Wednesday, 9 December 2009

We´re shipping!

Kimonos waiting to be shipped!

abbrigate*´s kimonos are shipping! It´s so much fun to look at them and think about how this project has been developing. It feels a bit like a child, albeit a professional one. I´m proud of it - if I may say so myself - and I look forward to the new challenges 2010 will bring along. A new pattern is being written as we speak, and that´s when I found out I could design knitted garments.

Sometimes we just set ourselves too many boundaries and it feels good to overcome them, a little step at a time.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Have you seen google today?

Just a quick post to say that I love it how it looks today. Have you seen it? And bzzzzt!, I travelled back in time.

And back to work.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A short break after...

2009.11.22_04

Last week I paid a visit to a friend in Rio de Janeiro, resulting in a short break from work and blogging. Those few days were very welcome, specially now that the end of the year is so near and I´m looooonging for holidays.

There were lots of things going on, though, but being away from the computer prevented me from blogging about them.

I visited a painting workshop. It goes on during a whole Sunday, starting early morning and finishing in the evening. It´s an amazing, albeit exhausting, experience. It is very intense, not only because one discovers a lot about him or herself, but also because these discoveries are shared by the other people visiting the workshop, the models and the teacher. We come in at 9 am being just a bunch of people and leave in the evening feeling a bit like family.

Exercises are crazy fun: we start with quick poses (about 10 minute each) and end up, eighteen paintings later, painting dancing and singing models. Who, by the way, are great fun to work with. (One of the models is a painter and you can see what he has been up to here.)

See photos of all the exercises here.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Happy weekend!

Just because it´s Spring, it´s weekend and these roses were so beautiful they absolutely had to be photographed:

Flowers everywhere

Flowers everywhere

Flowers everywhere

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Almost mugged - but not actually

Last Saturday we were almost mugged by two girls who tried to steal my camera. There go our prejudices regarding who looks suspicious and who doesn´t, because they looked absolutely normal, they could be your teenage kid´s friends. Or your kid, actually. Grrr.

Anyway, for some unknown reason we both fought back and I got to keep my camera, as well as all other valuables I was carrying (ID, basically, I don´t even want to think about losing my ID card here and having to go to the police station to report it - been there and it isn´t nice). Well, all this to say that I have my camera and I can still take pictures with it.

And that´s what I did. I took pictures of the vest I finished for my younger niece:
Coletinho da C2: terminado!

And I even took pictures to its picot edging, which I learnt specially for this project, as crochet is just not my thing (or maybe I should say crochet wasn´t my thing?):
Coletinho da C2: terminado!

And documented my older niece´s matching vest:
Coletinho da C1: ainda falta um bocadinho...

(both vests are Signé Summer Top by Lisbeth Kjeldsteen. Ravelled here.)

I also photographed some sketches for a new pattern for abbrigate* - my first pattern, how exciting! - to send to my sister in London:
New design in the making

And then I took lots and lots of pictures of the blooming jacarandas here in the city. November is definitely the best month to visit Buenos Aires.
Jacarandas in Buenos Aires

Jacarandas in Buenos Aires

I´m thankful for having my camera! And for everything, really.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Pleasures of modern life

Cerro Castor, Ushuaia

Cerro Castor, Ushuaia

One of the pleasures of this modern, digital life we´re living is retrieving a developed film from the shop and marvel at all those pictures, with the same feeling of discovery we had once. Digital images are very practical, nothing to be denied there, but does anyone really get that feeling of surprise when seeing them? Probably not, because we see them immediately after they´re taken.

I´m happy to have my digital camera around, but it´s so good to go back to analog every now and then.

More photos here.

Have a great weekend!

Spring in Buenos Aires

Spring in Buenos Aires

Spring in Buenos Aires

Spring in Buenos Aires

November is the absolute best month to be in town, I believe. Not too hot, not too cold, full-bloom jacarandas spreading their violet coloured cloud everywhere. It´s just to nice outside to be stuck all day inside. Working outdoors is better than ever.

More photos here.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Took my knitting out...

Primavera no Rosedal de Palermo
...to the beautiful Rose Garden here in Buenos Aires. As I mentioned in abbrigate*´s blog, I really believe the knitting retains parts of the places we went to and feelings we had while knitting.

That´s why I think this is the perfect setting to knit a vest for my yougest niece, don´t you agree?

More photos of the places her vest has been to.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Failed illustration? Maybe not...

Failed papercut? Maybe not.
Raise your hand if you can spot four faces here!

This is a papercut that didn´t turn out quite as expected. At first, I thought it was going to travel directly from my cutting board to the trash bin, but then I accidentaly held it and it sort of decomposed and became a "mobile". Love this kind of surprises!

More photos of the process of making this book here.

Two vests in Vestvember

DSC05395_2

DSC05411

There´s some knitting going on here, worked with this fingering weight pure wool yarn. With my "partner in crime"´s help, its natural colour became a dark cherry and a wild fuchsia. Two vests will be made, for two little, adorable nieces.

Totally coincidental, Vestvember is going on and this is how I´m participating. Yay for Vestvember!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Hmmm...

2009.11.02_02

It feels like I´m only talking about nudes - and it may as well be so, taking from my latest posts - but I´ve been busy with other taks at hand. I´m working on my second book for kids, which takes a huge amount of time but nothing that can be shown, and looking for a publisher. Are you one? Do you know someone who may be interested in hearing from our project? I´d love to hear from you.

As for the nudes, more photos of Monday´s session here.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Another nude

2009.10.28 - third session

This is a painting I finished on monday during painting class. I´m having so much fun doing this I wish I had painting classes more often!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

"Tongues of fire" goes penguin watching

Tongues of fire goes penguin watchingThose tiny things on the background? Penguins. They were delighted to meet my knitting.

We took a short break during the weekend and flew to Puerto Madryn to see the whales that come close to shore for reproduction. These three days were absolutely stunning and we also got to see penguins, elephant seals and lots of other animals. The landscape is stunning and the shinning sun helped make it even prettier. I´d definitely stay a couple more days, but work was waiting for us here in Buenos Aires.

Yay for short breaks with friends, penguin spotting and wonderfully cooked fish!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Frogged

Morningside neckwarmer

A frogged project is all I can write about now. I had an urgent project landing on my desk a few days ago and it was just sent to production. During these few days, it was all I worked on during work hours, after hours and even before hours. I went to bed late yesterday and I had lunch very late today. That is why talking about the frogged project seems like a holiday to me!

So, about the Morningside Neckwarmer. I´m not sure wether it was brioche stitch or the combination between the yarn and the pattern. Something wasn´t working for me. I love the neckwarmer and I love the ribbed and puffy result of this stitch - I just don´t appreciate knitting it. I didn´t the first time, I didn´t now. I wonder if I´ll give it a third try though - life is too short to insist on something that seems not to be rewarding.

I knitted a few rows, I practiced the sequence of movements, I appreciated the ingenious way of achieving a ribbing... and I frogged it. And moved on to another project. I love knitting, specially because I knit what I want, when I want, at the speed I want. Or can. Or both, really: I knit slowly but fully enjoy the process.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

T-shirt

"I´m taken" t-shirt
Last week I was commissioned to design a t-shirt for a friend. I had such a good time working on this project! It was so much fun to integrate their faces with type and lots of lines and colour. I loved doing it and I´m glad he liked the result too. I think I´ll be trying more t-shirt designs in the future! Do you have any t-shirt related links to share?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

About knitting

Tongues of fire in Diavolo

I´m preparing an oral presentation for my german class tomorrow about... knitting! Funny how knitting became so anglicized to me, that sometimes I even have difficulties using the portuguese terms for it. Learning those in german was fun and useful too.

Above, my Tongues of Fire scarf (free pattern here), using Joji sock in Diavolo.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Papercut sketching

work in progress

Here´s a papercut illustration I´m working on. I love papercutting more and more as a medium!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

My growing yarn stash part II

Joji´s WoollamaWoollama by Joji

Joji sock yarn Sock by Joji

The other day I mentioned my growing stash.

I left some yarn for a new post, because this once I must tell you about some yarn that is hand-painted by Joji, my associate in abbrigate*. She chooses the best local fibres and hand-paints them herself, producing nicely hand-crafted yarn that is a pleasure to knit with.

I did enjoy knitting with Woollama, but am smitten with Sock. I´m using them for my Christmas knitting and therefore am not sure wether I can post pictures here, in case the recipients read this... In January, maybe? Until then, let the knitting-pleasure go on!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

I´m on Jornal do Brasil


Last Sunday, a text I wrote was published in Jornal do Brasil. Cutting a long story short, I´m very happy about it: blogging is fun, but writing a text to be actually printed? Wow.

My most heartfelt thank you to the people involved in this story.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Thank you!




I´m happy to share with you that one of my photos taken at the ASUR Textile Museum in Sucre, Bolivia, is displayed in the Textile Museum of Canada´s new website "In touch".

Thank you, TMC, and thank you, flickr!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My growing yarn stash

I went to Portugal for my vacation and took the opportunity of buying quite a reasonable amount of yarn, specially yarn that isn´t available here in Argentina. I also asked my sister in London to bring me a "combo" of natural fibres from her LYS and - finally - could get my hands on some hanks of Malabrigo, the uruguayan yarn not available in Uruguay (nor Argentina, for that matter).

So, arriving from London, via Lisbon:

Rico design essentials cotton dk
Two gorgeous mercerized cotton skeins by Rico Design.

Malabrigo silky merino
The famous Malabrigo Silky Merino, which had a really long journey from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, via London and Lisbon.

Debbie Bliss cashmerino (dk and aran)
Debbie Bliss´ Cashmerino, both in aran and dk weights. They are so soft and nice, I´m seeing lots of Christmas presents being done with these!

Bel Air
I do not know this yarn´s name, but the brand is Bel Air. It feels like a cloud.


Now, the yarns I bought in Portugal:
Rosários 4 Sole Latte and Pop Corn
Rosários 4 is a portuguese brand that carries lots of different fibres, like milk and corn fibres, for instance. I caught the end of the season sale and, although it was cheaper deal, some of the skeins were a bit worn. Still, I think they´ll look great when knitted.

Rosários 4 Butterfly 100% Silk
Again, a yarn from Rosários 4, this time made of 100% natural silk. It feels incredibly soft against the skin, which makes it perfect to wear near the neck (more Christmas presents?).

Hemp for knitting by lanaknits
Imported 100% hemp yarn from Lanaknits. I´m mostly curious about this yarn, as per its description it is the perfect yarn: it is machine washable; fresh in the summer, warm in winter; it gets softer with every wash. I wonder how knitting it will be like? Will there be a catch? The colours are beautiful too, so I´m thinking what I should do with them. Thinking hat on...

Kauni 100% wool
This Kauni 100% wool yarn has a very singular characteristic: it has only one colour change, going gradually from this fuchsia pink to purple. It looks very warm and my bet is that it will become a lot softer after washing and blocking.

And then there are some local (argentine) yarns I want to show you, but that´s something for another post...

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Thank you!

Thank you all so much for the enthusiastic support given to abbrigate*, the project I´m developing with Joji. We´ve been both thrilled and exhausted but all in all it has been a wonderful ride.

2009.09.21_02

Despite all the hard work, I´ve been working on other things as well, namely during my painting classes. Every week I realize these sessions help me so much, not only on the painting itself, but also as a means of learning about colour, coulour mixies and combinations, composition, expression, ... well, I could go on and on and on. The best thing is the wonderful environment we have during our sessions, not only among students but also with our model and our teacher. They *so* rock.

More photos here and here.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Introducing abbrigate*

My very dear blog readers,

The last couple of months I´ve been writing about an exciting project I was working, not being able to disclose as much information as I wanted. So today is the day and I introduce you to abbrigate*



It is a common project with Joji, my associate and "partner in crime", as I like to say. I hope you enjoy visiting as much as we´re enjoying putting it together!

So this is how the story goes...

Once upon a time, in a far, far away land, two wizards joined forces against cold weather and came together to create abbrigate*, a new brand of hand-knitted, deliciously yummy baby wear to protect the youngest of the youngest from the cold.

Joji, one of the wizards, was a mom of two little wizard-apprentices. She used her knitting powers ever so intensely that one day she found out there was not one, not one single boy or girl suffering from shivers in those chilly days and nights of winter. Suddenly, she had no one else to knit for, because everybody around her was warm and cozy.

One day, Billy, the other wizard of this tale, told Joji:

"Oh, dear friend, don´t be sad! Why don´t you use your powers to keep children warm... everywhere in the world? There are other kingdoms out there who may be in need of your amazing knitting powers!"

We all know wizards never quit, so Joji and Billy sat down with their wizardry books and made an oath:

"We shall keep all babies warm and cozy during those chilly days and nights throughout the year!"

And, after repeating it three times, abbrigate* came to life.



abbrigate* is a mom-owned brand of hand-knitted, ecological baby wear.

abbrigate* garments have an unique character because:
- they´re exclusively designed by abbrigate*, for abbrigate*; they can even be customized by embroidering the baby´s name!
- they´re ecologically sound: fibres are carefully selected to combine the best materials with ease of care. That´s why we use hypoallergenic fibres that are machine washable.
- they´re handmade by knitters who earn a fair wage by doing something they enjoy.

abbrigate* ´s first line of products is a collection of Baby Kimonos for babies up to six months old. Kimonos come in ten (almost edible, may we add) colours, from the classic rose and blue to bolder alternatives. Future projects include expanding the offer with different models (late 2009), as well as launching specially designed, limited editions of our classic line.

Try our wizardry today and see how good our garments look even after being used by your children, your friends´ children and your grandchildren. And we´re not exaggerating! Find us on:

abbrigate* blog
abbrigate* shop @ etsy
abbrigate* shop @ bigcartel

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The first time

First times in life are milestones and yesterday was no exception. For the first time in my life, I registered a brand. Remember the good news I had to share before leaving on holidays? Today we registered our brand, our first brand, and I feel some sort of parental proud. Seeing this project grow and gain its own shape has been one of the most pleasurable work-related experiences. Every step we take feels like an acomplishment, like a small step on our personal and entrepreneurial growth.

I speak in plural because one key element in this odissey was my "partner in crime", Joji. She is a great incentive for me: there are no obstacles in front of her; if there, she graciously overcomes all difficulties with a smile on her face. In the meantime, she has also become a great friend, which brings me immense joy. Just one year ago I was a lot lonelier here in Buenos Aires and today the days are too short for all the things I want to do.

While I´ll go set up our upcoming shops, I´ll leave you with the happy photos. Check out Joji´s version of yesterday´s events here (in spanish).



Friday, 11 September 2009

And because I´m back to my real life...

2009.09.07_02 baixa

...I started painting again. Last Monday the exercise was to make two different compositions of two quick poses. Our model is the best and he holds very still in those uncomfortable poses he makes for us. He´s the best, really, and that´s why it is so enjoyable to paint him. He chose Pink Martini for the soundtrack and the atmosphere was wonderful, as usual.

More images here.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Central Park Hoodie

My Central Park Hoodie, flickred here and ravelled there (pattern by Heather Lodisnky) is an almost finished object. Not quite though, because I put it on the exact moment I finished sewing it. And I´ve worn it since, every single day. Mine, in loosely plied alpaca yarn bought in Bazar Lanero (gracias por el dato, Jo!), in the yarn district here in Buenos Aires, is a total success. I couldn´t love it more. I´m actually finding it hard to take it off to wash it and block it.

Still, this post is to tell you about this hoodie´s travels. Before leaving for our vacation I started to take a look at our travelling hours and, really, long flights plus airport waiting needed more than books and magazines. So I took a cheap, plastic sewing needle with me and my hoodie´s parts. I´m not a fan of sewing, so I figured that an airport wait would be a good place to do it. Knitting needles are not allowed, so an actual knitting project wasn´t an option. And yes, I do envy those of you who show your knitting in airplanes. It just isn´t allowed here.

I finished the knitting during our ski week and the sewing adventure started in the airport in Ushuaia, where I assembled back and two fronts:

Central Park Hoodie

I then realized I had forgotten to leave the sleeves on my hand-luggage, so interrupted the work there. It proceeded the next day, in São Paulo-Guarulhos airport, where I sewed the sleeves to make them tubes, but didn´t have time (nor patience) to attach them to the armholes.

Central Park Hoodie

While in Portugal, no sewing at all. I had the mystery sweater (which is not a mystery to its recipient anymore) to knit on, and that´s what I did. There was a bit of knitting in the car, too. The AC was broken, so my knitting while travelling didn´t last long: with 32ºC outside, a sweater on my lap was pure torture.

So the next sewing moment was the daytime flight from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. After watching all the movies I could and taking all the naps I managed to, I started sewing. And because this was the last thing I did during the long and boring flight, you can assess how little I enjoy it). I started to see that there may be a chance that I finish sewing and weaving in the ends before we landed there - and I did, but only just. Tha plane landed as I was putting away needle and dental floss box (used to cut the yarn) away.

Central Park Hoodie

I had a couple of ends to weave in:

Central Park Hoodie

And then... it was ready! Well, button less and lacking a good blocking, but ready. And it definitely came in handy because it was so very cold in the airport - what´s with airports and air conditioning? Still, a bit of modelling and showing off my hoodie was necessary:

Central Park Hoodie

And the sleeves, probably the part I love best:
Central Park Hoodie

And this is the story of my Central Park Hoodie. Now, guess what I´m wearing today...