4 sleeve ? What do you think ?)
If this goes well, then I might knit a full sleeved version later in the fall, because I have a feeling this will be one of my favorites when it's done.

Finally done, and just in time, a baby jacket for little Ema, my friends' second child who was born this week, who is totally adorable and behaved so nicely when we went to meet her last night. The pattern is the February Baby Sweater in two needles from Elizabeth Zimmermann, and the yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (it just took a little less than 2 skeins). The pattern is incredibly easy and the yarn is so nice to work with.

And just to let you know, the next shop update will definitely take place next week. Bookcovers only, this time, but then I hope to follow the week after with some bags as well. Have a great weekend :)

(note: and by the way, did you know that Blogger allows you to schedule posts to be automatically posted at a certain date now ? I just found out by accident ... )

Para a feira

Algumas capas e sleeves que irão estar disponíveis na feira de Artesanato Urbano do Parque da Cidade, no Porto, já neste sábado dia 17 de Maio (não vou estar lá, mas procurem na banca da minha amiga Winkiemoon)

Mais informações sobre a feira aqui

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

summer sewing - part II - batik dress

The first of many dresses to come, I think. I've been saving this batik fabric ever since Amy sent it to me a couple of years ago. I keep doing this, saving pieces of fabric I don't have the courage to use, until the right idea or pattern comes along.

In this case, the fabric and the pattern I've had for a while, but it didn't occur to me to join them together until recently.

This strap dress is an H&M pattern from an old summer edition of Patrones (from two or three years ago, maybe ?) which has a nice selection of dresses, all of which I've been meaning to make one time or another.

Because it's a batik fabric, the print is not equal, which worked great in this dress. I chose a darker piece for the front and a brighter one for the back. The only change I made was in the straps, which I crossed at the back so they wouldn't slip so easily. A perfect dress for summer, I think :) Now, if only the weather would cooperate a little bit ...

Monday, May 12, 2008

summer sewing part I - the japanese tunic

So officially I started my summer sewing a couple of weeks ago. And about time too, just look at the pile of fabrics I've set apart for clothes sewing this season.

Scary, right ? But some of these I've had for the longest time, and either didn't have the courage to cut them up or simply didn't know what to do with them.

Anyway, I started with two simple pieces that I've been wanting to make since last year. The first one is pattern #3 from this book (one of my all time favorite ones, I think there's not a single pattern there that I don't like). It's a simple long sleeved tunic, which works well with the light and thin fabric.

The only change I made was to shorten the body and sleeve length a little bit, but only because I didn't have enough fabric. And if I ever do this again I'd probably add some darts, especially in the back, to give it a more fitted shaping. Otherwise, it's just perfect. Next up, a couple of dresses ...

Friday, May 09, 2008

gilet col tailleur

I was going to post about some summer sewing I've been doing lately, but with the weather acting up so strange lately I decided to show you the finished Gilet instead. Who knows, I might actually be able to wear it before next winter if the weather goes on like this ....

Anyway, first I have to say that I love the finished result. It turned out exactly how I expected, which doesn't happen that often. Because of all the ribbing the pattern is very forgiving and no shaping is necessary, so the knitting is pretty straightforward. The seaming, however, is another issue. I had a very hard time trying to figure out how to attach the front ribbing and collar. With a little online help I managed it on my third try or so, and I have to admit that the result is very pleasing. Seaming ribbed sleeves is a nightmare though, and I had to reinforce it with some sewing thread in the end.

The yarn is wonderful to work with, and I think it will hold up well. I machine washed it, blocked it lightly, and it didn't stretch much, maybe just half an inch or so (in length).

Pattern: Gilet #480-T7-268, from Phildar nº 480 Tendances Winter 07/08
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Extra Merino Big (12 skeins)
Size: S
Needles: 5.5 mm

Changes: none in the knitting. The pattern calls for a snap to be attached to close the front, and the big button is for decorative purposes only, but I tried it and didn't like the result (the front kept opening up). So I attached two smaller buttons instead, and because the yarn is quite flexible I'm able to push them through the ribbing.

Since this was the last project I had on my winter list, I can now finally start the spring/summer projects I've been dying to make. I cast on for the Phildar Leafy Pullover and the Frock Camisole already, but didn't progress much so far. And does anyone have any good suggestions for what to make with two skeins of Kid Silk Haze ? I couldn't resist buying them on my last visit to Spa Tricot but I've never done lace and shawls are not exactly my thing, so any recommendations are appreciated.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

wip / inspiration

... a new japanese sewing pattern book, full of gorgeous dress patterns. Very vintage inspired, which I love.

Retrospective is stylish
(sorry, can't seem to find the ISBN right now)

... also, my knitting booklets by Norah Gaughan have arrived. I've been meaning to make Anais since last year, and seeing Mari's gorgeous version makes me want to start one right now.

... and to prove I haven't forgotten about the next shop update, here's the current status of my studio desk. The sewing has been slow but bookcovers will be coming soon.

... and knitwise this has been keeping me busy lately, but I'm almost done with it. To turn this

into this was a real challenge, to say the least.

And one more item to add to my spring/summer knit list: the gorgeous Aprés Surf Hoodie that just came out in the latest IK. Didn't I say I had a thing for hoods ?