Monday, December 26, 2016


For our, probably, last hike for the year we chose the quiet and fairly easy trail from the village of Vladaya to the Golden Bridges place on Vitosha. The day was windless and warm for winter, with temperatures just above zero (C). The place was empty, with just a couple of people beside us venturing a walk in the open on Christmas day. It hasn't snowed recently and the snow on the path was well-trodden. There were a few iced and frozen sections that were really impossibly slippery and difficult to pass, but as a whole a very easy and refreshing hike.

The Vladaya river was covered with ice and it was amazing to watch the water flow under its icy lid.

This is the low part of the mountain, the trees are mainly deciduous and without the leaves and the grass the place looked monochrome, it's hard to tell that these are actually color photographs :)

A patch of color - viburnum tree

The Golden Bridges - we had a quick snack in the open and headed back. I'm so glad we had this refreshing hike among all the holiday shopping, cooking and eating.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Purple Hat and Cowl

A new set of a hat and cowl I knit for Gaby. Though the hat is knit with Cashmira 100% wool and the cowl with Lanagold 50% wool, 50% acrylic, both are Alize yarns color 111 (purple), so the colors are matching.

Pattern: Chain by KK design
Yarn: Alize Cashmira 100% wool, 80 g
Needle: 3 mm, 4 mm
Time to knit: 2 days
I first saw this hat in Natalia's blog, queued the hat and downloaded the pattern, which was then a free pattern. It is an easy pattern with some very clever crown decreases, which I haven't seen before. I made two and a half repeats of the hat body chart before the crown decreases. The hat has been in use for already a week and Gaby likes it.
The cowl came as a logical continuation of the hat - I had some 130 g of Lanagold in the same color and I wanted to make a cowl. I could have made it a smaller more narrow cowl with just these 130 grams, but I opted for a broader one (about 35 cm wide) and it soon became clear that I'll need additional 100 g of yarn. I bought another skein of Lanagold 111, but the new batch is more saturated in color, as is noticeable in the above picture. Anyway I knitted the cowl in the two shades of purple, I prefer to think of this defect as an intended effect :)))

Pattern: Purple Cowl (personal pattern)
Yarn: Alize Lanagold 111, 230 g
Needle: 4 mm
Time to knit: 5 days

Monday, December 5, 2016

Shells & Tide

This is what I've been working on during the month of November - a big shawl in light fingering weight wool. Frankly, the chart is not very easy and intuitive and required attention most of the time, so not the ideal TV knit, but I am very happy with the result. I knit it for a friend and I do hope she will like it. The shawl is intended for the winter, but as it is very light and airy I believe it would be fitting for the summer evenings too. Actually, I liked the result so much that I'm thinking of knitting a similar one for myself, when I have the time.

Pattern: Shells & Tide by Veronika Jobe
Yarn: Alize Cashmira Fine 100% wool, 200 g
Needle: 3.5 mm (US 4)
Time to knit: one month

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Muffins with Chocolate Spread

A simple and very delicious recipe for muffins with chocolate spread I found on facebook:

I followed the recipe almost to the dot and the result is quite satisfactory. However my chocolate filling was not that runny, probably because I did not use Nutella.

  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 50 g sunflower oil
  • 80 g milk
  • 230 g flour
  • 8 g baking powder
  • chocolate spread

The interesting part is that the chocolate spread is first frozen and then placed in the muffin and covered with a spoonful of batter. The muffins are baked at 180C in a preheated oven.

Next time I'll try the recipe with jam.

And a picture of the handmade Christmas cards Gaby made for a charity. I love them all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Snow

Following last week's sunny weekend we began the new week with our first snow in the city - two days of heavy snowing made Sofia a winter fairy tale land again.

And what's better in winter than the smell of roasted apples with brown sugar, rum and cinnamon :)

I've got a new FO - a free shawl pattern named Shells & Tide by Veronika Jobe. It's written for worsted weight yarn, but I made my interpretation in light fingering weight 100% wool - a scarf rather than a wrap. The unblocked scarf is 150 x 35 cm and I'm currently blocking it to 200 x 47 cm.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Pictures from our Saturday hike on Verila, a low mountain between Vitosha and Rila. This is our first hike in this mountain and we were again with our friends from the Facebook hiking group. And I'm so glad that we were a big group, as there were no trail markings to the summit of the mountain and our GPS couldn't find the trail on the map (mainly because for half of the way to the top there is no actual trail). Unlike Vitosha, Verila is not a national park and it is not a protected tourist zone, and it happened so that we had to compete for the mountain with a hunting group. As we were a very big tourist group they had to abandon their hunting to avoid accidents. I wonder want would have happened if it was only husband and I, probably the hunters would have attempted to make us return home, though of course they have no such rights by law.
The day was surprisingly warm and sunny for the end of November. Down in the valley Sofia was in the grip of the notorious November fogs, but up the mountains the air was crystal clear and the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky despite the forecasts for cloudy and cold weather.
The hike was one of the longest we've had - 21 km, but very pleasant and fairly easy, with elevation difference of about 400 m.

The snowy peaks of Rila

There was probably not one member of our group who did not WOW at the sight of the sea of fog which opened before our eye when we climbed on top of the mountain - the entire valley between Rila and Verila was covered with fog and low clouds.

On peak Goliam Debeletz (1414 m), the highest peak of Verila mountain

The memorial at the center of the village of Kovachevtzi - the starting and finishing point of our hike