Monday, December 30, 2013

Black Hat with a Pom Pom

I made this hat more than a month ago as a Christmas present for my sister. A personal pattern - a combination of fisherman's rib and cable, double brim, 100% wool yarn in a practical black color and a pom pom for embellishment. Black is very difficult to photograph and Gaby was not exactly in the mood for pictures, so the photo session was a bit meager. Hopefully - better photos from the owner of the hat ;)

Pattern: personal pattern - fisherman's rib and cables
Yarn: Alize Cashmira 100% wool
Needle: 3.5 mm rib, 4 mm body
Time to knit: 3 days

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Last week I felt like knitting something new and simpler, so I made myself a new set of a hat and a cowl. The yarn is recycled from two previous hats, which were worn only a couple of times each and the pattern is an improvised Jared Flood's Rosebud. The end result is pleasing and presently these are my preferred hat and cowl.

Pattern: based on Jared Flood's Rosebud (improvised)
Yarn: Linate 60% acrylic 40% wool, 200 g
Needle: 4.5 mm, 4 mm rib
Time to knit: 3 days

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fleece Dog Coat

This is the last of my doggy posts - a fleece hoodie coat + denim skirt for Lizzy. Self drafted and sewn in a couple of hours, frankly, I was surprised it fitted her so well  :)))

The fleece was a small scrap piece, given to me by a friend and the denim was harvested from the same pair of old Gaby's jeans I've used for other small projects too.

I had an idea to make her a denim jacket too, but meanwhile got engulfed in other knitting and cross stitching projects (more on that - soon :) and lost interest in dog attire. For now ☺

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Purple Belle

And another small project - a "party" sweater for Lizzy. The inspiration for the sweater came from this gorgeous free pattern on Ravelry - Silver Belle, which is in my immediate plans, especially if I can find some suitable yarn in green - I like the green versions on Ravelry.

Pattern: Purple Belle (personal pattern)
Yarn: YarnArt Merino De Luxe, appr. 80 g and some Lurex yarn from my stash
Needle: 3.5 mm
Time to knit: two or three days

The hoodie is knit from side to side, with short rows, casting off and then casting on for the leg openings. I used provisional cast on and then 3 needle bind off for the belly closing. The stitches for the hood and the skirt are picked up additionally. The frills for the skirt are created by doubling the stitches on the fifth row and again doubling the stitches on the 9th row.

The sleeves are added to the body using the entrelac technique.

Knitting for small dogs is such fun!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Playing with Dolls

My knitting and sewing these last days felt very much like playing with dolls. Actually dolls were the first recipients of my knitting and sewing efforts, as I suppose is the case with 90% of the knitting population :) I was younger than five years of age when I pestered my mother to teach me to knit, so that I could make clothes for my dolls, the same as she was making for my new born baby sister.

So, as I've mentioned before on the blog, Gaby has a friend, who has a very small mini Yorkshire terrier. Two years ago I knitted her a couple of sweaters, but now she's a grown lady and was in need of new clothes. This is the first of the new sweaters - a simple 2x2 rib striped sweater, made with the same yarn to go with the hat for the girlfriend. For fun I used the random stripe generator to program the sequence of the stripes. The pattern I followed is basically my first dog sweater pattern, only I added four more stitches to account for the rib texture.

Pattern: Lizzy Dog Sweater
Yarn: Alize Lanagold Solids (coral and grey), Alize Superlana (white in two threads)
Needle: 4 mm
Time to knit: two days

And on a quite different note - last night I made the apple pie that is becoming the talk on Bulgarian culinary blogland. I had read all the comments and I thought I was prepared for what to expect and still I was smitten with the result. Yes, smitten, because in the course of the preparation I was gradually filling with doubts and at the end I was sure I had misunderstood the recipe - it all looked like too much dry ingredients and nothing to hold them together. So, to be on the safe side, I also made my ordinary dry fruit cake with honey:

After baking, the apple pie looked nothing much, but when we tasted it - oh, my! - it is worth every pray and song!!! Crusty and juicy, sweet and tasty, and so easy to make (especially if you ask your husband to grate the apples :)))

A quick summary of the recipe:
You need: 1 kg of apples, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of wheat semolina, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tea spoon of cinnamon, 100 g of walnuts, 10 g of baking soda, 125 g of butter (there's also a vegetarian version with cocoa butter).
Grate the apples and mix them with the cinnamon and the walnuts. Mix the dry ingredients. Alternate apple and dry ingredient layers in a baking dish, adding two-three spoons of melted butter, finish with a layer of the dry ingredients and the remaining butter. Bake at 180C for 40 minutes. Spread powder sugar on top. Best enjoyed on the next day!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Three-Spiral Hat

Yesterday I took the opportunity while shooting the cardigan to take a few pictures of the new hat I made for one of Gaby's friends. The three-colored hat is an idea I've been playing with in my mind for some time and it finally got realized.

Pattern: Three-spiral hat (personal pattern)
Yarn: Alize Lanagold Solids (grey and coral), Alize Superlana Solids (white in two threads)
Needle: 4 mm
Time to knit: two days

The idea of the hat is that the three colors run in parallel spirals and there's no jogging of the stripes. The difference between regular striped knitting and this spiral knitting is, that in fact you knit not in rounds, but three parallel spirals.

The hat from the inside - no crossing threads, no jogging stripes:

This is the beginning of the three-row spiral. Cast on 90 sts and knit 1x1 rib for 15 rounds. Then knit one round of the rib color. Knit one round of the second color. Knit one round of the third color. Continue the next round with the first color, always observing the sequence of the colors. At the end finish all the three rounds at the same place. For the crown shaping I decided to make the decreases in the grey rows - a total of nine evenly distributed decreases per row, repeated eight times (start with 90 sts and finish with 18 sts). No decreases in the white and coral rows. I added a white pompom for splendor  - my first hand-made pompom! I also added a small label to cover the beginning of the spirals, which in my view, is the only weak spot of the pattern, as the new colors spring from nothing. A matching badge or a brooch could also do the trick and add some interest to the hat.

All in all, I'm very happy with this project, the recipient liked it and wore it today to school (according to the reports I got :). With the relevant choice of colors and a corresponding badge I think this pattern could make a nice patriotic or sports club fan hat too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Currant Cardigan

Pattern: Currant Cardigan by Margie Mitchell
Yarn: Alize Lanagold Solids, 50% wool, 50% acrylic, approx. 450 g
Needle: 4 mm, 3.5 mm button bands and neckband
Time to knit: 17 days

Finally, today we managed to organize a very short photosession with my daughter. She was freezing outside without her coat and emphatically refused to take her hat off for the
shooting :) So just a few quick snaps of the cardigan:

My modifications:
1) I began all parts with provisional cast on and after sewing the cardigan I put the live stitches back on the needles and finished them with applied I-cord.
2) For the neck I finally chose a 2x2 rib as for the button bands (alas, I didn't notice that her hair covers the neckline on all the photos :(
3) Because my yarn is thick and my girl - slim, I reduced the cable separations of 3 purl stitches to 2 purl stitches wherever it seemed proper.

And a preview of my next finished object - this photosession was two-in-one :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Düsseldorf Aran

A quick photosession of the Düsseldorf Aran sweater, a bit late in the day for these short winter days, so the light was not quite enough and the photos came somewhat grainy. The color is pretty elusive for the camera, ranging from dark green (true color) to light blue (totally wrong color).

Pattern: Düsseldorf Aran sweater by Fiona Ellis
Yarn: Alize Cashmira, 350 g
Needle: 3.5 mm, 4 mm
Time to knit: 9 days

I have already forgotten most of my thoughts and modifications, connected to this sweater - it's a good thing I recorded the modification of the sleeves right after finishing them :) The next two photos show a bit better the true dark green color of the yarn.

 All in all, a very nice sweater, probably my favorite at the moment (I know, I always favour my latest works ☺), a treat to knit and quite pleasant and flattering to wear.