Sunday, January 31, 2016

Krakra Fortress, Pernik

Yesterday we drove to Pernik for the 25th International Festival of Masquerade Games. We arrived in the miners' town early in the morning and after taking a wrong turn and driving in circle for a couple of miles finally found the way to the medieval fortress, built on top of the rocky plateau above the town. The fortress was of major significance for the defense of Sofia (then Sredetz) from attacks by the Byzantine empire and during the march of the crusaders of the Third Crusade through these lands. The fortress was later destroyed and is now under excavation. The forecast promised a sunny day and temperatures up to 10C, but early in the morning the plateau was cold and covered in mist and we were the only visitors. It was so cool, to have the entire fortress to ourselves! The mist gave it a spooky, mysterious and somewhat fairy-tale feel.
I had read some negative comments on the way the fortress was reconstructed and was prepared for disappointment, but the place surpassed every expectation - it is abundant with information boards, there are platforms and a tower for views above the ground, broad visitors' paths, cleared from the snow, benches for rest. We loved it and are definitely coming back in the summer!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Stockholm Scarf

A few pictures of the thrice knitted snood in Merino Bulky. I like the third version - a single loop Stockholm scarf, knitted in the round, and it was finished just in time for the ten days of freezing cold weather we had in Sofia.

Pattern: Stockholm Scarf by KnittedBliss
Yarn: YarnArt Merino Bulky 200 g
Needle: 6 mm
Time to knit: 3-4 days

Pictures taken along the abandoned tram track, running through our residential area. The line was cancelled with the opening of our part of the subway, but the track is still there - so there was no danger of being hit by a tram while shooting these pictures :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Colorful Envelopes

Did you know you could make colorful envelopes with paper napkins and some cling film (plastic wrap)? I didn't, until I came upon this youtube video. It was Sunday yesterday and -14C or so in Sofia, so I didn't feel like going out in search of open stationary shops, but I had to try it ... like right now. So I printed several envelope templates on plain white printing paper, dug out a handful of paper napkins and got to work.

When Gaby was little she used to collect colorful paper napkins - most small girls seem to be into collecting. And she still has the four boxes of napkins she gathered through buying and exchanging over the years - so I had plenty of material to choose from.

For one of my envelopes I also used color paper - this one would be perfect for a valentine card.
Now, the process - print and cut the envelope or unglue and open the ready-made envelope. Iron it. If you are using luxury napkins like mine, separate the upper printed layer from the other two white layers and iron the printed layer. Use hot iron without steam. Cut a piece of cling film and place it on the envelope. Place the napkin on top. Iron carefully and slowly. The cling film will melt and glue the napkin to the paper envelope. It's that simple.

Here's how it looks like after the ironing. Cut the excess napkin and cling film and the envelope is ready.

Glue the sides to make it into an envelope and place a greeting card or whatever inside.

Here's another one:

I made several. The one with the blue flower in the middle was made from a simple one-layer kitchen napkin, that works fine too.

This is my favourite, it is the first one I made, using the only factory-made white envelope I had at home.

And these two I made today. When hubby said he had to go to the local post office this morning I couldn't help it but ask him to bring me some white envelopes. Pity I didn't know this trick before Christmas, all of our friends and relatives would have received their Christmas cards in modified themed envelopes :)))

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cheese Roll-Ups

A quick recipe for not very photogenic, but mouth-watering cheese roll-ups:

  • 500 g flour
  • 250 ml warm milk
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 1 egg + 1 white (1 yolk for glazing)
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • hard yellow cheese, white feta cheese, savory

Warm up the milk in a bowl. Add the dry yeast and the sugar and leave for 20 min to rise. Sift the flour in the bowl, add the butter, the salt and the eggs and mix the dough. Leave to double its volume for an hour. Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness, spread the grated hard cheese, crumbled feta cheese and savory or other spices. Roll up like a sausage, cut into circles and arrange cut side down on a baking dish, covered with baking paper. Leave to rest for 30 min, glaze with egg yolk and milk and bake in a preheated oven at 180C.

I made half with savory and half without. I prefer the ones with savory.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Phi Hat

Project Name: The Phi Hat (personal project)
Yarn: Alize Lanagold Solids, 100 g / 240 m
Needle: 3.5 mm rib, 4 mm body
Time to knit: one week (?!)
I knit a new hat for Gaby and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I wanted to make a slouchy hat, that could be worn as a beanie with double brim for greater warmth in cold days. I searched for inspiration on Ravelry, browsing through aran sweaters and one of the cables on Fulmar sweater caught my eye. Later that day I browsed the blog of one of the best designers of accessories - Olga and came upon a hat with a similar cable. It might have been serendipity, or rather - my mind was already working the Fulmar cable and Olga's hat was the nudge I needed.

I sampled the cable, made my calculations and cast on the hat. My first attempt was a bit too tight and I was not sure if the yarn would be sufficient, so I started the hat anew, trying to knit the rib not so tightly and adding one more purl stitch to each cable figure for greater volume around the head.

And that's my Phi hat: worn slouchy ...

or as a beanie with double brim: