Sunday, November 29, 2020

Hipster Shawl and Burda 105 01 2020 Dress

I have not one, but two FOs today - I knitted a shawl and I sewed a dress. And I think they combine into a cool autumn outfit, so I hurried to take pictures of them today, while it is still autumn, as we are expected to enter into real winter weather next week

The dress is Burda #105 from January 2020 issue. I actually made this dress back in February, but I didn't like the fit and the collar. The pattern comes in the petite size and it was probably the major factor that attracted me, plus the A-line skirt, which is cut on the bias. However, although I believed 18 was my true size, it came too wide at the waist - I mean some 10 or more cm positive ease. Then the bust darts, which are French darts, turned too high for me. The high collar and the long sleeves, combined with the dark color of the fabric, made me look like a nun.

I tried several things to remedy the issues - I shortened the sleeves, which helped a bit; then I took in the waist darts at the back and made a sway back correction. Still, the dress was too wide and frumpy, so I abandoned it for a while. I was planning to cut the neckline and make it with a round neck, but in the end I realized it was not worth it, so I just added an elastic at the waist and called it done for good.

Size: 18
Fabric:  viscose poplin
Time to make: indefinite

My next make, which I am much more happy with, is my second Hipster shawl. In November 2018 I knitted a chocolate color Hipster shawl, which became an immediate hit. The "problem" was, that Gaby kept borrowing it and when she left for Prague, of all the shawls I've bought and knitted for her, she chose my chocolate Hipster. Of course she could have it, I can always knit myself another one. And so I did!

The yarn was gifted to me and it is one I have used several times before - Zegna Baruffa Kent, 100% merino, Italian bobbin yarn. The original color of the yarn was grey-blue, the same as the cardigan I knitted for Gaby a while ago. When I received the yarn, my first impulse was to make it into a sweater and as i did not want a sweater the same color as the cardigan, I overdyed the yarn forest green. And then decided to make it into a big, squishy warm shawl.

Pattern: Hipster Shawl by Joji Locatelli 
Yarn: Zegna Baruffa Kent, 100% merino, 900 m/ 100 g, in two threads, 220 g
Needle: 4.5 mm
Time to knit: 10 days 


As my needles and yarn were smaller than what the pattern calls for and as I wanted the shawl really big, I made an additional repeat of the pattern. Two repeats made it on the small size and as I didn't want to finish the shawl in the middle of the garter stitch section, I made a full third repeat and now my shawl is really big - it measures 61 cm in width and the full wingspread is 235 cm. That is a lot of volume around the neck, when I need it!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Pasarel Reservoir and Lanina Mogila

This Sunday we decided to try a new to us trail in the Lozen mountain - from Pasarel reservoir, by the summerhouse area of Pasarel up the meadows and hills of Lozen to Lanina Mogila peak. We've climbed Lanina Mogila (1188 m) twice from the north, starting from the village of Lozen and I was curious to visit the southern parts of the mountain and approach the peak from the south, as we did yesterday.

:A curious statue in the summerhouse area

:Pasarel reservoir on the river Iskar, one of the water sources of Sofia

:The southern slopes of Lozen are soft and sunny, we loved this part of the mountain

Hike info:

Destination: peak Lanina Mogila (1188 m)
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 11 km
Elevation gain: 490 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 4 hours
Average difficulty: 4 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: men's boxers, hat
I:  lingerie, socks, Plantain tee, brown cc copycat beanie, fingerless mitts

:Peak Lanina Mogila. From here on we turned on from hiking to "gliganing" (the wild boar method) - as there is no trail on the southern slopes of the peak, we climbed it free style, through the grasses, shrubs and rocks, up and up to the top.

:Finally, panting but immensely satisfied, on the top of the peak

:A picnic with a view 

:And back along a partially alternative trail to Pasarel Reservoir

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Blouse Burda 129 01 / 2011

I hadn't sewn for three weeks, something unusual for me lately, probably because I was busy knitting. I've noticed that I am a serial hobbyist - if I'm really in the mood for a certain craft, I'm all in and don't have the energy and mojo for other crafts. However, as my piles of fabric keep growing (you know, buying craft supplies is a different hobby :))), I felt an urge to justify my purchases with some dressmaking. And I also had my new stretch twin needles arrive from far-away China and I hadn't tested them yet - so I made a new blouse.

This is one of the Burda patterns for knits I bought last month - blouse 129 from Burdastyle 01 / 2011. The pattern features an interesting square shaped neckline, formed by the elongated back. This piece of the back, which connects with the shorter front, creates the illusion of a bolero and it gave me the idea to color block the pattern - thus I could utilize fabric remnants and have a unique blouse - win win in my book.

For this fotosession I decided to try the culottes look I see everywhere. Erh, not sure I'm the culottes gal, not quite sold on the look.

To create the bolero effect I cut the back straight 5 cm below the arm opening and made the lower part in purple and the upper part in black. In the original design the front has a folded facing, but I decided to omit it - my purple fabric is pretty stable, with very little stretch and definitely did not need any facings. Instead I finished the straight neck line with a band out of the black fabric, thus bringing the two color blocks together.
If I make this pattern again, I will reduce the available smallest size 36 to 34, as I am quite petite and Burda 36 size is a bit big on me in my upper part. I did reduce the width of the front neckline by 2 cm and raised it by 1.5 cm and it is still a bit gaping, so evidently some additional decreasing is still needed.

The back and the front black parts connect under the arms. To finish the neckline I cut 1.5 cm seam allowance, overlocked it and then folded it and finished it with a twin needle. It is not visible on the black fabric, but next time and especially if I was using lighter fabric I would do the same for the seam on the back - one continuous finishing line with the twin needle to further the illusion of a separate bolero, created by the color blocking.

Fabric: cotton knits, remnants from other projects
Size: 36, modified
Time to make: 2 days

Monday, November 16, 2020

Snow White

I finally finished a sweater for Gaby I cast on on January 2nd this year! The sweater is my own design, using the cables from a pattern I've already knitted before - Tre Archi by Louisa Harding. Gaby wanted a fitted white sweater with sequins and bishop sleeves and the Tre Archi silhouette in my previous modification seemed to fit the bill.

I ordered a bobbin of sequin yarn - thin polyester thread with tiny, tiny sequins, almost invisible, yet festive enough for my liking. I combined it with a bobbin of Italian 100% merino in off white color and happily started knitting on the second day of the new year. However, i soon discovered that the polyester thread was too coarse and artificial and i did not like the resulting texture. I drudged along until I finished the body, but i had lost all of my mojo and put the sweater aside.

And it stayed in a project bag until a couple of weeks ago, when I came upon it while in search of a cable needle to finish my purple raglan sweater. I took it out of the bag and gave the body a good bath and blocking. The merino bloomed after the bath and transformed the texture of the knitting, filling in the gaps between the stitches. The hem was curling and the sweater seemed a bit short, so I unraveled it and finished it anew with smaller needles and grafting. And then I added bishop sleeves my own design.

The back finishes with a key-hole opening, which I have lightly sewn up for now. The plan is to add a ribbon and close it by tying the ribbon, but as the sweater is for Gaby and she's away until Christmas, I'll wait for her to choose the closure she prefers.

Pattern: Snow White, personal design using Tre Archi cables
Yarn: Merino Extrafine, 375 m / 100 g, 100% merino and
Paillettes 1, 100% polyester, 780 m / 100 g, total weight of the sweater: 400 g
Needle: 4 mm (body), 3.5 mm (cables and hems), 3 mm (sleeve hems)
Time to knit: a year :)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Peak Dupevitza, November 2020

We just can't get enough of the golden autumn this year! The days are getting shorter and the nights colder, with morning frost on the leaves and grass, but the trees are still beautiful and the sun is still shining strong and warm. This Saturday husband and I climbed peak Dupevitza, the highest in Lulin mountain. The trail we followed is a round trail, which passes through peaks Dupevitza and Dobrinina skala, by the All Saints Chapel and back to the start of the trail.

Hike info:

Destination: round trail to peak Dupevitza
Mountain: Lulin
Total length: 9.2 km
Elevation gain: 320 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 2 hours 50 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers