Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Seven Rila Lakes, 2018

Our third hike to the Seven Rila Lakes.
When I accidentally came upon a description of a trail, that passes through the area of the lakes, but is different from the one we've hiked, I immediately started planning our Saturday outing there, regardless of the weather forecasts. Because of the extreme hot and dry weather to the west and the east of our region, here in Bulgaria we are enjoying the coolest and wettest summer in years. And I do mean enjoy, at least husband and I are. I LOVE it cooler and rainier!
So, we knew it would probably rain and there might be clouds and fogs, but so what, we are getting used to the daily rains :)

We were actually pretty lucky, and the rain came just when we got back to the car late in the afternoon. The weather was calm and cool, with lots of fog/low clouds at 2600 m altitude, which made the scenery pretty, mysterious and probably a bit spooky at times. The new trail we had chosen proved to be very unpopular and we met almost no one in the fog, which contributed both to the spookiness but also to the serenity of the experience.

:Starting along the winter trail to the 7-lakes Hut

: The first of the Seven lakes

: Taking the detour from the usual trail - up to Haramiyata Peak and the Green Ridge

: A view back to the second lake and the two huts

: As we climbed up by Haramiyata Peak, the fog was so dense, that we couldn't see the peak. This is the first of the Panitzite lakes. It was so atmospheric: no sound, no vision, no one, just us and the lake

: By the Panitzite lake

: Up to the ridge

: Finally the clouds moved and we could see the lake and the peaks we had passed

: On the Green Ridge - views to the other ridges of the mountain, Haramiyata Peak and the Kidney lake

:On the other side of the ridge - the beautiful Urdini lakes

: Along the Green Ridge and the pyramid of the Green Peak

: So funny - no visibility and clouds on the one side of the ridge, lakes and peaks on the other

: Predela - the place where lots of major Rila trails cross

: From Predela our trail followed down the more popular path by the Seven lakes - this is the Seventh lake - the Eye Drop and the Lake peak, covered in clouds. There was absolutely no view from the Lake peak this time - just white clouds.

: A strange bird on the Lake peak

: The Eye - my most favourite of all Rila lakes. We stayed there for a while to enjoy the view, the waterfall and the deep blue color of the water.

: While we were by the lake we heard two consecutive thunders, like gun shots - the snow packs by the edge of the lake had cracked. This must be the way this piece of snow/ice has appeared, broken from the edge.

: Three of the other lakes in the fog

: The Kidney and the Sunny meadow, not so sunny this time

Monday, July 30, 2018

New Bird Feeder

Husband built a new bird feeder for our small feathered friends and it's a smashing success. I truly admire his skill and perseverance, given the fairly primitive tools for wood processing we have at home. The feeder was made of 1 yard wood planks bought from Mr.Bricolage and a piece of flooring we had at home.

The birds that frequent us are mostly great tits (Parus major) and a few blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). In winter we get finches, but in the summer it's only the tits.

Some of them nib at the seeds right inside the feeder, sheltered from the rain,

but most grab a seed and fly to the nearby trees to eat it in private.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Good Bye, Vogue Cardi

Four years ago I knitted the Fitted Cropped Cardi from Vogue Spring 2014 in Performance Cotton Gem. I loved the process and I liked the way it turned out, but I never wore it, not once in the course of a year or so. As Cotton Gem is fairly expensive and with low yardage, this tiny thing had eaten through quite a lot of yarn, which was unused, so I frogged it and reknit the beige yarn in my Ho-okipa Cardigan.

When I considered knitting the Vogue cardi for the second time, using only black Cotton Gem, I had presumed that the problem with my first attempt was the contrast color combo, which was hard to match with anything other than solid black or solid white. And I had forgotten the issue with the transparency of the big holes, which made the cardi look more like a fishing net than a piece of clothing.

The problem didn't seem obvious to me, when matching the work in progress with various items it could be worn with,but it became glaring after I blocked the back and two fronts and pinned them to try the body on. As I had still to knit the two sleeves and the bands, I decided that I'd rather frog it and start anew than knit the remaining 2/3 and then frog it in a year. Now I'm testing stitch patterns for the new design. Am I a too fussy knitter, I wonder?!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Overdyeing Drops Muskat

While visiting a yarn shop downtown I found that it had a sale of a limited quantity of Drops Muskat yarn.I've knitted with Drops Muskat before and it is truly a very high quality cotton yarn, with luster and durability. However, the colors they had available in the sale were so not my colors. I bought some other yarn that I had planned to buy and left somewhat regretful. And then it occurred to me - why not purchase Muskat in a color I don't like and overdye it, the price of the yarn was quite tempting. I returned to the shop and grabbed 8 balls in this hot pink:

With the help of my umbrella swift I wound the yarn into skeins and then dyed them one by one into a solution of black dye. The resulting color is dark purple with very subtle variations:

After I dyed all of the skeins, I washed them and then put them into the washing machine, using my hand wash cycle and washed them again. I wanted to be sure that the color was fixed. Cotton is a sturdy yarn and it took all of these manipulations quite well, I'm as pleased as a punch :)

While shopping downtown I grabbed some 100% cotton ranforce for bedding and I sewed two pillow cases and a fitted sheet. This is the first time I've sewed a fitted sheet for our bed, adding an elastic. It turned perfect!

And just a strange coincidence - my new purple cotton yarn and the purple part of my Dotted Rays shawl are the exact same color, though I arrived at these colors via absolutely different paths, one on 100% cotton and the other on 100% wool. Curious, right!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FO: Murder She Wrote Socks

And another pair of my Christmas presents socks is done - my husband's Murder She Wrote socks.

For these socks I wound the yarn in a ball and dyed it red from one end and then wound it again and dyed it black from the other end. If I had to do it again, I would dye the entire ball red (or buy red yarn) and cover some of the yarn with black for a more dramatic effect. Though I'm not sure if the red could be covered that solidly with black. I should experiment probably :)

Pattern: Broken Rib Socks (didn't use any particular pattern, just the broken rib over the usual number of stitches for my husband's socks)
Yarn: Alize Superwash, 75 g, hand dyed
Needle: 2.5 mm
Time to knit: several days while watching the final games of the World Cup, alternating the socks with other projects

I took advantage of our hike on Vitosha to take pictures of them on hubby's feet

Now that they have been photographed, I can wash them, block them and tuck them away to be gifted when the time comes :) True, they won't be a surprise, but dyeing the yarn and knitting them secretly would have been too much of a hustle, I believe it is the effort and love that matters.