Of Home-Made Bread, Cheese, Traditions, Love & Appreciation

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homemade bread-rolls – домаће кифлице

I’ve always been very picky with food, basically I  prefer fish and salads to anything else, but recently I’ve also started baking my own bread, as it is virtually impossible to find anything baked without additives these days. I’m also what you’d call moderately intolerant to lactose. I can cope with small quantities of hard cheese and I actually love mozzarella, but when it comes to fresh cheese, I usually give up.  There is one little exception: the light white cheese from Mt. Jastrebac. I love it !

In fact, Serbia is famous for many varieties of cheese, the most famous being the so called cachciavallo kačkavalj, a speciality from the southern small town of Pirot, (where my Dad’s grandfather’s origins are) situated in the vicinity of the famous historical city and the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the city of Naissus (Niš).  And of course, the dairy spread KAJMAK (kuy-mukh) from Šumadija (Dad’s home region, in Central Serbia).

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Serbian light white cheese from Mt.Jastrebac – млади Јастребачки сир

The cute hot-pad in the picture is my most used kitchen item. It’s actually one of my first crochet makes, and the one I created in one go without any written pattern, being a crochet novice, but very enthusiastic about it. I  saw a picture of the little hen hot-pad a couple of years ago when I was just starting to teach myself to crochet. I loved it so much I wanted one, too !  So I made one.

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crochet hot-pad КОКИЦА  (little hen)

Traditionally, women in my part of the world and in all of Balkans possess the inborn talent to improvise in order to”reproduce” (read: knit or crochet) a nearly exact replica of almost anything they see, without written instructions, that’s how I was taught to knit, first by Mum, then by my Dad’s mother grandma Mila and later my mum’s baby sister Jadranka (Adriana in Italian), who never spent a day without needles or those tiny thread crochet hooks in her hands :-).

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I made this crochet heart relatively recently, just for fun, improvising on a circular vest chart I saw in a Japanese magazine. Looks like a nice stitch for a shawl, maybe ?! But with thinner yarn and a smaller hook, don’t you think.

Anyway, I’m sending it to all of you my regular and less regular blog readers including invisible visitors, with Love, wishing you a happy Sunday 🙂

Pink & Easy Infinity Loop Scarf

One can never have too many winter scarves in bright radiating colours like this pink when temperature drops below zero for days and weeks now 😕

Crochet addicts will surely remember the Amazing Crochet Ribbed Scarf from two years ago. Personally, I prefer knitting to crochet when it comes to winter scarves as they use up about three times more yarn compared to knitting.

For the knitted version I chose the k3 p1 mock rib, a quick and simple stitch. If you’re a fast knitter, you can conjure up a cozy scarf in an afternoon while watching TV. 🙂

Continue reading Pink & Easy Infinity Loop Scarf

Happy Winter 🎁 Holidays !

Happy Holidays !

Those of you who have been with me a bit longer may have noticed I’m an ambivert, somewhere half way between an extrovert and an introvert. 😉 I speak out directly whenever I like something and although I haven’t spoken much on the blog, I’d like to thank you all for your time and attention, it means a lot to me.

I must also add a very special thank you and welcome to all  pet owners and animal lovers who have graced my page with their lovely avatars.

I started this blog two years ago as a sort of distraction, a mere collection of ideas and projects gathered in one place to be used some time in the future, as I presumed, primarily by myself.

Hitherto I had used internet mostly for correspondence during my travels. I knew very little about blogging and just kept posting stuff automatically. For a long time after I lost Dad to cancer, I was really depressed and never visited other blogs.

After a while, it came as a mild shock to see people reading and liking the stuff I posted. Then came follows, and comments, and after nearly two years even a Liebster nomination from Greece …

So I kept posting and today I can say it’s such a great joy to see all of you lovely people visiting. I’ve learnt from you to enjoy discovering new blogs and if I haven’t yet visited you or returned a visit, I promise to do so as soon as time allows.

Traditionally, my family celebrate Christmas twice, and long ago a distant part of my family also celebrated Hanukkah.

So, Merry 🎄 Christmas, Happy Hanukkah 🕎 and a Brilliant New Year to all my dear blog friends and readers worldwide, keep up the good blogging !

Love & Big Hugs 🤗

🐾 Paw·liday Sock

There’s a little less than two weeks left from today until Orthodox Christmas Day on January 7th, which is celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Russian, Serbian, Greek and other Eastern Orthodox Churches in the world, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and the Orthodox Church of Japan.

There’s a fairly well written and quite interesting short article by telegraph.co.uk and last years festivities report with *pictures  by IBT, (*incl. Belgrade Orthodox Christmas Eve), where you can read some more about these traditions.

For those of you who are still (or non-stop!) busy knitting, here’s an adorable last minute gift idea by Schachenmayr with free pattern in English.

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20’s Fashion: Vintage Lace Bonnet

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Bobbin Lace Bonnet and Irish Crochet Gloves like the ones my maternal great-grandaunt Graziela Leah Schnierrer used to wear back in the 1920’s.

I love experimenting and exploring new grounds and so I came across an interesting crochet pattern on Tejiendo Perú, very similar to the bobbin lace on the hat. If you’re a seasoned crocheter with sharp eyesight you might want to give it a try with 0.5 mm hook and slight modifications like leaving out the picot on the rings and perhaps adding an extra chain mesh row in between. Here’s the pattern:

Continue reading 20’s Fashion: Vintage Lace Bonnet

East and West

Today is Orthodox Good Friday  (Veliki Petak) in Eastern Christianity including the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and two major Orthodox Churches of Greece and  Russia and also  Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Armenia, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and even The Orthodox Church of Japan …

It is a strict day of fasting. No crocheting or any kind of needlework is allowed during the holidays which last for five days starting Good Friday and end on Easter Tuesday. Here’s some lovely ideas for Easter home decoration by four Russian bloggers:

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Crochet Easter eggs with flower embroidery by химера

Пасхальные яйца «Желтки рулят»

Curtains or egg doilies by Olga Michuryna

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Continue reading East and West

Mum’s Chunky Gray Winter Hat & Shawl Set 👒

Here’s a glimpse of my mum’s (she’s 76) hot off the needles chunky gray shawl that she has just finished  knitting a couple of days before Christmas. Her vision has  become pretty blurred by diabetes lately and this one she knitted by touch. She used to be an avid book reader and has had a hard time accepting her new handicap, but she’s a fighter and despite all prefers to spend the day creating  beautiful things. 💕 The shawl was knitted in garter stitch using chunky acrylic on 8mm round needles from the bottom upwards.  I did the matching hat working from the rim, in plain stockinette, switching to moss stitch for the body of the hat. The finished shawl was only lightly wet-blocked, including the scalloped edging.

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