Saturday, February 25, 2023

Dragalevtzi - Simeonovo 2023

A few photos from our hike to Simeonovo lakes on Vitosha. Today's weather was supposed to be warm for the season, but Sofia woke covered with clouds and though the air was warm, there was a strong wind.

Luckily, we had chosen a trail through the forests in the low parts of the mountain, and though we could hear the hauling of the wind all the time up in the tops of the tall trees, down along the trail within the forest it was fairly calm and quiet.

We didn't know what to expect at this altitude, so we even brought our snow protectors in the car, but the paths were actually snowless and dry. Luckily, we had a very mild winter this year.

Hike info:

Destination: Simeonovo Lake
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 11 km
Elevation gain: 180 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 3 hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

The trail passes by the small, but scenic Aleko Waterfalls. We've seen them frozen, we've seen them full-watered, today they were in between - half-frozen, half-running :)

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knipmode Cargo pants, Knipmode blouse, hat
I: socks, lingerie, Sinclair Lotte hoodie, hat, gloves

We had our lunch here, by the second of the Simeonovo lakes.

Here and there, the first spring flowers are testing the air.

On our way back we passed by the Dragalevski Monastery.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Gigintzi 2023

What a change of landscape was today's hike compared to last week's! We enjoyed a series of warm days lately, that melted the snow in the low mountains and today was probably the warmest of them all, with temperatures up to 16-18C in the early afternoon.

For our weekend hike we chose the village of Gigintzi, the short trail from Giginski monastery to peak Tumba.

Although it is still mid February, spring was definitely in the air and the crocuses at the foot of peak Tumba were in bloom.
It was so warm, that our winter jackets, hats and gloves stayed in the backpacks during the entire hike.


Hike info:

Destination: peak Tumba (1129 m)
Mountain: Cherna Gora
Total length: 10 km
Elevation gain:150 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 3 hours and a half
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knipmode Cargo pants
I: socks, lingerie, Burda raglan blouse, Sinclair Lotte hoodie

We climbed the peak in no time, so instead of staying there and having our lunch, we decided to test the trail, that starts from the peak and leads to the outskirts of the village of Giginzi.

We walked along it until we reached a hunter's lodge, measured the distance from the peak and approximated the length of the trail - about 5-6 km. So next time we plan to hike on Cherna gora from Gigintzi along this trail.
Today, however, since our car was parked by the Giginski monastery, we had our lunch in the vicinity of the lodge and went back along the same route to the monastery and the car.

The gorgeous sunny day had attracted quite a lot of people to the monastery and the mountain.

Can't wait for winter to be really and surely over and for spring to come. I want green and color already!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Men's Lined Hoodie

I made a new hoodie for my husband. The pattern is very similar to that of my own hoodie out of the same fabric - front zipper, big three-part hood, split kangaroo pockets, fully lined.


The outer fabric is a double knit in large houndstooth design in black and grey. I was gifted this fabric a couple of years ago and after I made my hoodie, which is a staple in my hiking wardrobe, I've been contemplating a similar one for husband as well. Recently, after making him a Burda longsleeve out of a nice viscose knit, I noticed that my pattern contained actually two versions - the one I made and a second version with a hood and a kangaroo pocket. And the hood was exactly the style I was looking for - with raised neckline and a central insertion.

The original pattern is actually a blouse, but there's nothing easier than adding a zipper in the center and turning a blouse into a zippered anorak. Because my outer fabric was kind of thin and prone to sticking to other fabrics, I opted for a full lining again. I've been into high quality heavy viscose knits lately, so we chose this gorgeous bright orange viscose to liven up and complement the dark color of the outer fabric.

As far as sizing - my husband is size 48 according to Burda size tables, and the long-sleeve from this pattern in size 48 fits him perfectly. For the hoodie I went a size and a half up - that is I chose size 50, but added additionally a bit of width to the body, to take into account, that this is a lined hoodie, to be worn over other blouses.

Size: 50 with with added length
Fabric: double knit; cotton viscose knit; rib knit
Time to make: two weeks

The hood is deep and wide enough, without being too roomy, I think it has a good balance.

The pockets are also deep and lined as well. I added rib knit at the pocket openings for stability. 

I also tried to do pattern matching, where possible, without being too obsessive.

We still haven't worn our similar hoodies in the mountains, I wonder how it would feel - cute or ridiculous :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Burda Knit Skirt

This is my fifth Burda 112 skirt from the 05/2019 issue. My first attempt at the pattern was a failure, as the skirt came out too broad, especially at the waist, and too long. Then I made two of these for Gaby, reducing the size to 34 and another one for myself.

A week ago I finished a hoodie for husband out of the big piece of knit fabric I received as a present from a friend. His hoodie is very much a repetition of my own favourite hoodie out of the same fabric, but in a male version (and obviously, using a different pattern).

In the end I was left with an almost good for nothing piece of fabric. But I am a petite person and I love using fabric to the last scraps, so I thought - why not make myself a tiny knit skirt. My initial idea was to self-draft a super simple skirt with an elastic band. But how about pockets, I'd so much love it to have pockets. And where to put them. Then gradually the form of the skirt clarified in my head and I realized that the perfect pattern for it would be my old favourite Burda 112.

Fabric: houndstooth knit fabric
Size: 36, reduced
Time to make: 5 days

I was so grateful to my former self, that after the last super successful iteration of the pattern, she had made a new copy, introducing all of the changes in the width and the length of the pieces. This time I made an additional copy, further reducing the length of the skirt, mostly due to lack of fabric, but also because I didn't need 1 cm seam allowances for the serger. Unlike my previous skirts, here I don't have decorative seams and my front yoke and skirt are made out of single pieces.

I didn't have fabric for the inside of the skirt, which is fully lined, so I used suitable scraps from other knit projects - the inner pockets are from some ponte for Alex's joggers and the inner yoke is from my favourite black joggers. The inner skirt is from an old and discarded black T-shirt.

Notes: I absolutely love the skirt and I am so happy to have been able to use all of these otherwise useless pieces of fabric. However, I think the zipper might have been redundant - the fabric is stable, but stretchy enough and I can actually pull the skirt off without unzipping it. However, if I decide to repeat this pattern with knit fabrics in the future and skip the zipper, I should consider adding an elastic to the waist, as it might quickly stretch and deform. Another note - the T-shirt lining was not a good idea, as the fabric sticks to my stockings, I might consider replacing it with a stretchy acetate or other slick material.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


The last week of January and the beginning of February were cold, cloudy, with strong wind and in general not very tempting for hiking. We had planned a hike on one of the weekends, but gave up on the idea and instead went for a walk in the nearby park.

Probably the first really bright sunny day with calm weather was expected on Friday, so husband and I cleared our schedules, packed the backpacks and drove to the village of Plana.

We really love it, hiking on a workday - the trail, in all of its snowy sunny glory was all ours. Some sections of the trail had not even been trodden after the last snowfall and only the traces of rabbits and other small animals could be seen.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Manastirishte (1338 m)
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 8 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 3 h
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 
The emblematic old abandoned house. I'll be really sad, when it succumbs to some heavy snowfall or gale one day and crumbles down.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knipmode cargo pants, knitted socks, hat
I: lingerie, Central Park Hoodie, CC hat, gloves, knitted socks


The trail uphill to the peak was marked only by wild rabbit paw prints.

We had our lunch on a sunny patch of grass under a big fir tree on the south slope of the peak. It was heavenly! The sun was warm, there was no wind, we could observe the entire mountain below us up to the snowy peaks of Rila and drink hot and sweet herbal tea with a drop of aromatic Austrian whisky - these are the moments we live for!

On the way back, as usual, we took an alternative path to the village, turning the trail into an almost circular trail.

Mistle thrush, posing on top of a fir tree