Monday, May 26, 2014

Tzari Mali Grad

The months of April and May were the most cold and rainy spring months I remember. It rained almost every day and made impossible our regular weekend outings to the near mountains. So when the forecast promised a few sunny days we immediately planned a trip to a newly restored Early Middle Ages fortress some 60 km from Sofia - Tzari Mali Grad. And despite the fact that in the morning the forecast changed to more coming rain, we grabbed the umbrellas and went to see the fortress.

It's a very small fortress on top of a hill over the village of Belchin (which is so rich in stork nests, I have never seen storks fly so low over my head - impressive!). Two eco trails and a funicular take the visitors up the hill.

Lots of attractions for the children outside the fortress - the best of which is the long rope path.

The fortress wall with the two towers:

A view from above to the village and fields below and the stormy skies. The promised rain was visible as a grey veil, as it fell in the distance. Some of it rained on us too:

The church and the towers were fully restored and turned into small museums:

A view from the third floor of the right tower:

A part of the fortress wall with a model of an ancient battle machine:

A restored residential building:

Just at the end of the second eco trail, which took us down the hill, starts a hiking trail. We walked along it for about a kilometer, but it started drizzling, so we turned back to the village.

A small ethnographic museum in the village reconstructs the ways and means of living of the locals in the past:

It's raining outside. Again. Back to embroidery :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Venetian Bistro

This past month I've been working almost religiously on the Venetian cross stitch project I started just at the end of last year. The theme is one of my favourites - Venetian canals and the artist - Viktor Shvaiko, is quite popular for his colorful romantic scenes of small cafes, old houses and shops.

As for knitting - I'm planning on Clear by Kim Hargreaves, using recycled yarn from a frogged crochet project, just waiting for my knitting mojo to come back.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cheese Rolls

Sharing with you a very tasty recipe I found in a newspaper and was curious to try immediately - rolls with two kinds of cheese.

Products for 24 rolls:
  • 100 g milk
  • 100 g feta (white) cheese
  • 100 g emmental or other yellow cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 g flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 10 g fresh yeast

Mix the yeast with the warmed milk, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp flour and leave to rise. Sift the flour in a big bowl, make a hollow and add the milk with the yeast, one egg and the white of the second egg (keep the yolk for glazing), oil, salt and crumbled feta cheese. Form a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth. Cover and let it rest and double its size for 30 min.

Divide into three balls. Spread each ball into a circle, cut into 8 triangles, place a piece of hard yellow cheese (for inst. emmental) and the base of each triangle and roll. Place the rolls on a baking tin, covered with baking paper and leave to rest for 10-15 min. Glaze with the yolk, mixed with 2 tbsp of milk and spread with sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C until lightly browned.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Vogue Cardi

I finished my Vogue cardi a week ago and finally got to blogging about it. I've styled it with black and beige as in the magazine, but it goes well with my short summer dresses too. I made a few minor modifications, some of which turned for the better - the sleeve cap, and some for the worse - the lengthening changed the silhouette and was probably a mistake.

Pattern: Fitted Cropped Cardi by Theresa Schabes, Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2014
Yarn:  Performance Cotton Gem, 300 g light beige and 50 g black
Needle: 3 mm rib, 3.5 mm body
Time to knit: 12 days

I kept extensive notes on my process in my Ravelry page, so I feel have little to add here :)
I'm ashamed to confess that I didn't bother to block the black button band - and I should (blushing). It pulls the sides, especially the left one, when the cardi is worn unbuttoned. I'll have to fix that soon. All in all a wearable little cardi, but not very versatile and I doubt it will become a staple in my summer wardrobe.