Friday, August 31, 2018

WIP: Secret Garden Cropped Cardi


I have finally a cropped black cardi to show - my Secret Garden Cropped Cardi. This is the same yarn - Performance Cotton Gem in black, which I had purchased for the frogged Vogue cardi. My decisions for this cropped cardi were so many and so wrong most of the time that this small cardigan, which should have taken me a week or so of enjoyable knitting, took me more than a month and cost me so many troubles! First - it was the wrong choice of pattern, but that can happen. Then - it was the insufficient quantity of yarn. Instead of ordering all of the yarn online from the beginning, I bought the two balls available in the shop, then a week later - two more balls which the shop procured for me, with the promise to provide more if I needed later. In the end I knitted and unravelled a lot to match the balls of yarn from different batches, frogged and shortened the sleeves to make the yarn suffice (because the shop never delivered more of the yarn) and in the end I found the manufactures site and ordered the yarn I was missing online.

After browsing Ravelry and Pinterest for cropped cardies, I eventually decided to design it myself, using a stitch pattern from the Japanese knitting stitch bible I got as a present for Mother's day. I sampled several patterns and in the end I chose stitch 104. For the rib I continued down the cables, but for the button bands and the neck band after much deliberation and sampling I decided on a simple 2x2 ribbing.

And here's the little black cardi finally finished. I'm fairly pleased with it, though I would have preferred more interesting buttons and maybe only 4 buttons would have been enough. I did think long about the size and the placement of the buttons and 5 big buttons seemed OK, but today as I sewed them I was not completely satisfied with them. I'll leave it as it is for now and if Gaby doesn't like them at all, I might redo the bands next year. May be :)

The cardigan is for Gaby and I hope we'll be able to have a small photosession with it modeled when she returns from her two months' practice at Cambridge university next week. Until then - just these flat photos.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Rila - Musala Hut - Sitnyakovo

Yesterday we hiked a new circular trail in Rila. We started again from Borovetz, took the gondola lift to Yastrebetz and followed the crowd to Musala hut. However, instead of climbing Musala - the highest peak on the Balkans, we detached from the masses and took the opposite trail - up the ridge Sreden chukar, along a trial passing by Deno and Shatur peaks and down to Sitnyakovo, where we took the chair lift back to Borovetz. The trail is very unpopular and probably for a reason - though very easy, it's not that interesting and challenging and the second part of the trail is definitely not scenic. I liked it enough and it was a good 15-16 km hike, but I don't feel like coming back to it again.

:The view from Yastrebetz with Musala in the center. We climbed Musala almost exactly 5 years ago. The children are so grown up now!

: The path from Yastrebetz to Musala hut is called by some the Musala highway - it's a broad and fairly level path and on a sunny August day it's crowded there!

: The first of the Musala lakes and peak Irechek

: Musala hut and the lake remain down in the distance as we climb Sreden chukar

: The ridge we have to cross over

: The gully between Sreden chukar and peak Shatur

:The pyramid of peak Shatur

: We leave peak Deno behind. Our trail passes by the peaks without climbing them

: A beauty view spot to the Saragyol lakes

: From here starts the tunnel of dwarf mountain pines. Up high they were very low

: but soon they formed a tunnel higher than average human height. This was the more boring and even a bit claustrophobic part of the trail.

:But it had its perks - the blueberries were ripe and abundant all the way to the end of the mountain pine part.

: The view from a panorama terrace near Sitnyakovo chair lift. Our starting point was the farthest peak on the picture:

: Jorko, the mascot of the chair lift

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Double Hat

Last week I finished my double hat / cowl, I started back in December. This project went through many stages - first it was going to be a stokinette stitch double beanie, then I decided to make it a cowl, then I added a second layer to the cowl and turned it into a double hat / cowl. Because I wanted to use up both yarns - 75g Alize Superwash I dyed last year and 75 g Cashwool merino, the hat turned very long and I find its form a bit funny and not particularly flattering.

Pattern: Double Hat / Cowl (personal pattern)
Yarn:  Alize Superwash 75g (156 sts), Cashwool Merino 75 g (130 sts)
Needle: 2.25 mm (st st), 4 mm (1x1 rib)

Here are a few pictures we took today of some of the ways this huge tube can be worn:

:Black with a colored brim:

 : Color out, double layer of black inside

 : Long and slouchy, black outside

 : Long tubular cowl

 : which could cover most of the face in harsh weather:

 : Double folded cowl, sort of a neckpiece

I'm not sure I'll keep this as it is, as I like the black part a lot and I'm not that fond of the superwash sock yarn worn around the neck/head. I'll test the hat this autumn/winter and I suspect I might redo it next year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cherni vruh 2018

Our annual climb of Cherni vruh (2290 m), the summit of Vitosha, this time with my sister's lovely family. We took the roundabout circular trail from Aleko to Cherni vruh and from there down to the Kupena-Aleko path and back to Aleko hut, a total of 13.5 km:

: My nephew for the first time on Cherni vruh

: The meteorological station looked like a moon over the rocks

: Skoparnika peak

: Bistritza and Sofia in the distance

: The lonely cypress tree

: A brand new wooden chapel near Aleko