Friday, June 29, 2018

FIFA Sweater

As some of you probably know, the World Cup Championship, which is held in Russia this year, began mid-June. I rarely watch football matches, but I love the World Championship, and though my country hasn't been able to produce a viable football team for decades, I enjoy the matches and cheer my favourites (sometimes I cheer both teams, whoever scores the goal :))). And I love watching the games with a simple knitting on my hands - ideally a stockinette sweater in the round.
After the fiasco with my wisteria sweater, I didn't want to risk any more precious yarn, so I remembered the two balls of Alize Angora Gold, 80% acrylic, 10% wool, 10% mohair, which I had bought because of its gorgeous blue-green color. I try not to knit with such cheap acrylic yarn, as it tends to be scratchy and not very pleasant to knit and wear, but I itched to knit and I knew that if I did not like the end product, I could just throw it away and not regret the yarn a bit.

So I cast on the sweater the night before the opening of the games and I managed to finish it in only 13 days. I designed it myself, top down, with a rolling neck piece, compound raglan sleeve, which I totally improvised but I like how it turned, and a simple tailored body and sleeves with long 2x2 rib.

And not only did I enjoy the first part of the championship and manage to finish a sweater, but Gaby actually likes it! You might be wondering why she is wearing a sweater on the last days of June and isn't she dying hot in it? The answer is no, she was actually wearing a jacket over her sweater, which she took down for the photos! We've been hit by a cyclone of heavy rain and unusual cold for this past week, the temperatures in Sofia are down to 14-17C and it even snowed in some of the mountain parts of the country! So the new sweater is just in time :))) Or at least it was not inappropriate to wear it for a few photos late in the evening, when the rain stopped for a few minutes.

Pattern: FIFA Sweater (personal pattern)
Yarn: Alize Angora Gold, color 17, 150 g
Needle: 3 mm, 3.25 mm
Time to knit: 13 days

There are two more weeks of football games in Russia. Today, after a day of swatching and browsing through Ravelry, I cast on a new sweater in the round :)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Razgrad 2018

Pictures from our walk in Razgrad, a town in North-Eastern Bulgaria, yesterday. Razgrad is a small, but very beautiful and quiet town, with well kept public places and lots of flowers and fountains:

: Glimpse of one of the symbols of the town,  hotel Razgrad, which now seems to be called Cartoon (?)

: Along the main street

: The central square. There is a long flight of stairs, which leads to the hotel

: Statue on top of a public drinking fountain

:A balcony with flowers

: The clock tower, built around 1734:

: The park in the city center

: The local river Beli Lom, which run through the entire town

: A view from the stairs to the hotel

: The central square

: Ibrahim Pasha Mosque and the statue of master builder Manol
The mosque was built during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria. It is the third in size mosque on the Balkans and is now a UNESCO listed cultural monument. Commissioned by the local ruler Ibrahim Pasha, it was built in the early 17th century by Bulgarian masons from the near-by villages. According to the legend, the ruler ordered the builders locked and killed, so that nobody would be able to replicate his mosque. To escape prison, the builders made wooden wings and flew over the prison walls to the Balkan mountain, but their hatchets (or hand saws) cut through the ropes of the wings and they fell down and died.

: Back to Sofia - this part of the country is gorgeous right now, with its endless fields colored with various crops

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Into The Sea, Galaxy, М&M Colorways

I dyed some yarn these last two days - three 50 g skeins, intended to become socks.

Into the Sea
It pains me how dull and washed look the colors of this skein in the photos, in real life they are so vivid and neon. For this skein I combined two methods: first, I twisted the skein, soaked it in water and dipped it into sea green dye (blue egg dye with some green egg dye). I let the twisted skein soak most of the green and then untwisted it, so that the white parts could be dyed in the remaining pale blue. When all of the dye was absorbed, I added some acid dark blue, to tone down the neon effect of the egg dyes.

Then I took the yarn out of the dye pot and added some black dye to the hot water, made three knots in the skein and dipped it in the black for some black glazing and richer depth of color. The Dark nuances, combined with the neon green and neon blue really make it a spectacular skein, I'm so impressed with this method of dyeing.
For the second skein I combined hand painting and fixing the dye in the microwave oven, and then dipping half of the skein into dark violet to get the cosmic dark sky color:

I am in love with this skein, violet and yellow are such an impressive combination.
For this third skein I used again hand painting with a syringe. I made three dye solutions of the primary colors yellow, red and blue, diluting the dyes into citric acid water. The yellow crushed, so I made a forth solution of yellow food coloring and then randomly dyed first one side, then flipped the skein and dyed the other side, using the syringe. Although the acid yellow looked dull and brown in the cup, it turned nice orange-y yellow in the skein and the food color yellow is a bit more lemon-y.

After covering as much as I could of the yarn, I wrapped it and fixed the colors in the microwave.

I'm really happy with my yarns and curious to see them into socks :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hermione's Everyday Socks

And I finished another pair of socks. I decided to start my Christmas knitting and to make a pair of socks for some of my closest relatives, so this is the first installment into the Christmas socks box. I posed with them shortly before I wash them, block them and put them away for six months.

Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks
Yarn: Alize Superwash 60 g, hand dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm
Time to knit: 2 weeks

Hermione's Everyday Socks by  Erica Lueder is a simple, free sock pattern on Ravelry, which creates lightly textured socks. I made these with my usual 60 sts instead of 64 sts as the pattern calls - the texture of the pattern is elastic and the number of stitches should be the same as in plain vanilla socks, IMO. I knit them with my favourite Addi circular needles, using magic loop. The heels are Fish Lips Kiss Heels. The cuff is finished with invisible elastic bind off, using a tapestry needle.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Burda Linen Shirt

A few shots from today's walk in the park in my new linen shirt- Burda 3 / 2013 #124:

:: with the side patch arrows, buttoned inside to the hidden buttons:

:with the side patch arrows, buttoned outside:

:open, as a jacket over a sleeveless T-shirt:

: the side arrows: