Monday, October 31, 2016

WIP: Long Tweed Cardigan

I haven't posted about knitting for a long time, but it's not because I haven't knit, just I've been working on a fairly big project with a fairly small amount of leisure time. (The picture above - me knitting during our stay in Asprovalta, Greece.) According to my Rav notes I started knitting my latest project - a long tweed cardigan on August 28th - more than two months ago.

I saw this cardi on Pinterest and it was love from first sight, something just clicked. I've had the yarn, 800 g of Turkish Ice yarns, called Woolsilk Tweed, 30% wool, 30% silk, 40% viscose in a rich brick color and as I love the yarn to pieces I've been looking for a pattern for it for more than four years. And then I saw the cardi from an unknown source and I knew that this was it, my spring-summer-autumn long tweed cardigan. I should mention again that I am petite, only 156 cm, and I never wear long cardigans, nor long dresses or long jackets, they just don't suit me. But once in a while one has to come out of one's comfort zone and for me that was the time. The cardigan is almost finished now and I love it!

The texture is rich, though simple, with enough lace for warmer weather and enough volume (more than 700 g) to keep me warm even on colder spring days. I made the sleeves full length and the cardi is as long as in the model picture - slightly above the knee. I'm still short and it is still rather long for my stature, but nevertheless I like myself in it.

This is the first time I tried this shape of squared armholes, I think it actually sits quite nicely.
A modeled photo session should be coming up soon :)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin Muffins

It's pumpkin season again and it smells divinely of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg in our kitchen. Today I made pumpkin muffins, pumpkin with milk rice, roasted pumpkin and pumpkin spice latte - all from the small butternut squash. The golden nugget will be carved for our Halloween lantern on Monday.

This is the second time I made the muffins and there'll be more of these soon, so the recipe is a keeper:

Ingredients for 12 muffins:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil (I use olive oil or sunflower oil)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cranberries / raisins
  • 1 tbsp rum / whiskey
  • 1 cup grated raw pumpkin
  • spices - vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg

Preparation: Soak the cranberries in the rum. Beat the egg with the sugar, add the oil, sift the flour with the baking powder and add it to the batter. Add the cranberries and the grated pumpkin, spice the batter and distribute it into the muffin cups. Bake the muffins at 180C in a preheated oven until ready.

The taste is rich of pumpkin - a bit like pumpkin pie, sweet and spicy. I forgot to add the cinnamon to the batter and sprinkled it on top, but it's better to put it in together with the other ingredients.

Ancient Stagira

One of our days in Greece we spent in Ancient Stagira - the birth place of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. It turned a wonderful 3-in-1 combination - sightseeing of old ruins, hiking and bathing on the beach. Оld Stagira is situated on two hills, forming a small peninsular and is very picturesque and beautiful to explore. The site is open for visitors free of charge, there are information boards and paths around the excavation works and it's really fascinating and totally worth the effort!

::The agora

::The village of Olympiada, seen from the hills of Stagira

::Part of the wall and the temple of Demeter

::We went around the entire peninsular

::We even went down to a small beach, hidden between the rocks. The sea was very calm and the water not very cold - it was pleasant to walk in the shallow

:: On the western fortress wall

:: The small uninhabited island of Kavkanas, believed to be the grave place of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great

:: A strange (to us) fruit. I'm still trying to find out what is this and is it edible (we didn't risk it).
P.S. I think I found it - Strawberry Tree and it's edible. I wish I had dared to try it :)

:: On the next day we came back to Olympiada and had a picnic on the small beach to the left on the photo

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Greece After the Season

One of my dream travels has always been a sea resort after the season is over, but winter has not just yet stepped in. Before we started for Prague husband and I talked how nice it would be to go on a holiday just the two of us, where we could just relax, go for walks, eat simple food, read books and knit (that's just me). And thus a plan was born for a late October holiday in Greece.
We stayed in Asprovalta, had daily long walks on the lonely beaches, frequented only by fishermen and sea birds, and traveled to other nearby small resort villages - Nea Vrasna, Stavros and Olympiada and visited Ancient Stagira.
The weather was mild, cloudy some of the days and quite sunny others, luckily without rain and no wind, so it felt very warm. This was probably one of the best holidays we've ever had - so heavenly relaxing and satisfying. I think I've mentioned it before that although I don't speak or understand Greek and I have no Greek ancestry, apart from my home country, Greece is the place I feel very close to my heart, I am oddly at home among the ancient ruins, green-blue sea, low dusty shrubs and olive groves. I only wish the Greek language wasn't so difficult to learn ...

Asprovalta and Nea Vrasna::