Thursday, March 30, 2017

Striped Socks

My first afterthought heel socks, using the striped hand dyed yarn I made recently.
I think this is the perfect method for knitting socks with striped or other programmed yarns, though for other yarns I think I prefer knitting the heel as I go.

Pattern: Striped Socks - vanilla socks with afterthought heel, no specific pattern, 56 sts
Yarn: Alize Superwash, 50 g, hand dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm
Time to knit: 10 days

So far this is one of my favourite hand dyed yarns and knitting these vanilla socks was a pleasure I'll miss. But I'm done with socks, hats, scarves, etc. accessories, it's time to cast on a garment again. I'm testing an idea already ...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cherna Gora Mountain

A couple of hours ago we returned from a lovely hike in the Cherna Gora mountain - a very low terrain mountain to the west of Sofia, about an hour's drive from home. Or theoretically an hour's drive, unless it's a sunny morning on the weekend and everybody is trying to get out of the city - an hour after we started from home we were still only some 10 km away on the ring road, crawling in the traffic jam. It's such a nuisance that about two million other people have also chosen to live in Sofia :)))
We've been enjoying an unusually warm March weather this last week and after last Saturday's alpine Vitosha today we wanted sunshine, warmth, spring flowers and easy tracks - and Cherna Gora is just that - its highest peak Tumba is only 1129 m.

A panorama from the summit Tumba - from here one can observe the snow covered peaks of Vitosha and Rila and the dozens of smaller mountains in the Kraishte area.

On peak Tumba

Our picnic place with a beautiful view, accompanied by bird songs (I did some sock knitting here, while hubby was having a nap).

We went down from Tumba and then hiked a different route and climbed a few other lower peaks (probably Kitka, Garvan, Gradishte)

Dam Pchelina in the distance

This tree reminds me very much of a fractal

Our starting and end point  - Giginski monastery

Our first stork sighting - a family nesting in one of the villages we past through on our way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Green Socks

The first of the two pairs of socks to come out of my home dyed yarn. I improvised a simple toe-up pattern with two six-stitch cables on the front - the yarn is busy enough and any complicated texture would be lost in the colorful patches.

Pattern: Green Socks, 60 sts, toe-up
Yarn: Alize Superwash, 50 g, home dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm
Time to knit: one week

For the heel I used the instructions in this free general pattern by Wendy D. Johnson - she has so many wonderful and free sock patterns!
I like how it forms the heel, very neat and without holes and the pattern has the calculations for 7 different sock sizes, so it's very flexible and universal.

I finished the cuff with one row of double rib and Elizabeth Zimmerman's invisible bind-off, which is really stretchy and beautiful.

The socks are meant for Gaby, but as today the temperatures in Sofia exceeded 20C, she just posed with them for a couple of minutes and took them down, claiming it too hot for wool socks. Oh, well, there'll be other winters to come :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Striped Sock Yarn

The second 50 g of the white Alize Superwash, which I dyed, using the same method I described in my previous post and five wool dyes - red, yellow, blue, violet and purple. This time I tried to dye the yarn in sections, aiming at stripes for socks my size.

You might have already guessed that I'm a fan of uneven, mixed, impressionist colors. I like harmony in asymmetry and irregularity.

I started the sock to see how the stripes would come out and I'm loving it. But first I have to finish the socks I'm knitting out of the green sock yarn.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Winter Fairy-tale - Koniarnika, Vitosha

An absolutely divine hike today on Vitosha - cloudless sky, warm sunshine, pristine snow, pine tree forests - a winter fairy-tale. To our surprise the snow cover was much deeper than expected, the paths were not much trodden and it was quite an exercise - but I loved it! I'm so ready for winter to be over and for spring to come, but the winter beauty of the mountain today was breathtaking and so energizing.