Monday, April 29, 2019

Planinitza 2019

On Saturday, a day before Orthodox Easter, we hiked along our favorite trail in Cherna Gora mountain, from the village of Planinitza to Tumba peak and back.

The day started hot and sunny, with few scattered clouds high in the sky.

The trail is easy and very pleasant, winding along the hills of the low Cherna Gora mountain.

Spring is gradually coming to the mountains, covering the hills with grass and flowers and the trees in blossom.

As we reached the peak, the sky to the west covered in darker clouds and we saw rain and thunderstorms in the distance, moving towards us.

Iris reichenbachii, a species native to the Balkan countries

We spent very little time on the peak, just a quick snack and we headed back to get away from the coming storm

Initially, it seemed that the storm was headed to the north, while we moved to the east

but gradually the clouds surrounded us from all sides

The sky darkened and we could hear thunders above

Luckily, we were only about 2 km away from the village, when the storm caught up with us - the whole nine yards - heavy rain, hail and thunders. It's been two days since and our hiking shoes are still drying :)

Friday, April 26, 2019

Purple Christina

A quick photo session of the purple Christina I knitted for my mother. My model Gaby is S and the cardigan is size L, so it is a bit big on her, but still I think it is much better presented on a living person than flat on the bed.

Pattern: Christina by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Drops Muscat, 100% cotton, 320 g
Needle: 2.5 mm, 3 mm
Time to knit: 3 weeks

The yarn Drops Muskat is very beautiful, high quality cotton, very durable and with satin shine and it was joy to work with it. My dyeing job turned out well done, I alternated two skeins all over and I believe the final garment is pretty homogeneous in color. I washed all of the knitted parts, some twice and there was not a hint of bleeding, so I'm sure the dye is permanent. All in all - I'm very pleased with this cardigan, I hope it will get lots of wear from my mother this spring and summer.

I am actually so in love with this pattern, that I am tempted to knit another one for Gaby in a color of her choice. To me this is a timeless pattern.
Discretely peeking under the cardigan is Gaby's new shirt I sewed for her last week :)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Recent Makes

A few of the things I've been working on lately:

A semi-wearable muslin for the Scoop Top - a free pattern and tutorial by Kristin at the Skirt as a Top blog. I don't have a coverstitch, nor a overlocker machine, but I was curious to try my ordinary sewing machine on knits. For this top I cut an old T-shirt of my husband and used the fabric to create this cute easy top. It is amazing what a difference using the right stretch sewing needle made - now I'm encouraged to buy some knit fabric and try my first real knit top. And I learned some  useful lessons with this muslin, like cutting the neckline band really shorter than the neckline, not just 2 cm shorter, but at least 5 cm shorter, to make it lay flat. Here I had to insert an elastic thread in my neckpiece to make it stay around the neck.

A few days ago I dyed 200g of Italian bobbin merino in this semi-solid teal color and cast on Joji Locatelli's Odysey Shawl. My intention was to make the shawl in gradient teal colors, dyeing the next sections darker and darker, but I loved the first color so much, that I decided to leave it as it is and make the shawl in just this one color. It is a very easy and fairly quick project, I like garter stitch projects, they are relaxing and perfect TV knitting.

A quick macrame necklace out of the yarn for my mother's Christina. I made this almost a month ago, but I keep forgetting to show it on the blog. The idea is from here:

And finally - Christina is done and ready to be gifted to my mother. I plan to make a proper photo session of it later this week, using Gaby as a model.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Alinsky Monastery, 2019

Photos from our hike to Alinsky Monastery on Plana yesterday. The day was coldish, with crisp, fresh air; the sky was cloudy with a promise of rain and we felt simulated to pace ourselves at a higher than our usual hiking speed.

:From time to time the sun managed to break through the clouds

: The trail has a gorgeous view to Rila to the south

: The snow covered peaks of Rila shone beautifully in the far distance

: The monastery. We here surprised to find a construction brigade there, engaged in beautifying the old church and the area. Pity, the place had its charm in the old dilapidated way it had preserved itself through the centuries - the church is from the XIV century. Now they are not restoring it, but turning it into a modern kitsch, from  what we managed to glimpse.

: We climbed the nearby hill with the ruins of the old fortress that was erected there to protect the monastery.

: The cloudy sky added a lot of character and beauty to the scenery

: Vitosha to the west

: The recent rain down in the city was in the form of fresh snow on the high plateaus of Vitosha

: The highest peak of Plana - Manastirishte in the distance

: Always a delight for the eyes - St. Cyprian's Chapel