Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Starry Night

My latest sweater - for me! No pattern, improvised top down raglan with round yoke and Asian back correction. The body is tailored with decreases at six points, like in tailored shirts - on the sides and at two points on the front (symmetrical under the bust) and on the back (symmetrical under the shoulder blades).

Inspired by Gaby's Lavandula, I added beads to my very simple blue sweater and I'm so happy with the result. Initially I had started adding the beads randomly, as in the Lavandula, but then it occurred to me that they could be a feature, forming a pattern, so I alternated placing them in the center and in the end of each of the 16 sections, within which I was adding the stitches to form the round yoke.

Pattern: Starry Night (personal pattern)
Yarn: Filpucci Ascot - Italian bobbin yarn, 70% merino, 15% cashmere goat, 15% angora, 170g
Needle: 3.5 mm body, 3 mm broken rib
Time to knit: 17 days

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rilska Skakavitza, 2019

A very photo heavy post about our hike yesterday in Rila, to the frozen Rilska Skakavitza waterfall. It was a gorgeous warm sunny winter day high in the mountains and I felt like walking in living postcards - the scenery was out-of-this-world beautiful.

This is the natural geyser in Sapareva Banya, a spa resort at the foot of Rila

Monday, February 11, 2019

FO: Lavandula

Yesterday was a rare sunny and warm day and Gaby and I used the golden hour to photoshoot my latest finished work for her - Lavandula. This year I am drawn to simple, elegant models, mostly stockinette stitch with a twist. The unusual construction, a few beads (hard to catch on photo but showy enough in real life) and irregular stripes make for a classy sweater out of this simple T-shirt model.

Pattern: Lavandula, based on Olga Kondratyeva's video
Yarn: Zegna Baruffa Kent, 200 g, 100% Italian merino, two threads
Zegna Baruffa Cashwool, 20g, 100% Italian merino, three threads
Needle: 4 mm, 3.5 mm ribbing
Time to knit: 11 days

In line with the still ruling oversize trend I made the sweater with positive ease and an A line silhouette.

The ribbing is open and for this sweater I tried a new trick - overlapping rib and applied I-cord at the edges of the openings.

The neckline is left raw, with simple long-tail cast on. If it proves uncomfortable for wear, I can always pick up the stitches and add some ribbing.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boyana Church and National Museum of History

This weekend, instead of hiking, we decided to go museuming. On Saturday we visited the Boyana Church. It is a small church, located in Boyana, at the skirts of Vitosha, known for its amazing murals. Taking pictures in the church is absolutely forbidden, entrance is allowed only in small groups of max 8 people and is limited to 10 min per group, to preserve the gorgeous and precious murals.

 The church is a Unesco World Heritage monument.

Husband and I were extremely lucky, as at the time we were about to enter we were let in with a small group of students of medieval studies with their professor and a medievalist expert. So instead of the standard 10  min guide talk we were able to enjoy a lecture on the history of the church and the various details of the murals at an expert level. We were so, so delighted!

I was well prepared in advance with what to expect as the most significant of murals are well known and studied in school, but in real life they still managed to amaze me and fill me with awe for the imagination and skill of the year-1259 artist and his helpers. Apart from religious scenes with very realistic images of Christ and the saints, the murals also include the first secular portraits of Bulgarian rulers and their wives.

The grave of the wife of tzar Ferdinand, Eleonora, who understood the significance of the church and was instrumental in preserving it as a historical monument.

And on Sunday we visited the National Museum of History. We've been to the museum several times with the children, but today we were able to walk through it by ourselves and it was a different experience. And I love old things! It is always so moving to see pieces of art centuries and some even millennia years old!

Probably one of the most famous artifacts in the museum - the Panagyurishte  treasure:

 Replicas of crowns from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom:

 Replicas of two of the murals in the Boyana church - the donator of the church

and the Bulgarian ruler of the time:

Traditional clothes as of the XVIII-XIX centuries: