Saturday, November 19, 2022

Dupevitza in November 2022

On probably one of the very last warm autumn days of the year husband and I hiked in the vicinity of Sofia, in the Lulin mountain. 

The round trail to peak Dupevitza is one we like to hike in early spring and late autumn, as it is fairly easy, close to home and as a bonus - a get to fill up bottles of mineral water from the excellent hot natural springs in Gorna Banya.

It is a trite observation, but nevertheless fascinating to me,  how different the forest looks every year, even when we visit it more or less on the same date - some years mid November means yellow leafy trees and bright skies and some years - snow and frost. This year is somewhere in the middle - the weather was really mild, with a distinct warm note and a sweetish touch of slowly decaying leaves in the air, but the trees were already leafless and the feel in the forest was definitely of the coming bare season.

Hike info:

Destination: round trail to peak Dupevitza
Mountain: Lulin
Total length: 10 km
Elevation gain: 320 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 2 hours 40  min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

:On peak Dupevitza (1256 m)

:On peak Dobrinova skala (1229 m)

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, Knip Mode blouse, Fire Socks
I: lingerie, Grey "Page" Hoodie, raglan Burda blouse

We had our picnic here, on the soft grass of the meadow, with a view to peak Kopitoto on Vitosha

:All Saints Chapel

Monday, November 14, 2022


Last weekend the weather was cloudy and cold, I had an interesting sewing project and an engaging audio book to listen to and we decided to skip hiking and stay at home. So, instead of a hiking galore, I dug up a draft post, which I had composed months ago, but never finished and took the effort to finally complete it and post it.

One of the most interesting places we visited this summer was Shipka - a historical peak in the Balkans with a memorial at the place of one of the major battles for the liberation of the country from the Ottoman rule in 1877. We climbed the steps - 894 in total, walked around the grounds and viewed the inside of the memorial.

After climbing up to the top of the memorial, we went a bit around and had a short picnic on the grass with a view to the peak on the one side and the valley on the other.

On our way through the Shipka pass we stopped at the village of Shipka to view the commemorative church, which was built at the end of the 19th century in Moscovite style and was dedicated to the Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian soldiers that died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Yellow Cowl Neck Blouse

A new casual viscose blouse for myself, my third this season. As we had a very long warm, even hot Indian summer and I walked some 4-6 km every day, I found my light longsleeves extremely comfy and wearable.

The new blouse is another hybrid, this time between a cowl neck Burda pattern I tried first two years ago and my now beloved slightly gathered sleeves with longish cuffs, adapted from Burda 112 10/2021.


My first iteration of the cowl neck pattern was more or less a failure, as I used fairly stiff and thick knit fabric and I've been contemplating ever since to try it again with a more suitable thin viscose knit. So when I grabbed this mustard yellow viscose, I knew its fluidity and drape was exactly what the pattern called for. The construction of the neck is interesting and original and I really like it and I find it flattering and comfy.

Pattern: Burda 103 10/2014 and Burda 112 10/2021 (sleeves)
Size: 34, shortened  sleeves by 10 cm, body by 3 cm
Fabric: viscose knit, 1.2 m
Thread: yellow polyester
Time to make: 4 days

However, I should note, that the pattern runs pretty tight and body hugging, which I do not particularly like. If I am to repeat this pattern again, I would definitely go for a larger size from the underarms down and would probably shorten it a couple of centimeters also.

Now, that the warm days are over, I should probably turn to knitting and sewing warmer, more weather appropriate clothes and leave the light viscose fabrics for the next warm season. Or will I :)) ?

Monday, November 7, 2022

Pasarel - Lanina Mogila 2022

On the last of the Indian summer days this year, Gaby, husband and I hiked in the Lozen mountains, from the Pasarel reservoir to peak Lanina Mogila and back. To our surprise, autumn was much advanced here, on the southern slopes of the mountain and most of the trees had lost their leaves, the grass was grayish yellow and the autumnal magic was mostly gone.

Still, the day was warm and sunny through clouds and we had a nice hike and chat with our grown daughter.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Lanina Mogila (1188 m)
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 12 km
Elevation gain: 490 m
Total duration (plus picnic): about 4 hours
Average difficulty: 4.5 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants
I: lingerie, Grey "Page" Hoodie, raglan Burda blouse

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Fire Socks

My third pair of socks this year, dyed with the help of a sock blank. My husband is a sucker for warm colors, especially orange, and has been requesting some fiery socks forever. So, for my third sock blank I chose a warm dark to light to dark transition from dark red wine to dark chocolate, or at least that was the plan.

What I realized once I had finished the painting of the blank was, that this scheme placed the lightest color - the yellow, in the middle of the blank, which would probably work well for a scarf or a hat, but for socks it meant that the lightest color would be at the heel, and this is far from ideal. I debated with myself whether to cut some of the brown and move it to the heel, but firstly I didn't know how much to cut, and secondly - that would have inevitably broken the color transition. In the end I decided to go with the flow and knit the socks as I had dyed the yarn and, hopefully, learn a lesson about better planning next time.

Pattern: Fire Socks (personal pattern, 64 sts)
Yarn: Alize Superwash, 72 g, hand-dyed 
Needle: 2.5 Addi circular needles
Time to knit: one week

Despite the definitely awkward color placement, husband loves the new socks and declares them his favourite. Until the next newer pair of socks, I suspect :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Alinsky Monastery in October 2022

Our summer in October is still on, to my greatest delight, and our hikes in the nearby mountains are as pleasurable as possible. This Saturday we went to another of our favourite spring/autumn destinations - Alinsky monastery. 

The track is mostly open, through fields and clearings, up and down the hills of Plana mountain. The elevation gain is very moderate, the length leisurely reasonable and it is actually a mystery to me why this path is not more popular - we met no hikers and only two bikers on our way to and back from the former monastery, of which only a small church now remains.

Of all the months of the year, the forests look probably most beautiful in October.

Hike info:

Destination: Alinsky Monastery
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 13 km
Elevation gain: 200 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 4 hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

The rugged forms of Rila peaks were clearly visible in the distance

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, Raglan Shkatulka Blouse, Viki Sews Hoodie
I: lingerie, flared Knipmode pants, Boatneck Blouse, Central Park hoodie

:The Buddhist Stuppa at the end of the village of Plana