Month: September 2009

Behind abbrigate*: introducing Billy

Billy is a graphic designer, illustrator and knitter who comes from Lisbon, Portugal, but lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her grandmother taught her to knit a long, long time ago, but she let yarn and needles rest for a while, only to pick them up again after moving to her new city. She met her wizard friend Joji through knitting.

When she isn´t carrying her needles around, she likes to be working or blogging about her life in Buenos Aires. You can check out her work here and find her on ravelry as billyramos.

*

Billy es una diseñadora gráfica, ilustradora y tejedora portuguesa que vive en Buenos Aires. Su abuelita le enseñó a tejer hace muchos, muchos años, y apesar de que le encantaba tejer, Billy dejó las agujas y las lanas por mucho tiempo. Las recuperó hace nada más que un par de años, y fue através del tejido que conoció a Joji.

Cuando no está tejiendo, Billy está trabajando o escribiendo sobre su vida en Buenos Aires. Su trabajo está acá y la podés encontrar en ravelry como billy.ramos.

Quem diria?

Museu do Brinquedo, SintraMáquinas de costura no Museu do Brinquedo, em Sintra.

No Sábado passado fui comprar a minha primeira máquina de costura, presente da minha Mãe. Comprei-a na Casa Olguin, cá em Buenos Aires, e só posso recomendar o atendimento. Acho que nunca tinha sido tão bem atendida na minha vida!

Um belo dia fui, juntamente com uma amiga, fazer uma expedição pela cidade à procura da máquina ideal. Já tinha lido várias coisas nesse inesgotável mundo que é a internet, nomeadamente no Superziper, sobre que procurar na primeira máquina de costura. E por aí fomos. Procurámos, procurámos, aqui e ali perguntávamos o que era o overlock e o falso overlock (não que eu agora saiba muito mais, convenhamos) e, na maioria dos lugares, respondiam-nos com um encolher de ombros que nos resultava particularmente frustrante.

Até que chegámos à Casa Olguin, que eu sabia ser o distribuidor Janome cá na Argentina. E aí, gente, aí foi a loucura. O vendedor sentou-se connosco, fez a demonstração de tudo o que a máquina fazia, as diferenças entre os três ou quatro modelos de máquinas familiares que tinha disponíveis, enfim, foi a loucura. Fiquei convencida pelo serviço, pelo acompanhamento, pela garantia.

Hoje fomos lá ter a aula para saber mexer na máquina; daí passámos a trocar dados com a professora, que também tricota e faz de tudo um pouco, mas que desconhecia o ravelry.

(Abro parêntesis para explicar que o ravelry tem sido o disparador de muitas das mudanças que estão a acontecer na minha vida, isto porque junta, de forma virtual, pessoas que gostam de tricot e crochet. Foi através desta comunidade que conheci uma boa parte das minhas novas amigas porteñas, incluindo a que foi comigo à expedição e hoje à aula. Fecho parêntesis.)

E é isto. Nunca pensei que me fosse transformar numa virtuosa dos lavores femininos, mas agora espero que para lá caminhe. Tantos anos de “evolução” para isto…!

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).

Uma das razões para a minha ausência

Gente, ando longe, muito ausente, mas é por uma boa causa. A minha sócia desvenda o porquê, aqui. Estou muito, muito contente.

Domesticite aguda

Hoje deu-me um ataque de domesticite aguda e estive, qual formiga trabalhadeira, a arrumar cómodas, gavetas, despensa e caixas de conteúdos desconhecidos que se amontoavam ali no canto, entalados entre a parede e o aspirador. Quem tem casa, sabe que ele há recantos de algumas divisões onde a vontade de penetrar é francamente baixa, e de mês em mês se vai adiando a resolução daquele acumular de coisas que já nem se sabe o que são.

Depois descobrem-se objectos cujo paradeiro se desconhecia, coisas que nem se sabia que tinha, caixas de cartão cheias de papel de bolinhas, tudo guardado para uma iminente mudança que tarda em chegar. No cômputo final, descobri que vou poder fazer as pastas porta-documentos que estava a precisar a partir de sacos de cartolina.

Já sei que isto não interessa a ninguém, mas enquanto não chegam os relatos das férias é o que há.

E a Primavera está a chegar. Hoje só levei um casaquinho leve à rua, mas já dá para andar sem casaco. Viva Setembro!

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.

Já estamos de volta a casa

Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, em Lisboa

As férias foram boas, tão boas, mas agora já estamos de volta a Buenos Aires. As despedidas, como sempre, foram difíceis, mas também sabe bem estar em casa.

A minha paixão por Portugal cresceu exponencialmente e foi com muita pena que me vim embora; não me interpretem mal: eu adoro viver cá e sei que temos uma vida fabulosa, cheia de eventos culturais e experiências gastronómicas. Mas Lisboa é – e suponho que sempre será – a minha casa. Está cada dia mais bonita, mais arranjada, e aqueles encontros furtivos que temos com o rio numa esquina ou num miradouro quaisquer? Impagáveis.

Até breve, já tenho saudades!

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…

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:

Hmmm...

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!