Sunday, December 31, 2017

Peak Tumba from Planinitza

Our last hiking trip for 2017. The last days of December this year were so nice and sunny, that we just couldn't miss the opportunity for another gulp of fresh air in the open. We've been trying new trails in the otherwise near and known to us mountains and for yesterday we chose the low mountain of Cherna Gora and its summit Tumba. We've been in Cherna Gora at least three times before, but always from the west, from the village of Gigintzi. Yesterday we explored a trail from the opposite direction, from the village of Planinitza and it turned out to be an excellent and easy route to the peak, with marvelous views to the mountains around on all sides. The only downside of the trail - there isn't a good alternative to this route from the Planinitza village, so it was one of those to and back routes along the same track, a total of 13 km.

:The day started a bit cloudy and coldish, with only a couple of degrees above zero C. There was some fresh snow along the tracks
:This region is very mountainous and in every direction there are hills and valleys with villages and towns

:Around noon the clouds cleared and the sky was brilliantly blue - sun in winter is such a joy!
:The northern part of peak Tumba was magnificently covered in frost

: On Tumba, the summit of Cherna Gora mountain (only 1129 m)
: In the distance, covered in snow above the low mountains is Vitosha
: Like a mountain in the sky, the white peaks of Rila, the highest mountain on the Balkans, are high in the clouds
:The fields of Planinitza to the east
: The mountains of Kraishte to the west
:Vitosha in the distance

:The village of Planinitza down the valley

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

H&M Ribbed Sweater

Finally finished the semi-brioche sweater for Gaby I cast on back in February - in time to add it to her Christmas presents :)
The pattern is mine, loosely based on a picture of an H&M sweater from their 2017 collection. It's boxy and short, with longer back and zippers at the sides.
The yarn is super soft Italian bobbin merino and the sweater is very squishy and soft to the skin - and because of the semi-brioche stitch it is very warm too.

Pattern: H&M Ribber Sweater (personal pattern)
Yarn: Zegna Baruffa Cashwool, 400g, color asphalt
Needle: 4 mm
Time to knit: long :)

Gaby is a fan of the H&M brand and if I'm not mistaken the jeans and the shirt for this photosession are both H&M. When I was preparing the photos for this post I noticed that she had zippers on her jeans legs too, in unison with the zippers on the sides of the sweater :)

The zippers are operational.

Happy girl - happy mother!

Monday, December 25, 2017

I Built a Radio

Sometime ago the wonderful carol from posted about her first soldering project and I thought it such a splendid idea for me to try. The funny thing is that my husband is a die-hard DIY computer and electronics enthusiast and we have all one needs to do some amateur soldering, but I had never thought of it as something I might be good at or find interesting. Now I wonder how I could have been such a blinkered horse, soldering turned out easy and FUN!
For my first project husband recommended a ready-to-make kit, including the board, the required elements, a case and antenna - the final product looks like the real thing. And it works - I couldn't believe it when I put in the batteries and it went live :) It even has an alarm clock, which turns on the radio and a jack for earphones. I'm ready for more soldering!!!

: Мy work station

: First I soldered the low elements - resistors and capacitors

: The beds for the ICs were tricky

: Connecting the screen to the board

 : Adding the speaker

: These neat drops of solder tin and flux!

: And in the end everything went into the neat case. It has a built-in speaker or one can listen to it using earphones. I plan to listen to MY radio while working in the kitchen.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Short Hike Near Zheleznitza

This past week was unusually warm - spring in December with 17C today in Sofia, so we had to have at least a short hike today, even though husband has to work this Saturday afternoon. We chose Plana mountain near the village of Zheleznitza, as it is quite near to out residential area, only some 30 min car ride from home. We have a new tourist map, containing most of the hiking trails in Bulgaria, installed in the GPS and I had an idea for a short circular hike near the village. It turned out the circular trail was not what I had imagined, but we still managed to have a good 7 km exercise in the warm, though windy morning. Next step - we'll have to learn how to plan and record in advance GPS tracks, following the trails on the map.

::Compared  to Vitosha, Plana is very low, but it's still a mountain

 :: and there's climbing :)

:: We had to cross this small, but full river twice without a bridge, walking on fallen trees. Pretty Tarzan like :)

:A whirlwind of leaves

::Blue tit feasting on late apples in Zheleznitza

Monday, December 11, 2017

FO: Pastel Stripe Socks

Friday night I finished the new socks I was knitting for Gaby, using my first hand-dyed self-striping yarn. Gaby wanted them identical and I did a pretty good job matching them and using up all of the yarn I had dyed. The only difference between the socks is the end of the heel of second sock - one strand of yarn had flipped during the dyeing process and got blue instead of pink dye. Luckily it was the last strand of the yarn, I could have cut it out, but I actually like the fact that there is some minute difference between the otherwise very identical socks. I'm like that, I have to insert some irregularity withing the symmetry.

Pattern: Vanilla socks with after-thought heel, no specific pattern, 58 sts
Yarn: Alize Superwash, 60 g, hand-dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm
Time to knit: about a week among other things

Saturday, December 9, 2017

In the Lozen Mountain, Pancharevo Lake

A very refreshing hike in one of the low mountains near Sofia - Lozen. We found a GPS track for a 12.6 km circular route - just perfect for one of the last snowless and sunny weekends of the year.
The track starts and finishes at the wall of Pancharevo Dam, gradually ascends to Zdravchov kamak peak and steeply descends to Kokalyane village and along the Pancharevo lake returns to the wall of the dam.

 A map of the route