In mid October I took a trip to Lisbon and Porto with my good friend Marissa (my first time visiting Portugal)! Needless to say it was a wonderful trip filled with Pasteis de Nata (tasty custard filled flaky pastry tarts), so many varieties of tinned fish (not everyone's cup of tea but I love them), tapas, colorful tiles, green wine, and yes! even some fiberventures.
Speaking of fiberventures (fiber adventures), one place I knew I NEEDED to check out was Retrosaria Rosa Pomar in Lisbon. It turns out they had just moved into a new shop location and it was so very beautiful. As soon as you walk in you feel inspired to create. There was a beautiful window display (wish I'd gotten a photo of this) and the walls are lined with homey romantic beautiful wood cabinets/ shelves filled with lots of woolly wool yarn (rustic beauties). I can now say I'm in love with Portuguese wool and Retrosaria Rosa Pomar source their own fiber in beautiful blends of different Portuguese sheep breeds. You really just want to buy it all! PS they have a website with English if you want to check it out and I know some shops in the states carry them as well, though probably not their whole lineup.
I took home enough Brusca to make a White Russian (pattern by Thea Colman), Soft Donegal (to make a fingering weight sweater, maybe a Caitlin Hunter Birkin?), and some João (for some kind of cropped cardigan, still hunting for a pattern). While taking the historic Tram 28 through the city we also passed what looked like some cool mom and pop knitting shops but unfortunately didn't have time to check them out... next time!
Another shop we loved was Chicoracao (sorry didn't take any photos as we were too busy oohing and ahhing over everything), which was full of handwoven wool products: blankets, scarves, throws, and much more. Highly recommend this shop if you have a fiber friend who needs a gift. We also went to Burel Factory shop but Chicorcao was hands down my favorite shop.
Image above: I got a little bit of knitting time on the mostly empty train from Lisbon to Porto. One of my current WIPs is a Maja vest by Camilla Vad using two strands of Made Cloud in Tart held with a strand of Backyard Fiberworks singles in Cerise color.
In Porto, a beautiful city on the Douro river known for it's port wine industry, we stopped in to the Porto Fashion & Fabric Museum (incidentally it's affiliated with the World of Wine complex of buildings which has great views of the city). We learned all about different fabrics, materials, and local fashion industry. If you're already going to be in Porto, this museum is worth checking out but beware it's a bit of a trek up a large cobblestone incline. The good news is that there also many other port wine manufacturers nearby so you can do facility tours and tastings after the museum (we went to Taylor's Port and Sandeman).
Check out a few photos from our museum visit. I loved seeing all the pride in hand made products.
Portugal was truly amazing and I can't wait to visit again in the future for more fiberventuring. Are there any other places you'd recommend in Portugal?