a Purple sweater

I have been quite here, but very busy at home and outside, finishing projects, both knitting and sewing, but mostly organizing and reducing the amount of things we own and think we need…

My latest finished project is this sweater, which has been a long time coming. The yarn was a birthday present from many years ago, and I finely admitted that I wasn’t going to knit a lace sweater any time soon, which was what the yarn was intended to. Instead I knitted a square gauge, found a suitable sweater and knitted. But one ball of yarn had a big hole which meant I didn’t have enough yarn to finish the sweater, which in the end turned out to be a good thing!

I decided to follow the Top-down tutorial from Fringe Association as I could knit as much as the yarn allowed me, and I learnt so much! It took me ages to knit though, because I worked and rework several bits of the sweater until it was as close as I could get to what I wanted. That is one of the best things of working with yarn instead of fabric, no matter how many times you mess up, you can do it again. I didn’t forgo the the Gabble sweater entirely, as I kept the A-line and borders.

So in the end I have a sweater that I’m not only proud of wearing, but something that I like the way it fits, which was one of my aims!



Purple vest

I think it was late Spring, or maybe early summer, since the midges were in brutal force, trying to eat us alive, as they do, a friend took me to a friend’s house so that we could help to make an herbal garden. There was one other herbalist staying there, and she was wearing an hand knitted vest that I really, really liked, she said it was the Hiker’s waist coat.

In the summer of 2014 we went to Skye, we were tight on space and weight as we traveled by train on bikes, however I still managed to find a wee space for a few grams of yarn purchased in this shop, I bought enough for a vest.


Eu penso que foi no fim da Primavera, ou então no inicio de verão, já que os mosquitos estavam a tentar comer-nos vivas, como eles fazem, uma amiga levou-me à casa de uma outra amiga para nós a ajudarmos a fazer um jardim de ervas medicinais. Lá também estava uma outra herbalista que tinha um colete vestido feita à mão, ela disse que os esquema era o  Hiker’s waist coat.

No verão de 2014 fomos a Skye, pouco era o espaço livre que tinhamos porque fomos de comboio , mas mesmo assim arranjei m cantinho pequenino para trazer a lã que comprei nesta loja, era o suficiente para um colete.





I’m wearing this vest daily, which means that I was right in knitting a vest, it’s that extra warmth without the bulk of sleeves, but I don’t really like the fit.

First, it’s too long and too large, I had to go a size bigger than usual because of my bust, and didn’t compensate on the height, the arms hole, too is very big, all in all not a very flattering.

A couple of months ago I finished a cardigan that I don’t wear much either because it’s too big. It’s not that I care that much about what I wear, I think it’s more important to know how it was made, but when you’re spending so much time and money knitting something, versus trying it on, I want to make something that I feel really good in (instead of just proud because I made it) and will want to wear for a very long time.

With that in mind I remembered this blog post, and I’m currently listening to this podcast, half an hour in and I have learnt so much! Next in the line is this episode, actually, the next few days I’ll be listening to all of them , and because I  want to knit a sweater that I will truly want to wear, in preparation, last  knit I ordered this book.


Todos os dias tenho vestido este colete, o que quer dizer que fiz bem em fazer um colete, dá um conforto quente sem ter as mangas a empatar, mas eu não gosto muito de como me serve.

Primeiro, é grande de mais tanto no comprimento como na largura, por causa do meu peito tive que fazer o tamanho maior e não compensei na altura e para além disso o buraco dos braços é também grande de mais.

Há uns meses atrás acabei um casaco  que não uso muito por ser muito grande. Não é que eu dê assim tanta importância ao que eu visto, eu penso que mais importante do que isso é saber em que condições laborais a roupa que vestimos foi feita, mas se eu vou gastar uma soma consideravel de dinheiro e muito tempo a fazer algo, então que quero fazer uma coisa que vou ter imenso prazer em vestir (em vez de me sentir apenas orgulhosa por ter sido eu a fazer) e quererei usar por muito e muito tempo.

A pensar nestas coisas todas lembrei-me deste poste, e estou agora a ouvir este podcast, só em meia hora já aprendi tanto! A seguir vou ouvir este, quer dizer, nos próximos dias quero ouvir todos os episodios, e porque quero fazer uma blusa que terei muito gosto em vestir, em preparação, mandei vir este livro.



a few finished things

The Winter solstice feels like a new Year to me, I felt the same in 2014, so I’m lacking that usual enthusiasm for the start of 2016 because for me the new cycle has already started. Besides Hogmanay always brings a kind of  pressure that I don’t appreciate,  the pressure to feel in a certain way, like Christmas and birthdays, so much expectation for this one day, that you don’t know how it will be but that must be a good one…

Anyway, I thought that I should also wrap up this Gregorian year with the craft projects that for some reason never made it to the blog, though they have been well loved, most of them.


Summer clothing. The shirt is from a japanese book, the skirt is this one.


It’s hard to find shop bought pants for this little one, actually, it’s impossible! The waist is always to big, the nappies helped to hold the trousers on place, but he hasn’t used nappies for a few months, so I took matter into my own hands…


one more pair of socks


A hat that wore on the West Highland way.


and an individualized jacket, because plain black doesn’t suit her


a new, old list of knitting projects


wool basket

Back in February I made a visual list of things from my knitting basket, garments to finish.

From eight I finished two, and changed my mind on what to use the yarn for another, so I’ll count three. That’s less than half! It did help a lot, on the few months after, but then… not so much, I think I forgot that list! True, I have completed other projects, that I’m very happy with, but still..

So here’s a new list, some new, and others migrated:

  • Pink Rubble– I just need to sew a seam, it’ll take ten minutes
  • Rosemary cardigan – I need to find the pattern and start on the sleeves, the body is done
  • This Alpaca jacket – The same, find pattern (it’s online,a bit easier!) and start the other sleeve, and then progress from there
  • A cardigan for my daughter – I’ve bought the pattern, need to print and start it.
  • I would really like to start on a color-work socks, we will see…
  • Indigo vest

Right, now I should keep this list in mind…

Big, big shawl

big star shawlbig star shawl (2)big star shawl (4)big star shawl (3)

Last week I finally finished my Big Star Shawl that I test knitted for Jules, from Wollenflower.

I really like the big scarf look, but better than that, it’s WARM! As you can see it covers a lot more than my neck, so its the extra layer I’ve been needing for these Scottish winter months, inside or outside.

I was very lucky with the yarn, it’s this one from Peace Fleece. I bought it on sale at Meadow Yarn, it was literally the only color available (I later bought more skeins of the non-dyed; such a good deal couldn’t let it pass…). I am very sensitive to the roughness/scratchiness of pure wool on my face and neck, but encouraged by Jules I washed it and it did make a big difference! I’m barely aware of it, which for me it’s very good!

Now, this shawl has long rows and because of that and the lace panel it took me longer than I anticipated. It was my first big lace project (I don’t think a child’s pullover with lace sleeves really counts), and though the lace panel its not hard to follow, I really had to pay attention to it, which meant I could only work on it once the children were in bed, however I think it was totally worth it, and would knit again without a shadow of doubt!

If you would like more details, here’s the Ravelry link.


Finally, there are two more pictures on Instagram, if you would like to see,  mine and the other from Jules.

I don’t know when or what got me interested in “slow fashion”, ten years ago when I bought my first organic fabrics, the term didn’t even existed, it’s been a gradual process I suppose.

I have fond memories of the clothes my mum sewed for me, from childhood to my twenties; in fact I just remembered that my mum made the two pairs of work trousers I brought when I first arrived in Scotland, eleven years ago . In my teens i attempted to make clothes for myself, sometimes with my mum’s help, sometimes not,  but sewing, crochet and knitting is something that has always been present in my life.

I also asked my mum to teach me to knit, she only knows the Portuguese way, and if you know anything at all about that method is that purling is easier than the knit stitch, so I only learnt that. I made a big huge red scarf and that was that. I was always much more confident with crochet but I prefer the knitting fabric, besides Portugal is quite a hot country, so making clothes from wool it was something I started only eight years ago When I became pregnant with my first born. I must have commented to my partner that I must make things for our baby and one day he brought home a present for me, it was a book with baby patterns! Since for him knitting and crochet must look like the same thing, the book he bought was knitting, not crochet, I decided then that this time I would learn to knit, and so i did! At the time I didn’t know about the different styles of knitting so I struggled a little with the instructions, and somehow found a way to do knit stitch with a style I now believe to be “flicking” and to purl the Portuguese way, nowadays I still knit this way, but I have also learnt to knit and purl in both styles!

Of course that at the same time my mum was making me clothes I also bought a few things in the shops, but I hate shopping,  even more than my mums sessions in trying clothes, she is a perfectionist, so she would measure things over and over, and to me at the time it seemed such a burden, now however I understand how much time that must have saved her! I asked my mum to make me clothes because I valued the handmade items and because she could do exactly the styles I wanted, not because of a conscious decision against the social implications of the “fast” fashion.

Today my wardrobe consists mostly of clothes that I have bought at the charity shops, with which I have a love/hate relationships, something for another post perhaps. When I can’t find what I need at the charity shops, or don’t have time to wait, I try to find items on sale from brands that I want to buy from, like People Tree and of course, some old clothes too. I’m afraid that I don’t have as many handmade items as I used to…

As a full time home-educating mother of children aged seven and under, on a low income and saving for a big dream, what I find the most difficult is to find a balance on the children’s clothes. When they were little it was easy to find clothes in the charity shops, or hand me downs, but as they grow older it’s increasingly difficult to buy them clothes in second hand, and so the dilemma starts.

On one hand we are saving for a big life change, on the other there are all the environment and social costs that comes with cheap clothes. Besides there is another thing to balance, between the never ending to do list , the stress and pressure that comes with trying to make clothes for the children, they grow so fast that is hard to keep up; When I think that I have nailed it, they grow a bit more, clothes no longer fit, and so it starts all over again… I would like to take time this month to give more thought to this issues. So probably this month I will be focusing more on their wardrobe rather than mine, I might start by posting a realistic (not!) to do list, since the last time I did that, it helped a lot!

road trip Hat



Two or three weeks ago, I went on a long driving trip (four hours for me is quite long…) and I didn’t feel like knitting socks, besides I was sure I would finish the second sock, and then what? Besides I needed a hat (having lost my only one), so I decided to knit the “Jul hat” pattern by Wiksten with the Portuguese yarn Beiroa.

Both the yarn and the pattern are lovely, the pattern is very simple to knit with just enough interest. I also enjoyed working with this yarn, however I find it a bit “itchy” for me, I’m very sensitive to wool, specially on my face… So, I gave it to Paul, who doesn’t mind it at all.

Hopefully I will find just the right project for the yarn for another time.