New Favorites: Rosa Pomar’s blanket hat

New Favorites: Rosa Pomar's blanket hat

In all seriousness — no hyperbole or exaggeration of any kind — this is the single best hat I have ever laid eyes on. It’s Gorro Montanhac, which I believe means (roughly) “blanket hat” in Portuguese. It’s by one of the most inspiring people I’ve run across in the knitting realm, Rosa Pomar, owner of Lisbon’s Retrosaria Rosa Pomar. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and am deeply smitten with her knitting and her style and her photos and the whole equation, and dying to travel to Lisbon to visit the shop. (We both have a penchant for shooting our knitting on the floor, but she has far more interesting floors. And more interesting knitting, for that matter. I’m also hoping to get her to do Our Tools, Ourselves …) But anyway, this hat is just killer. It’s knitted Portuguese style, meaning the purl side of the fabric is facing the knitter. I’m planning to google it and see if it the method is any more complex than that — did I mention I’m also desperate to have her book? — or if you could simply work it right side out with no problem. (Anyone know?) But it’s so cool I will actually try that if, for some reason, it must be done that way. Make sure you look through her Instagram feed for all the variations she’s done, including the cowl version that turned into a mini-skirt. Too too good.

New Favorites: Rosa Pomar's blanket hat

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49 thoughts on “New Favorites: Rosa Pomar’s blanket hat

    • I’ll have to live vicariously. This is exactly the sort of thing I’m so thirsty for after these weeks of stockinette sleeves with sweater madness on the horizon. Can’t wait to do something this quick and satisfying again.

      • I bet! I feel you. I crave the slow pacing and commitment of longer projects, but there’s nothing like casting on and binding off in the span of a couple days. I’ve loved watching your process, though!

        For this…I’m wondering what folks think about knitting this “traditionally,” not purl-side-out. I fear what a mess I’d make in giving this a try, even though the method intrigues me (I’m still learning my colorwork ropes more broadly)…

  1. I adore this pattern but I am not the best at colorwork (yet). Definitely going to have to add this and that technique to my queue on things to try! This is why I love blogs, you get exposed to such great people and projects. Love it!

  2. I met Rosa in her shop last summer during my holiday road trip in Portugal ! She’s really lovely, and I have a lot a pictures of her shop because I wanted to write a article about her (which I’ll do as soon as I find some free time). I also wanted to buy her book but it was only available in Portuguese. I think that an english version might exist (you can have a look to her website) but I really love her work and her philosophy about knitting !

  3. You’re right it’s lovely. Purchased a copy since I’ve been wanting to work on a hat, and colors look great!

  4. seriously great hat! Boy, Karen – you had me at “Kate Davies”… now THIS! I’m not sure how I recently stumbled upon your blog but… so much inspiration – you’ve got my number! Putting Rosa AND Kate on the list (and the needles – hopefully soon). thanks for putting all this great stuff out there for us!

  5. You could knit this right-side facing. The advantage of stranding purl-side-out is that it’s easier to keep your strands loose. The disadvantage is not being able to see the pattern clearly as you’re knitting.

  6. I have been there! Last year during our annual summer vacation in Portugal. We were looking for ages before we found her shop. There were no signs at all in the street when we finally met someone who knew where it was: in a well hidden apartment on the second floor :-)
    We rang the door bell and a litte girl kindly opened the door to let us in. The shop is so beautiful!

  7. Hi, I’m Portuguese and know Rosa Pomar’s work and love it! About the way she knitted it (and almost all Portuguese knitters do) is with the yarn around the neck, so purling is much easier (and faster) than knitting. (I use the continental way) so it’s a little bit hard to explain better. By the way, Gorro means hat and Montanha means Mountain. Love your blog! Have a nice day ;)

    • Oh, thank you! That makes sense. Her head note on the pattern says, “In southern Alentejo (Portugal), the traditional handwoven blankets that feature geometric designs are usually called Montanhac.” So it’s named for the style of blanket, roughly.

  8. this is cozy awesomeness!!! I’d love to knit up a skirt in this way, too. I love the idea of colorwork without using teensy needles.

  9. I’m so happy you featured her! I truly enjoy her Instagram feed and love those hats and also drool over her yarn and cool yarn labels! Hmm, maybe after Rhinebeck we should plan a trip to Portugal.

  10. It doesn’t mean “blanket hat” although “montanhac” refers to a certain kind of blanket from southern Portugal, from which the pattern is inspired (= Montanhac itself has no specific meaning in Portuguese and I never found anyone who could tell me about the name’s origins. Now, the name was called to traditional wool blankets from Baixo Alentejo (a province in Portugal), to differentiate from the simpler “working blankets” which consisted of brown and white wool bars with some simpler patterns.

  11. Pingback: o gorro montanhac | A Ervilha Cor de Rosa

  12. I just went through her projects page on Ravelry and I’m a puddle ~ seriously awesome work and inspiration. Thanks, Karen!

  13. I love Ross’s designs! I have her book too and a collection of her wool. We visited her shop in lisbon last year. My husband thought we were going to a castle or something. Trekked from one side of lisbon to the other, in the rain, and when we got there he exclaimed “WE WALKED ALL THIS WAY TO FIND A WOOL SHOP?!!!!!!!” But he really liked it and kept encouraging me to buy yarn! I can’t understand portugese but the patterns make sense and are easy to work out. She has a great selection of Japanese knitting books too.

  14. I’ve first discovered her on Pinterest and instantly felt in love with her works. Now it’s about 3 months that I have Instagram and what a world of pictures and inspirations!! Rosa’s profile is definitely one of my favourite:)
    This hat is beauty!

  15. I discovered her last summer because I bought her book about portuguese knitting at “La vida Portuguesa” while I was in Lisbon for holidays. This book is so interesting ! It takes me 5 minutes to understand each sentence cause it’s written in Portuguese, but it is worth doing the effort.

  16. oh – need help… not sure if this is the place to get it or not. Left one message to a knitter on ravelry who knitted this Montanhac hat (which I am LOVING). Well, I’ll give this a shot too and see if I can’t get a little help so I can finish up my awesome hat.
    First Fair Isle hat for me… having trouble reading the chart for decreasing for the crown. assumed I would just move from right to left like I had been doing but realized I won’t have as many stitches and from their… can’t get my brain around this one without some guidance – life line anyone???
    Really really a great hat!!! ( Not a whole lot of description / guidance in the pattern though.)
    thank you!

    • Hi, Marci. I’m not entirely sure what the question is, but yes you keep moving from right to left, and no you won’t have as many stitches as you work your way through the crown decreases. Just skip any blank boxes in the chart — those are stitches that no longer exist because of decreases on previous rounds.

      Hope that helps!

      • thank you, Karen – also got a little help from Rosa. Maybe between the two of these, I can muddle my through and learn something new. I’m hopeful!

  17. Karen, I’d be glad to show you the technique used to knit this while we are up in Seattle for VK live. It’s fun and easy.

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