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.


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...

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

It´s good to be home

Our vacation was splendid, even more than I can describe it, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Well, maybe not the part when it was -15ºC - I wore clothes I didn´t even have names for! - but the skiing and being in Portugal, all with the fish and the seafood, the family and friends we got to meet despite the short time we were there, wow, that was really pleasant.

Now we´re back to winter, to Argentina, and it´s good to be home again. As probably everyone else who lives abroad and goes back home for a short time will understand and relate to, those three days we spent in Lisbon were very good, but very tiring too.

We started off flying south to the very tip of the continent. We had been to Ushuaia once and had since wanted to go back in winter. The town sits on a bay, surrounded by snowy mountains. The ski station is about 30 minutes away and it´s wonderful.

Jumpity jump in Cerro Castor

There aren´t a lot of people around, and there´s almost no waiting for the ski lift. The place is so little populated that we even had this little guy visiting while we were having lunch:

This little guy came to check out our lunch

We then flew to the summer in Portugal:

Saltinhos na praia, claro

Had a wonderful time visiting friends and family, obviously with the best diet around, fish and seafood. All topped with this:


A bit too hot for my taste! (pun totally intended)

And now we´re back and looking forward to showing you everything that has been happening here, but that´s for another post!

P.S. - Thank you all for your good wishes; and thanks for coming back!