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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

21 October 2014 @ 09:21 pm

Pattern by Rena Varsakis, not published yet (I got it as a tester). I'll post a link as soon as it's released.

Knitting this bunny was a lot hard work, what with all the unfamiliar techniques involved and the cultural foreignness, but she was totally worth it. :) Whenever I look at her, I'm still amazed that I managed to make that.

Now do I still remember how to work the left lifted increase? :P

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I used sraps of thinner yarn to make her shoelaces:
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The obligatory coffee in the nude before her outfit was finished (it became a tradition in the test thread on Ravelry :D ).
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A view of the bunny from behind:
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The finished dress viewed from behind.
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The making of a bunnyCollapse )

Those beads I used for the eyes weren’t meant to be toy eyes. They are known as “Turkish eyes” here in Bulgaria, and indeed first came from Turkey, but I bet mine were made in China. They have become very popular here, but as purely decorative elements rather than amulets:

I had a very hard time with the stranded colourwork on the bunny's dress until I found this video. nata_for, is this how you do it?

Current Mood: accomplished
19 October 2014 @ 12:41 am
She is finished according to the pattern (The Nursery Cat by Sara Elizabeth Kellner), but I'll return to trying to make back legs for her when I finish some more urgent knitting. I admit that she's still a little wobbly in spite of my best efforts, so she can't stand on slippery surfaces. :) I got the pattern for free for the September knitalong and finished her on 30 September, but then got too busy with my other projects and didn't get around to post the photos here.

Face modification explained for knittersCollapse )

It was my mother’s idea to use buttons with two wholes so that the vertical black sewing thread would imitate a cat’s pupils.

I had to go almost to the opposite end of town to find the right buttons for her eyes, but it was worth the trouble. :)  photo DSC04031LJ_zpseb07487c.jpg

The perfect cat mat (just the right surface to keep her steady). :)
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Her face from a different angle:
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And one more angle:
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17 October 2014 @ 11:59 pm
It is so easy to miss the migration of swallows...

It's enough to forget to look at the sky for just one day, or even less than a day, and the next time you look, they are gone.

I missed it last year, and it seems that I've missed it again this year. I remember that they were still here on Wednesday evening. Then I didn't see any mass flight the next evening, and I wondered if I had gone to the wrong place for my late afternoon/early evening knitting this time, or they were gone.

Then the weather was too bad to go out yesterday, and I was too tired, so I don't think I looked at the sky in the early evening, at that time just before it gets dark... and today I had to acknowledge that they were gone, after I specially watched out for them, but there were only the bats that were a little too early in the cloudy weather.

I still saw individual birds high in the sky that looked like swallows, but I couldn't tell for sure from such a distance. But if there is no mass flight in the early evening, they are gone. It's just the right time of the year for the species we have here, so it's no surprise.

Now I'm going to miss them until they come back.
Current Mood: a little sad

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the grey version of the Rainbow-Haired Monster. I made this one in a great hurry for a friend who had briefly returned from Canada, so the monster is there with him now. :)

I finished the monster late in the evening and snapped the photos very hastily the next morning before I went to Sofia, so I'm lucky that one of my friends has Photoshop and knows how to use it, or i would have even fewer to choose from. :P.

I left it up to him to name the monster, and decide if it's a boy or a girl (I don't know what he's done about it yet). He asked if its tail was "turning grey"; I don't think he understands art, LOL.

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More of the monsterCollapse )

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And now comes the Tiramisu Cowl (pattern here), which i kitted because I just couldn't resist the pattern (I got it for free as a tester). it was designed by a French lady, and it was a huge relief for me to knit something designed by a fellow European, and have nothing culturally foreign in the pattern; even the characters in the chart were the ones I'm used to seeing in german or Bulgarian knitting magazines. I made it specificaly to match one of the sweaters I'd knitted myself earlier:

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More of the cowl (and the sweater)Collapse )
30 September 2014 @ 01:33 am
You sit down on a bench in your favourite little garden to take a little rest on your way home, and suddenly notice that the bats are already out flying. At 7:18 PM.

Some of them were flying very low, and I wondered if all those mosquittoes that appeared lately attracted them.

That would be still a whole hour before it became too dark for my outdoor knitting at that time in July or early August.

It would be still light enough for the evening flight of the sparrows in late August or early September.

And now it was suddenly dark enough for the bats, and for some reason that fell more autumnal than the occasional yellow leaves or the random very cold days.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
22 September 2014 @ 03:01 am

This one is for a five-year-old girl, so I made it in softer colours (some of the scraps from the tiny baby blanket project went into its hair).  It was meant to be a birthday gift, so I was in a hurry to finish it and give it away last Friday and I didn't have much time to take photos.

And for the record, this is the thing I've been paid to knit in my entire life (it was a modest sum, and I spent most of it on... guess what... yarn).

And in case you are wondering where I've gone, I've been trying to kit too many things at once this month and have to finish three of them on Tuesday the latest. :P And meanwhile I'm having the pattern for this monster informally tested by an American lady (and maybe only nata_for can imagine what testing is like to an inexperienced designer). How did I manage to do this to myself?

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Only three more photos :PCollapse )
A not very successful group photo: photo DSC03806_zps927ca16b.jpg
09 September 2014 @ 02:34 am

So I finally got around to showing you my major work for August. This is the tiny blanket I knitted to test a brand new pattern that hasn't been released yet, Oceanfront by Meridith Shepherd; the colour selection is my own. The desinger's sample project is here.

It is tiny; it's side is something like 51 cm/20 in with the border; I didn't try to make it bigger because I had a deadline to keep and i didn't know how far my yarns could take me. But if I want it to be used for some actual baby, all I have to do is widen the border.

I had to navigate trough an incredible amount of cultural differences to make it, and even ended up developing my own version for Purl Stitch Lovers. I made all modeifications with the designer's permision. And in the end I felt ridiculously proud of myself. :P

By the way, my "stitch markers" are just the smaller plastic rings Icould find because they don't sell "real" stitch" markers here, and I don't know what to call them in my language.

There are a few more photos if you click through to my photobucket Album,and even more in my Ravelry project page here. And yes, some of you have already seen the photos on Facebook.

So this is how it began:

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Work-in-progress photosCollapse )

And now the finished blanket:
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Moving towards evening:
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Current Mood: accomplished
26 August 2014 @ 02:23 am

This is a little kitty I made for my sister, and kept forgetting to post the photos on LJ. The original pattern is here (on LJ!), here is a slightly modified version on Ravelry, and mine is even more modified (the tail is a piece of i-cord).

Sorry, it was a very cloudy day and I was in a hurry to give away the kitty to my sister, so this is the best frontal photo I managed, dark corner and all. My brother-in-law was very amused, and it was him who managed to make the kitty stand on its feet; I guess I just wasn’t bold enough “sculpting” it. :)

(And Yay, Ravelry's kitty emoticon works on LJ too.)
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This is how the kitty started offCollapse )

13 August 2014 @ 12:47 am

My local friend Galya liked my photos of the first Green German Bunny so much that she asked me to make her one, and thankfully i had enough of that yarn left. So here it is:

Perched on one of our Phalaenopsis orchids:

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The gren bunny from different anglesCollapse )

And then the bunny went to a cafe with Galya and me and sat on the table:
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And here is another variegated bunny from the unpredictable self-patterning yarn that I made for a friend's almost 6-year-old daughter:

More photos of the second bunnyCollapse )

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I was afraid this one may be a little too colourful, but thankfully both the mother and the daughter loved it. Now let's hope it survives in the little girl's hands. :)
Current Mood: accomplished