Monday, October 26, 2015


A bit of an unusual hike yesterday - husband wanted some time for his hobby (electronics), so Gaby and I went on a hike alone by bus (I have a driving license, but I don't drive, couldn't overcome my fear and anxiety on the road behind the wheel). Being free of the car has some advantages - like no need to return to the starting point. We hiked the low circular track of Vitosha from Zheleznitza to Simeonovo and had a terrific time for ourselves, spent in sweet mother and daughter talk. The woods were fantastic and the weather sunny. We should do this more often, while the girl is still living at home. Only two years and she'll be heading to university - time does fly!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wildflower Modelled

A few photos of the Wildflower Cardigan in use. As it was cold, Gaby put it over a long-sleeved top - probably not the best combination for a 3/4 sleeved cardigan, but teenagers can pull off almost any outfit. Anyway, she liked it enough to go out with her friends dressed like that.

And with the sleeves slightly pulled up, not to show under the cardigan. It's better like that, but short-sleeve and sleeveless tops will have to wait till spring.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Double Layer Apple Cake

Lately I've been baking cakes almost daily, mostly with apples. Usually the apples, when sliced, not grated, being heavier than the batter, fall to the bottom of the cake. So, I've been wondering what if ...
What if I baked half the batter and then added the apples and the upper half?! Would the bottom be overdone? And today I came upon this pumpkin pie recipe, that uses the double layer method. So the question was settled, I had to try a double layer apple cake.

For the filling I used the above kilogram of apples, peeled, sliced and stewed in their own juice with 100 g sugar.
For the cake batter:
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 g sugar
  • 50 g oil
  • 250 g yogurt + 5 g baking soda
  • 300 g flour + 10 g baking powder 
  • cinnamon, vanilla

Preheat the oven at 180C. Pour half of the batter in the cooking dish (mine is 28 cm in diameter). Bake for half an hour. Then take the dish out of the oven, spread the stewed apples, distribute the remaining batter on top of the apples and return the dish in the oven for another 30-40 min. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

The only shortcoming of this cake - it's too delicious and is gone too quickly :)))

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vladaya Autumn 2015

Just a few pics from our Sunday hike on Vitosha in the area of the village of Vladaya. The weather was sunny and the forest was at its autumnal best. We decided to use the GPS and make our own circular track, making the hike interesting and a bit adventurous. Marvelous hike.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wildflower Cardigan

Finally I sewed the pockets and the sleeves of the Wildflower Cardigan today, attached the buttons and weaved in all ends. It's ready for wear! But since the weather is too cold and even colder weather is forecasted I'm not sure when Gaby will put it on. I started the cardigan in the summer with the idea to have it ready for the beginning of the school year, but it took me much longer to finish it and warm autumn was really short this year. So probably - next spring. Anyway I hope to have a modelled photosession of it soon.
Pattern: Wildflower Cardigan by by Alana Dakos
Yarn: Alize Cashmira Fine, 200g,  hand dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm, 3 mm
Time to knit: almost two months

I didn't make any major modifications to the design, I only made it fully buttoned. However I made my own calculations for every piece of the garment, as my gauge was 22 sts and 30 rows compared to the required 28 sts and 34 rows for a 10 cm sample square and I couldn't go down the size as I needed the smallest size for my daughter. In the case of the pockets I think my gauge deviation even worked to my advantage, as the pockets, knitted to the original gauge seem a bit small for the garment, especially in the larger sizes, while mine came out pleasantly proportionate to the width of the fronts.

From the inside I sewed the lining of the pockets, following the two-stitch curved outline of the front pocket. Thus there is no shadow pocket viewed from the outside.

All of the pieces are sewed with mattress stitch,
including the connection of the sleeves to the body:

I wanted to have the sleeves as long as I can squeeze from the 200 g I had, so first I finished the body completely, neckbands and button bands and then cast on the two sleeves. The knitting included quite a lot of simple mathematics - I counted the number of stitches 1 gram of yarn yielded and then calculated the number of stitches for each sleeve. After sewing the sleeves, the pockets and the buttons this is all of the yarn I was left with!!! Success! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Milkless Apple Cake

This past week was all doom and gloom - cold, rain and heavy leaden skies. I find that one of the remedies for cold grey weather is baking apples and pumpkins. The smell of cinnamon and ginger somehow makes cold justifiable :)

This apple cake is one of the simplest I've made and it doesn't require any milk or yogurt. Last year Alex suddenly developed lactose intolerance and despite our hopes that it was only temporary, eating dishes prepared with milk continues to cause him stomach ache and discomfort. So I tried baking an apple cake without milk and it turned so juicy and delicious, that I'm putting the recipe down:
  • three eggs
  • one cup of sugar
  • two cups of flour
  • 1 baking powder 10 g
  • 3 average apples, peeled, grated
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract

Peel and grate the apples. Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the oil, the flour with the baking powder, the grated apples and flavors. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C.
We've already eaten two of these :))

And I finally finished the Wildflower Cardigan. I still have to sew the sleeves and buy the buttons ... one of these days.

But my mind is already on my next project - Patons' Urban Aran, which I want to knit into a cardigan for me.

And I also sampled this delicious woolsilk tweed for Kim Hargreaves' Wisdom. I love the pattern, but I'm still not convinced I want to turn the tweed into it. There's this intimidation expensive and cherished yarn has on a knitter - I want to find the perfect pattern for it.