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Moscow. City’s Diary.

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

Happy Monday! I am glad to say I safely made it home after a very long trip to visit my family. Lots of happened during this time and it seems like I am starting a completely new life, which is scary, but I guess this is what I need right now to keep going. I would love to share with you my last three days in Moscow, I didn’t have any particular plan what I am going to do, just randomly walked around the city and captured its details with my phone. Lately I feel like this is the best way to travel for me, I enjoy the place, savouring each moment, rather than trying to do as much sightseeing as possible. I hope you will enjoy this visual walk with me today.

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

I hope I managed to show you Moscow through my eyes. Though I have been pretty silent about my projects here, I have been knitting during my trip and have some fun things to share with you soon. It feels good to be back..

I hope you are going to have a wonderful week!


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By | 2018-09-03T04:53:13+00:00 September 3rd, 2018|Travel|2 Comments

Fall Is In The Town

 

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

These last days I distinctively felt how the seasons clicked… Warm sunny days changed to gloomy, misty and chilly mornings, windy afternoons with cloudy and grey sky and rainy nights. Though I love sunshine more than anything, this weather still has a certain appeal for me, putting me in a cozy mood and keeping me inside as much as possible. But this weekend, I put all the to-do lists aside, put on La Flor sweater under a jacket and my beaten up, but the most comfortable boots on and went for a long walk.

Textured Sweater

The town changes dramatically with the weather – there are less people on the streets, the colors seem more sharpened after the rain and it seems like all textures stand out more. People get into small cafes to get a big cup of hot coffee, read newspaper and hide from the drizzling rain. I love watching them from outside – reading, sitting in their computers, talking and laughing with their friends… For some reason it reminds me of my favorite book, “A Moveable Feast” and Hemingway’s Paris… I suggest you grab a nice big cup of cocoa, wrap yourself into something woolly and walk with me 🙂

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

The Gift Of Knitting Blog

I hope I put you in a cozy and knitwear making mood 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday!


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By | 2017-04-07T07:00:08+00:00 November 13th, 2016|Simple little things, Travel|22 Comments

I ♥ St. Petersburg

Happy Wednesday!

I am back home and getting into my usual life routine here. I know I have been pretty absent from the blogosphere this month and now have lots to do to catch up. I have some projects to share with you soon – small tutorials, new yarn, pattern release… But today I would love to give you a glimpse of my home country and take you for a walk in my favorite Russian city – St. Petersburg. I was lucky to spend a week there with my dear parents and friends. I don’t want to burden you with historical facts and dates; I just hope to share with you the spirit and atmosphere of  this magical city, that has a very special place in my heart. So, let’s go? 🙂

I haven’t been in my home country for two years and I wanted to absorb its culture and atmosphere as much as I could. And there is no better way to do that than throw on your favorite old dress, flat shoes, grab a camera and get lost in the city.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

I started on Palace Square (Дворцовая площадь), probably the most famous spot in town.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

I love this place – it is always full of life! You will also find here The Winter Palace (Зимний дворец), that used be the official residence of Russian monarchs. Right now you can find there the world famous The State Hermitage Museum.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

Just minutes away there is a grand and glorious St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Исаакиевский собор). Its golden cupola that rises over the city won’t let you get lost.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

Its interior is a true architectural masterpiece.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

You can also go all the way up to the dome and enjoy breathtaking view of the city from there!

Knitting Blog. Travel.

My next stop was The Summer Garden (Летний сад), the oldest city’s garden. I enjoyed a long walk along Neva, crossed the bridge and walked all the way to the garden.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

It is a fountain season in St. Petersburg and it is the most beautiful sight!
Knitting Blog. Travel.

If you walk 15-20 minutes from the garden, along the Palace Embankment street (Дворцовая набережная) that runs along the Neva River, you will see a grand statue of the founder of St. Petersburg – Peter the Great (Петр I Великий).

Knitting Blog. Travel.

If you are in St. Petersburg, you just can’t not walk on Nevsky Prospekt – the main and busiest street in the city. Here you will find the best shops, restaurants and the most beautiful buildings. But if you are tired, turn to Griboedov Canal and you will find yourself in front of the magnificent church – The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Церковь Спаса на Крови), then turn right around the corner and relax in a beautiful park in front of The Russian Museum (Русский музей).

Knitting Blog. Travel.

From left upper corner clockwise: 1. Nevsky Prospekt (this beautiful building with a dome is a book store!) 2. Griboedov Canal 3. The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood 4. The State Russian Museum

Your visit to Russia won’t be complete without Peterhof, a magnificent place 40 minute drive from the city. Known as the “Russian Versailles”, it used to be the summer residence of Russian monarchs.

Knitting Blog. Travel.

It is truly one of the most magical places in the world. The palace, surrounded by a huge garden full of fountains, is a spectacular sight. I could get lost there for ages and imagine how Russian emperors used to walk along the same paths and create the history…

Knitting Blog. Travel.

I am so grateful to my parents for organizing this trip and for being with me!

 I hope you enjoyed this little walk and feel inspired to visit St. Petersburg someday! It would make me really happy!

If you enjoyed this post about St. Petersburg, you will definitely love the interview I’ve done with wonderful Olga, an amazing knitter that lives and creates in this beautiful city – World Crafter. Olga. Saint Petersburg, Russia!

Have a great Wednesday and I will be back with knitting soon!

I also wanted to thank you for your kind wishes on the blog’s birthday! Thank you so much!! I was moved to tears.

Love, Alina.


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By | 2016-08-24T07:09:00+00:00 August 24th, 2016|Travel|26 Comments

From Russia With Love

Hello, my dear friends! So happy to be back here, thank you so much for all your kind wishes for my trip, I read every single comment, so sorry I wasn’t able to reply! I am finally in my hometown, spending time with my family and friends. I still feel a little bit overwhelmed, trying to fit in as much as I can into my days.

Though knitting was pretty much non-existent these days, I still have something to show you. My dear Granny Eugenia agreed to model her gifts of knitting from me. It is so amazing to make something on the other side of the world for your dear people and see how it warms their hearts… A huge lace shawl from Vogue Knitting made with local Mexican cotton I made for her two years ago…

Knitting and Travel

 Green Snowflakes cowl by Julie from Knitted Bliss I made a couple of months ago.

Knitting and Travel

My dear Granny is very shy and doesn’t smile, but believe me, she is a sweetheart. She was the one to introduce me to fiber crafts many years ago and she was the one bringing it back into my life when I needed it most… I will be forever grateful to her for this. Did you notice her cute crochet beanie? Improvised by her hardworking hands! So adorable!

Current WIP. In the last hours of packing I decided to change Rowan cotton yarn for Hawthorne Fingering by Knit Picks to make something simple – a throw or a a shawl maybe. Something I can knit during endless car and train rides.

Yarn

Yarn

I very rarely work with variegated yarn, but I decided I needed to add some color to my knitting routine. These shades are just gorgeous!

Yarn

I think I will make it in stripes to mix the colors. This palette reminds me of fall…

Yarn

Yarn

I know I promised to show you some Russian cuisine – cottage cheese pancakes with sour cream and cherries from my Dad’s garden is my number #1 food here 🙂

Knitting and Travel

My family and I are wishing you a great day! Thank you again for all your support, I always feel so deeply touched by it!

Knitting and Travel

This guy is so ridiculously happy to see me!

Hope to see you at Yarn Along!

P.S. Thank you so much for entering We Are Knitters giveaway. The winner is Ruth Shields. Congratulations, Ruth! Have fun with Udon Blanket Kit!


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By | 2016-07-27T07:06:10+00:00 July 27th, 2016|Knitting, Travel, Work in Progress|37 Comments

Wonderland

Happy Sunday!

The last weeks were quiet hectic and I just needed something to recharge and start fresh. The opportunity to get out of the system appeared in my favorite local farm-to-table restaurant in town – Via Organica. I love this place for the best vegetables in town, for supporting the local farmers and  for very reasonable prices on organic produce. The restaurant offered a tour to a organic dairy farm for a whole day and a visit to one of the biggest monoliths in the world.

“Flor de Alfalfa” is a local dairy farm, less than 2 hour drive from the city, which produces hormone/antibiotics free milk, natural yogurts, cheese, cream and sour cream. I thought it would be an interesting experience to see what they are doing, but the reality exceeded all my expectations. This is not a farm, this is a wonderland!!

knitting-blog-travel-26-6-16-4

Huge spaces covered in fresh grass, the cows walking freely on the fields surrounded by mountains, the smell of wildflowers and delicious fresh food. The company is providing the best care for the cows. The milking process is unbelievable – the cows walk into a spacious building where Mozart’s and Bach’s masterpieces are playing (cows just love them! Good taste!), after the milking is done, all the data goes straight to the vet computer and he checks if everything is alright and if the cows are healthy. The babies are just adorable – they are so friendly and will lick you to death 🙂

knitting-blog-travel-26-6-16-2

Well, this guy didn’t care at all 🙂 I can’t blame him -I would sleep there all day long as well.

knitting-blog-travel-26-6-16-3

After the tour our group had cheese tasting that was absolutely delicious! I have such a huge respect for the company, for all they do, for their care for environment and for their philosophy. It is definitely not easy to compete against huge conglomerates that have taken over the market. I will definitely support them as much as I can!

The wonderland didn’t end here – we drove 30 minutes more to visit Peña de Bernal, one of the biggest monoliths in the world – 433 m (1,421 ft). Recent chemical analysis showed that it formed around 8.7 million years ago.

knitting-blog-travel-26-6-16-8

People say that locals live here much longer than the average person in Mexico – up to 100 years. People get married at 90 here 🙂 Every spring there are hundreds of tourists coming to the monolith to hike and recharge. We didn’t have much time and made it only to Level 1.

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We will definitely come back and go all the way up; but even from level 1 the view was breathtaking.

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This is why I love unplanned unexpected road trips – you always end up finding something fascinating! This is exactly what I needed – to recharge and get inspired by nature. One quote from Einstein’s biography by Walter Isaacson comes to mind: “His [Einstein’s] inner security was tempered by the humility that comes from being awed by nature”.

Have a wonderful day!


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By | 2016-06-26T07:46:01+00:00 June 26th, 2016|Travel|16 Comments

Yarn Spot

Happy Sunday!

When we just moved to San Miguel de Allende, I was ecstatic to find out that there is an actual LYS! It’s been awhile since I had one of those in my neighborhood. If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, you just have to visit it! The shop can be found right in the center of downtown, just minutes away from the main square and cathedral. You will definitely enjoy the walk.

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

The store is owned by a very lovely lady, Kathy. Originally from San Francisco, Kathy moved to Mexico more than 20 years ago and since then this country became her home. The shop, “Kathy’s Yarn”, is 8 years old; it is based right in Kathy’s house! When you walk in you find yourself in such a warm cozy and beautiful room, that you feel like you never want to leave and you want to spend all your money there 🙂

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

The shop is bursting with color! Kathy is carrying a great variety of novelty yarns, Mexican cotton and wool. The owner is obviously a knitter and besides yarn you can buy her handknit accessories – shawls, scarves and hats.

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

Most visitors of the shop are tourists who can’t help but take a look at what is hidden inside this beautiful building. It’s been awhile since I visited this lovely space, the life is pretty hectic these days and I don’t have time to enjoy long walks, but if you ever find yourself in town, here are my personal picks.

I would definitely recommend getting this 100% Mexican wool. Just look at these colors! It is very chunky and rustic, it would make an amazing rug!

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

Hand dyed 100% organic silk skeins. I’ve never seen a silk like this one before, it is very sturdy!

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

One of my favorite yarns are these colorful skeins of 100% pima cotton. Hand dyed with natural ingredients, these skeins are so delicious to touch! If you remember I used them for my Fall Raglan sweater awhile ago. I am still wearing it almost every evening! The colors are so beautiful, the fabric created with pima cotton is soft and the unusual “bumpy” thread creates an amazing texture!

Yarn Shop in San Miguel de Allende

I hope you enjoyed this little LYS tour!

You can find “Kathy’s Yarn” in San Miguel de Allende, Aldama 27. It’s open from 12-6 p.m (Sundays 12-5 p.m.), closed on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Have a wonderful day!


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By | 2016-05-15T13:08:46+00:00 May 15th, 2016|Travel, Yarn|28 Comments
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