Monday, November 26, 2012


Here we go again ... this time to Vladaya. The village is on the northwestern parts of Vitosha, only some 13 km from Sofia and I am actually amazed that we've never been there before! The trail from Vladaya to Zlatnite mostove (the Golden bridges place) is gorgeous - easy to walk, very well kept and extremely beautiful even that late in autumn.

The trail runs along the Vladaya river and there are probably a dozen nice wooden bridges, resting places with log benches and shelters. We've only explored the main trail, but there were four or five detours to other spots and chalets, so we'll be visiting Vladaya again.

But not soon :(
The good news is, that although my left knee is killing me again after yesterday's walk, I've changed my orthopedist and I hope I've finally got the right diagnosis and treatment. The bad news - I've been strictly forbidden hiking routes, including descend - which makes climbing the mountain of Vitosha kind of tricky. So - no more hiking, probably for a month. Damn!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Pattern: Nottingham, free Ravelry download
Yarn: Merino Bulky 100 g / 100 m
Needle: 5 mm
Time to knit: 1 day

Well, obviously it was high time to knit something for my boy. He's not into sweaters, even scarfs, and so far the only knitted items he actually wears are hats. So - a new hat it is.

I saw this hat on Ina's blog and instantly queued it on Ravelry. My yarn is bulky, so I knitted the smallest size to fit my already big boy.

This is the first time I've knitted with this yarn and I like it a lot. I think this is the thickest yarn I've ever knitted and it felt kind of weird at first, but I loved the quick gratification of finishing a hat in no time at all. Now I want a cardigan out of this yarn for me, it's so soft and warm.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Simple Black Hat with a Twist

I used the second skein of Alize Lanagold Solids and made a simple slouchy hat to match the legwarmers. The hat has a wide double ribbed brim (92 sts.) and a stockinette body (100 sts) with the same cable pattern described on the legwarmers page.

Pattern: self drafted cabled slouchy hat
Yarn: Alize Lanagold Solids 100 g
Needle: 3.5 mm rib, 4 mm body

For the double rib I like to do a provisional cast on, knit a double legth of rib and then knit together the current row of stitches and the cast on row. 

Although the hat and the legwarmers are made to match, they seem to have gone in different directions. The legwarmers went to school - my daughter loves them and wears them every day, but in a set with the cotton black hat I made her in October, while I'm keeping this slouchy hat for me.

A funny thing - I must have at least half a dozen wool hats, but the other night I sat until 2:00 AM to finish this one. At some point my husband asked me if I was in such a need of a hat that I couldn't set it aside and I said yes, utterly convinced that this current hat was absolutely indispensable to my winter wardrobe. But I guess you know the feeling :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cartwheel Legwarmers

Yarn: 100 g DK (LanaGold Solids 220 m / 100 g)
Needle: 4 mm (US 6) Circular needle or DPNS
Gauge: 17 st x 22 rows make 10 x 10 cm in stockinette stitch

Cbl2: knit 2 tog, but do not drop sts from left needle; insert right needle between sts just worked together and k into first st again; drop both sts from left needle.
Cbl6: place 3 stitches on a cable needle behind the knitting, knit 3 stitches, knit 3 stitches from the cable needle.


Cast on 48 st, place marker and join for working in the round.
Knit 15 rounds of k2p2 rib. Begin cables:
Round1: cbl2, p2, k6, p2, cbl2, p2, *k2p2*
Round2 and every even round: k2, p2, k6, p2, k2, p2, *k2p2*
Round3: cbl2, p2, cbl6, p2, cbl2, p2 *k2p2*
Round5: cbl2, p2, k6, p2, cbl2, p2, *k2p2*
Round7: cbl2, p2, cbl6, p2, cbl2, p2 *k2p2*
Round9: cbl2, p2, k6, p2, cbl2, p2, *k2p2*
Round11: cbl2, p2, k6, p2, cbl2, p2, *k2p2*
Round13: cbl2, p2, k6, p2, cbl2, p2, *k2p2*
Round15: cbl2, p2, cbl6, p2, cbl2, p2 *k2p2*
Repeat rounds 3-16 three more times and then one more time rounds 3-8.
Knit 15 rounds of k2p2 rib. Cast off ribwise - knitwise the knit stitches and purlwise the purl stitches.

Knit one more legwarmer. Wear them with style ... :)

... but don't forget to have FUN! 



Pattern: Natalya by Jody Richards
Yarn: Lanoso Zerda 30% alpaca 70% dralon, 175 m per 100 g
DPNs: 4 mm

You know I had some misgivings concerning these gloves, but now that they are done, I'm quite happy with them. They match my boots perfectly, they are warm and comfortable, they even look good :)

This time I tried a new technique for closing the tips of the fingers - only one row of k2tog, to reduce the stitches to 6 sts. for all the fingers and to 8 sts. for the thumb, and then I grafted the stitches 3 by 3 and 4 by 4 for the thumb. For thick and coarse yarn like Zerda this was the perfect tip closure. And I also switched to 3.25 mm DPNs for the last two rows of the fingers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've finished a few firsts.

The first cushion - yes, it's been decided the entrelac mitered square thing is going to be a pair of decorative (picnic?) cushions. Working on this project was fun and a study on color combinations. Apart from the obvious good pairs (red and yellow, pink and lilac, orange and canary), there were some surprising hits like orange and furn green or lilac and dark greenish grey. And a few obvious bad combinations, like pink and green, or lilac and fern green. It was also interesting to see how the colors chameleonized when paired. All in all, the observations might be useful for future reference when I'm knitting combo sweaters. I'm very pleased with how this project is turning out.

I'll have to plan a visit to COMO or IKEA these days to buy two decorative cushions 40x 40 cm, to come up with a suitable color for the border I-cord and to make the second cushion (not in my immediate plans actually).

The second single is a leg warmer. Cast this on three times, you know - the third time's the charm, the usual developments here - the first one was too wide, the second too tight, I think I got the third one right. I wonder if the other knitting folks out there unravel as much as I do or is it only me and my obsession with getting the things as perfect as possible? Am I to worry? Just kidding, there's nothing wrong with me (right?).
I know the cable is almost invisible on the black background, but still ... a k2p2 rib would have been too boring :) I've already cast on the second leg warmer, these will most probably be my next FO.

The third single is a glove and my inability to make a decision over this glove might actually be worrisome ... or ridiculous. Being a Libra is such a nuisance (eyes rolling :). As I mentioned before, I added fingers to a fingerless gloves pattern, which would have probably worked well (it did for three other people on Ravelry, who did the same), if the yarn was suitable for gloves. But it turns out thick coarse yarn produces rather rustic unflattering gloves.

So I keep on staring at these and still can't decide - shall I knit the second one or unravel the first and make something different, another pair of leg warmers or men's gloves? Hm, looking at the pictures, probably it isn't as bad as I thought and it's certainly very warm. OK, I think I'll make the second glove and be over with it :) Crazy, right?

For other  people's WIPs - visit TAMI