Knit:: The making of… Sockhead Hat

image

image

image

image

image

So I had to improvise a little with this pattern as it calls for DPNS at the end to finish the decreases, but as I mentioned before I can’t carry around every size and type of hook so I’m limited to a only couple. Imagination had to come into play. The pattern says to switch to dpns when it gets too tight but instead of finishing the decreases I carried on for a few extra rows and then I cast off. I folded it over and stitched it so it was a tube and just wide  enough for a knitted Icord to be threaded through. Then I added the pom pom!  So now it is still a hat BUT it can also stretch out to be a cowl!
Ingenious. Two garments in one!
It’s also a very international hat, I started knitting it in Athens and finished it in Romania!

Thanks for reading
Dominique

Yarn:: Istanbul, Turkey

image

image

image

image

So Much Yarn!!!! I had to go and visit the market in Istanbul and it was crazy. Not only that it was so busy and at every step a shop owner would be calling you and shouting prices trying to sell you their wares but also crazily cheap. I couldn’t believe it. And there was so much yarn! The above photos are only a snapshot, there was shop after shop selling all kinds of yarn and materials and buttons! I wish I had room in my backpack!

I finished my Winter Hoodlet a few days ago. Currently I’m working on a knitted hat (sockhead pattern from raverly), on circulars. However, that shouldn’t take me too much longer and I knew I would need something else to keep my fingers busy and realising how cheap the yarn is I thought I had better buy it in Istanbul. I had to be sensible, I can’t buy every size needle and hook or multiple dpns or such, I have to work with what I have ( two hooks, size 4mm and 5mm and two circular needles 3.5mm at 80cm and 3mm at 40mm) choose the pattern based on that or alter the pattern (like I’m doing with my sockhead pattern!).  
I perused raverly until I nearly went blind and stumbled on this gorgeous, customizable pattern, called My Favourite Things scarf. It’s getting cold here in Europe (including minus temperatures and snow as we head further north) and this will be absolutely perfect to keep the chills at bay. It’s also full of colour to brighten up my relatively bland, tiny wardrobe that I’m lugging around. I’ll learn some new techniques including colour change and following charts (I’m still new to knitting), it will keep me busy for quite a while (as opposed to easy projects that I’ll finish in a week and have to tote around with me) keep me warm on cold nights (next stop Sinaia, Romania) and function as a pillow on long coach/train journeys.

Anyway, to my purchases.

image

image

Photo 1 – I bought ten balls of baby wool in ten different colours. It’s 20% cashmere, 40% Merino and 40% acrylic. It was 3.50TL a ball, which works out to be about €1.20ish and again 90p or £1? Absolute Bargain!! I could have bought loads but I really don’t have that much room so I had to choose carefully. But look at all the colours! So much colourful yarn I know this will make a great scarf. I’m going to have fun mixing and matching them into various colour combinations for the pattern.

image

Photo 2 – I bought a furry pompom for my current WIP to add a bit of snazzy fabulousness.

What are you working on? You can leave a link in the comments so I can pop over and have a nose!

Thanks for reading.
Dominique

Travel:: Istanbul, Turkey (Part One)

We have arrived in Istanbul, Turkey!!

The journey consisted of an overnight train from Athens to Thessaloniki and then a 10 hour coach from Thessaloniki to Istanbul, which wasn’t as bad as I had originally imagined it would be. Actually it was pretty damn good. It had free refreshments and snacks, each seat had a screen where you could watch movies or play games and free wifi! I really can’t complain.

When we got off the coach in Istanbul we were immediately engulfed in the crazy, busy atmosphere of the city. Traffic was awful. It chaotic, dangerous and the bus we took to the centre had no seat belts. I wasn’t sure we would make it! However to distract me from the roller coast ride, I chatted with an old Turkish couple in a mix of English and French. They were so friendly and helpful. They gave us lots of advice and were very interested in our lives. We also chatted with a Turkish/German couple who were lovely too, he explained that the buses are not for those with weak bowels. Luckily that was our first and last.

We still had to get the metro to our accommodation and on the platform, we must have looked like lost puppies. A guy came over and helped us buy our tickets and explain the way – it turns out he was from Gaza, studying for his masters in Istanbul. This city is full of diverse and friendly people.

On our second day we had a  walk around the old city, it’s so beautiful but so loud and busy.

We visited the Basilica Cistern upon Ernie’s insistence. I asked him what it was as I hadn’t heard of it before. He simply said it was a large underground water storage place, I shrugged and said “OK, let’s go”.
Though Ernie was right, he completely undersold the cistern. His little joke I’m sure.
I wasn’t quite prepared for what was to appear as we bought our tickets and descended the steps into the darkness below. It was breath taking.  I took a few pictures down there but it is really something you must experience in person.

image

image

image

Over 300 columns are down here and the cistern can hold up to 100,000 tonnes of water! There are also massive fish in the water as it is only a site of interest and unused. 

Outside whilst deciding where to go next, we saw a kitten being rescued from a tree, which is something I thought only happened on TV, so I couldn’t help but laugh and watch the firemen as they rescued the poor kitty at which point the entire crowd burst into applause and whistles. It was quite the spectacle.

image

On our second day we headed to the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, both spectacular sights, inside and out!

image

image

image

image

image

It’s almost like something out of a fairy tale, it is so grand.

We succumbed to Turkish delight on the way to the Grand Bazzar for yarn (it has its own post!), which was delicious, and they have so much loose leaf tea it’s incredible but I can’t really buy any to try as we still have a long journey ahead of us.

image

That evening Ernie had booked us a little Turkish Surprise! It was to see the Sufi whirling ceremony in an old bath house. It wasn’t a show, we were allowed to watch their ceremony, mystical and fascinating. Its split into seven parts with Whirlers, singers and musicians. Here is a photo from google! I did feel like I was intruding whilst watching this ceremony, as though I opened a door that was supposed to be locked and I couldn’t help but wonder if, despite being a ceremony (no photos, no applause ect), it had lost a little of it’s mysticism due to being performed every night at 7pm.
However despite my conflicting feeling I enjoyed and felt privileged to have seen it.

image

For our final day in Istanbul we walked into the new city to see the Galta tower and the Istanbul Modern. We walked across the bridge, from where we could see Asia! The bridge was rammed with fishermen all up and down both side, but I just snapped this photo of this one guy, taking a breather.

image

I really enjoyed the Istanbul Modern despite the ridiculously right security and the constant watchful glare of the guards who roamed the gallery.
Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the exhibition.

image

image

image

image

image

image

And to finish off this absurdly long post, a view from Galata Tower.

image

Thanks for reading!
Dominique

Crochet:: Winter Hoodlet – FO

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

So there we go. My finished winter hoodlet for those cold blustery nights. I made up the pattern as I went along but was inspired by a variety of hoods and capes I had seen around the interwebs.
I hooked up an icord and put it through the grey lining at the end so you can pull it tight if you want to.
My hoodlet is for guys and gals! Here’s my other half modelling it for me!

It was fun to make and hook up!

Travel:: Where Have I Been?

So. I have had a masssssssssive break from blogging.
It’s been nice to have a break from blogging!

But I have missed it. And I’d like to give a short explanation about where I have been and what I have been doing for the past four months.

Well, I’ve been Travelling! Woohooo!

Here’s a very brief run down of our journey so far.

France to Luxembourg to Germany.

image

Germany to Italy (we spent over a month in Italy!)

image

image

image

Italy to Croatia

image

image

image

image

Croatia to Montenegro

image

image

Montenegro to Albania

image

image

Albania to Greece

image

image

OK that’s enough photos!

And our journey still continues, today we head to Istanbul, Turkey!