Sara Coelho-Robinson is from Figueira Da Foz, a Portuguese town by the sea that translates to “fig tree where the river meets the sea.” She attended college at Universidade do Porto where she earned her Architectural Bachelors and Masters degrees, and is currently on track to getting licensed by continuing her education online at UT and SIU. When Sara was a young child, she would go around the playground and ask classmates what they wanted in their dream house before going off to draw plans for them. In the 8th grade, she picked a university that would help her achieve her dream of being an architect and did everything she could to be accepted. Now, Sara works at Smith Gee Studio as a Designer, but in her spare time? She’s a knitting whiz!
Though previously intrigued by the concept of knitting from seeing the sweaters her aunt made for her dad growing up, Sara didn’t consider it an option for a hobby until she moved to the states in May 2019 and her husband’s neighbor began to teach her how. What started with a six month long learning process to make a single pair of socks quickly turned into a week to create her next pair. And from there, she was off! Knitting was fun, relaxing, and allowed her to use both her technical and creative skill sets.
KNITTING GOALS AND PRIORITIES
When asked if she had any goals when it came to her knitting skills, Sara replied she would like to knit a pair of professional looking pants one day, as well as a cable knit sweater. As both garments are intricate and time-consuming, it would be a testament to her knitting skills and highly worth the effort. Creating her own garments for daily or professional wear also contributes to Sara’s passion for slow fashion, a sustainable movement that is focused on reducing clothing consumption through the purchasing or creation of ethically sourced high-quality clothing that will last a long time.
Sara also said that size inclusivity in patterns and designs were important to her. “Patterns used to be for people who knew what they were doing and could be adapted easily as they knew they had to be. New patterns are very specific and explicit in how to achieve a garment in your size and how to make changes to fit you better. Independent designers will have more variety in the garment sizes provided for patterns while commercial designers only cater to a handful of core sizes. The industry is slowly making more pattern sizes available, but it is slow and demand is growing faster.” She shouts out small businesses for striving to be inclusive in the sizing of their patterns.
- Do you have any favorite pieces of the things you’ve knitted so far?
- A shawl: it took me three months and was very intricate, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it but I did! A huge accomplishment. I’m also proud of my Out of Sorts Socks, the first design I made that was inclusive for both children and adults in sizing. They’re very comfortable and knee-high.
- Do you have anywhere that you post your work?
- I have a Ravelry shop with sock patterns! I’m working on new sock and sweater patterns right now. I also have a Youtube channel where I talk and knit with a few vlogs, reviews and tutorials. The vibes are a bit like a podcast for knitting!
- Any other fun facts?
- I have 250+ balls of yarn, I’m a little addicted.
- Figueira Da Foz, Portugal has the widest beach in all of Europe, it’s a 10 minute walk from the sidewalk to the sea.
- Figueira Da Foz was a huge tourist spot in the 1800s for the seaweed and sea air that clears sinuses, and its popularity was how the city came to have its first casino, Casino Figueria.