Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Deep Into the Ocean Cardigan

The photo session of the long blue cardigan - probably one of my most favourite photoshoots. Can you see and feel the joy and relief after an exam, taken excellently after days of hard study :)

Pattern: Deep Into the Ocean Cardigan (personal pattern)
Yarn: Zegna Baruffa Kent, 100% merino, 300 g
Needle: 3.5 mm, 4 mm
Time to knit: 20 days

The cardigan is intended for everyday activities in university. Gaby is delicate and slim and always cold and she wanted something warm, but thin and light to put over dresses and shirts. It had to be wide enough so that she can move freely in it, not longer than her shortest jacket and with long, long sleeves and deep pockets to warm up her hands. I'm happy with the end result.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

WIP: Lavandula

On Friday evening I cast on a new sweater for Gaby and I can wholeheartedly recommend it as the most popcorny knitting I've done recently. I'm not following a written pattern, but the general instructions on the construction of this type of sweater in Olga Kondratyeva's video Polygonal Seagull.

My yarns are Zegna Baruffa Kent, 100% Italian bobbin merino, 200 g, 900 m / 100 g, in two threads and Zegna Baruffa Cashwool, 100% Italian bobbin merino, 20 g, 1500 m / 100g, in three threads. And I also added some beads to the light lavender yarn. I added the beads, using the "as you go" method and a crochet hook (or rather a small resistor, which I shaped as a hook, as I don't have such a small crochet hook).

As you can see, for three days I've already knitted the upper part of the body and almost finished with one of the sleeves. And I'm back to my stitch markers, made out of cotton yarn and beads. I've tried plastic markers, small safety pins, metal wire markers, but I give up - cotton thread markers are the only ones that work for me.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Blue Cardigan. Details

Last night I sewed the buttons to the long blue cardigan and it is now wet blocked and officially ready to wear. Gaby tried it and styled it with a fitted dress and low boots and I like the look of it on her. Some of the details I added to the cardigan:

A ribbed wedge between the sleeve opening and the sleeve. The wedge is formed using short rows and, apart from adding some interest to the design, it continues the slope of the shoulders (which are also formed with short rows), thus helping to eliminated any bulk under the arms:

Small buttons to the sleeves on a stripe of elongated rib:

The pockets are deep and separate from the body, so that they are not simply a decorative element, but Gaby can truly keep her hands in them - the idea of this cardigan is to be a work horse for university.

The most work consuming feature - the almost unnoticeable small pockets of stockinette stitches, which cover the edge of the fronts and the back, from which the stitches for the button bands are picked. To avoid excessive thickness there, I knitted each side of the "pocket" with a single thread and then combined the two threads to continue knitting the actual button bands. I really like this neat finish, though it is almost lost in the heather of this yarn. This is one of the videos I looked up for this detail.

Modeled photosession - hopefully on Monday, after Gaby's upcoming exam (one of six for this semester).

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Polovrak 2019

Our first hike for the year - a familiar place, which we love every season of the year, though I should mention that it is at its best in springtime - Mt. Polovrak in the Lozen mountain. We usually follow a three hour partially round trail, which passes by the Lozen Monastery and gradually climbs up to the peak, then goes down around the peak, returns to the monastery and from there to the village of Lozen. Although it is winter at its most pronounced, the trail was well treaded and easy to follow and there were a dozen or so fellow hikers we met along. The day was partially sunny, mostly quiet (of course super windy at the top) and it was a very good exercise.
What I love most about our hikes, apart from the experience itself, is the heightened pleasure I get from a hot shower and a big bowl of salad with a glass of beer and an Woody Allen film (as was the case last night) I get afterwards :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

C.C. CopyCat Beanie - Bulgarian translation

Поради големия интерес към шапката, реших да направя отделна публикация на български с моите бележки по модела. Оригиналът на шапката е машинно плетен от акрил и се продава от фирмата Colorado Chick като C.C.Beanie. Емили Ингрид е публикувала в Ravelry безплатна своя интерпретация на шапката под името CopyCat C.C. Beanie. Нейното описание на модела на английски може да се прочете в блога й.

Аз направих два варианта на шапката с две различни по дебелина прежди и с мои модификации. Първата ми версия е плетена с Pecci Filati Pacchero, италианска бобинна прежда в две нишки. Дебелината на преждата се получи 250 м / 100 г, плетох с игли 4.5 мм и 5 мм.

С помощта на спомагателен конец и куки 4.5 мм нанизах 86 бримки и плетох 30 реда пресукан ластик 1х1. След това прехвърлих живите бримки на втори обръч, махнах спомагателния конец и съединих първия и текущия ред бримка в бримка лицево. Минах на обръч 5 мм и оплетох още един ред лицево.
След това три пъти повторих следната комбинация:

6 реда опаково
2 реда лицево
6 реда полуанглийски ластик
2 реда лицево

След третото повторение на комбинацията изплетох
още 3 реда лицево (общо стават 5 лицеви след полуанглийския ластик),
1 ред свивки - всеки две бримки се плетат като една лицево - остават 43 бр.,
3 реда лицево,
отново 1 ред свивки - всеки две бримки се плетат като една лицево - остават 22 бримки.

Отрязах конеца и го прекарах няколко пъти през бримките, като затягах и накрая прибрах висящия край в плетивото. Приших помпон и кожено етикетче. Шапката тежи 65 г.

Втората шапка изплетох с Lanoso Alpacana. Дебелината на тази прежда е почти два пъти по-голяма - 130 м / 100 г, затова и се наложиха модификации към първоначалния модел.

С помощта на спомагателен конец и куки 4.5 мм нанизах 72 бримки. Плетох 23 реда полупресукан ластик (1 лицева пресукана, 1 опакова непресукана).
Съединих първия и текущия ред лицево и оплетох още един ред лицево с куки 5 мм.

След това изплетох 2 повторения на комбинацията

4 реда опаково
1 ред лицево
4 реда полуанглийски ластик
1 ред лицево

След второто повторение изплетох още
4 реда опаково
3 реда лицево
1 ред свивки - всеки две бримки се плетат като една лицево - остават 36 бр.,
2 реда лицево,
отново 1 ред свивки - всеки две бримки се плетат като една лицево - остават 18 бримки.

Накрая прекарах конеца няколко пъти през бримките, като затягах и прибрах висящия край в плетивото. Приших помпон и кожено етикетче. Шапката глътна точно 100 г.
Получи се много въздушна, но топла шапка, определено е любимата ми за този сезон.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

WIP: Blue Cardigan

My first WIP for 2019 is a long promised simple woolen cardigan for Gaby. It's even a bit too simple and I'm wracking my brain to think of small embellishments to face-lift its crude rustic look. Today one of those Russian bloggers I've been listening to lately shared a thought that struck a chord with me. She's knitting a very simple stockinette sweater and she's making a neck-piece that is attached to it in a rather sophisticated manner. According to her with such simple things it is the precision and mastery of the details that make the difference between a beautiful garment and granny's vest. I'm planning to use her idea for the button bands to my cardigan.

My inspiration is this acrylic cardigan, sold by H&M. The yarn I'm using is new to me, Kent by Zegna Baruffa, again Italian bobbin yarn. It is 100% merino, 900 m / 100 g and I'm knitting it in two threads.
Photo from H&M site

I'm planning to add the pockets as afterthought pockets, similar to afterthought heels. I've never done it before, but it should work on the same principle. And Gaby insists on buttons. I bought a handful of brown buttons to go with the brown leather tag, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about them. I'm almost done with the second front and I plan to attach it to the back, using the three-needle method and to give it a good blocking, while I'm knitting the sleeves.
While downtown, searching for buttons, I bought beading wire and crimp beads and I made my first wire stitch markers. It was great fun and the possibilities are limitless. I even feel a bit tempted to try handmade jewelry with beads and wires, so stay tuned :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Review

I love these year reviews popping all around the Internet and I can't skip my own. I actually kind of  refer to mine as a sort of a diary of the year. As I get older years fly by with greater and greater speed, blink and you've missed one, so these reviews help me keep track.
As this is a crafts blog mostly, first a review of the items I made this year:

Six sweaters, mostly for Gaby. This year I've been obsessed with Italian bobbin yarn and I've bought many more bobbins to try. And I expanded my dyeing experiments to lots of large scale projects too - three of these six sweaters were made out of hand dyed yarn:

I knitted three big shawls, all out of hand dyed yarn. I plan at least one or two more this year:

I didn't knit many hats this year, as we have plenty I did in 2017:

2018 was definitely the year of socks, I love them as small projects to knit while watching movies and in between big projects, and as I not only knit, but also wear them (as does Gaby), I plan to make more socks in 2019 too:

I also sewed some real wearable shirts this year and two backpacks for Gaby, which are in active use. Sewing is the sphere I want to expand my skills in 2019:

Travel and tourism - we hiked a lot this year, though we climbed no major peaks. The most memorable hikes we had were
the climb from Bistritza to Cherni vruh and back (23 km, net elevation gain of 1260 m)

Seven Rila lakes through Zeleni ridge

and the Scary lake (Strashnoto ezero) on Rila:

And of course, the pinnacle of our travel life was our trip to Bologna and Florence in Italy:

New Year resolutions :)
  • In 2018 I still wanted to study Spanish, but I lost interest in repeating the same lessons and quickly abandoned it. For 2019 I feel more like brushing up my Russian. Recently I came upon the youtube channels of some brilliant Russian speaking knitters and I've spent hours watching and knitting and training on the elliptical. So, combining 3-in-1, by watching Olga Kondratyeva's channel I intend to increase my knitting skills, revive my knowledge of Russian and keep my body in form :) We'll see how it goes.
  • I totally failed on my goal to organize two and three days hikes with sleep over in mountain huts. I'm keeping it as a goal in 2019.
  • I want to travel even more, both in Bulgaria and abroad. Another small trip to a big European city (I'm thinking Vienna) is a must.
  • I want to continue dyeing and knitting and to expand my designing abilities and my experience with new yarn.
  • And I want to sew more and more complicated and wearable garments. I want to make more clothes in 2019 and to learn more about different fabrics.
But most of all, I hope for a happy, peaceful and successful year, filled with love for my family and joy from my hobbies.