Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Out & About in Istanbul


We spent five beautiful days in Istanbul and we definitely needed more!
As this was our third visit there we knew exactly what we wanted to do and that is to get more of the feel, rhythm and pulse of the city and a little less of museums and monuments, as we normally do on our travels.

What to see:

Topkapi Palace is an enormous museum dating back from the 15th century that served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Female members of the Sultan's family lived in the harem, and leading state officials, including the Grand vizier, held meetings in the Imperial Council building.
However, in the 17th century it losses its appeal and importance and the sultan ruling back then moves the court to the newly built Dolmabahche Palace, which is another point of interest,worth seeing.


Topkapi is grandiose, treasuring many artifacts and relics. I recommend you start with it as soon as it opens, because the swarms of visitors makes the tour tiresome and extremely noisy.

We skipped Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmed Mosque, because we visited them on our last tour, but do pay them a visit.

Kapali Carsi and the Grand Bazaar. You will feel as if magically transferred to one of Scheherezade's stories. Indescribable, mind-blowing, elating. 

Take a tour on the Bosphorus where you'd be able to see the magnificent houses and villas set as jewels on the shore.

On the other side of Boshorus, across the Galata Bridge, visit the Galata Tower that offers a magnificent and breath-taking view of the city. The tour also includes a 3d show that tops the visit. From Galata Tower you can take a walk straight to Taksim, which is about 2-3 km away but the pedestrian street is filled with shops on both sides that will certainly steal your attention. Do wonder on the side streets and allies for amazing little artisan shops and authentic cafes and restaurants. On one such turning we visited the French Street which is a story of its own.

What to eat:
This depends on taste, and taste cannot be discussed. But if you are open to foreign cuisine and eager to try foreign specialties, you will be up for some interesting palate tickles.
We have some similar meals with the Turkish, but tried many of their specialties like the Ottoman kebap, some Chiken shish, Durum rolls, lahmacun, döner and pide bread.
This is like tapas, or as we and they call it meze, which many of the restaurants offer it as a starter and they do not charge it. It is a vegetable mix (mainly tomatoes and peppers) with spices served with pide.

They serve the Ottoman kebap in these clay pots.
The Turkish have a long and immensely rich history of confectionery, so understandably, they are wizards in making sweets. Now, I am not a baklava person (I cannot stand all that insane amount of sugar) and they have many similar sweets, but my friends were overwhelmed with them, so whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed! But I did try a Künefe, which  is a crispy cheese-filled dessert made with kadayıf  and my sweet word!! It was unlike anything I have tasted.
Künefe is a crispy cheese-filled dessert made with kadayıf (kah-dah-YUF'), which is a traditional shredded wheat dessert with pistachio filling. Künefe is served hot out of the oven so the cheese is soft and stringy.

Künefe is cooked and served in a very shallow, round metal pan that's specially designed for making this dessert. It's so delicious that Turkish people and tourists alike keep coming back for more.

What to drink:

Turkish coffee. It is also our traditional/national drink, but they make it extra sweet, so have that in mind when you order it. I have it with zero sugar. Also they serve it in (a little bit bigger than a ) thumb size cups with oriental designs that makes the morning ritual special.

Also their tea or Çay, which is beautiful but too strong if you ask me.
Never skip an opportunity to have a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate or order an Ayran with your meal. Ayran is a cold yogurts mixed with salted water. Salep is another drink they prefer that is made from orchid tubers. It has many health benefits so this is a recommended drink too.

Friday, October 12, 2018

We Are in Istanbul - Turkey

Istanbul is a real gem! It takes my breath every time I visit.
More about it when I come back.
To stay in the loop, follow my stories on instagram.
Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How to Read Crochet Charts: Flower Border


It occurred to me that we have never had a border chart reading here on the blog so I found one I could use for a scarf which was a favourite of mine years ago, and to save it from its premature retirement I gave it a facelift, or a face down to be precise because it got a flowered border.
The chart speaks a wonderful symbol language and it says that you:
Chain 28 and (row 1) dc 1 in the 4th st and then in all the other st across.
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as the 1st dc of a puff st) and in the 1st st make a 2dc puff, ch 2, sk 2 and in the next st make a (3dc) puff. Repeat this pattern to the end (3dc puff, ch 2, sk 2).
Row 3: ch1 turn work and sc1 in the 1st st, ch 2 and sc over the puff, ch3 and make a picot over that sc, next ch 2 and over the next puff make a sc without a picot. Repeat the pattern to the end of the row.
Row 4: ch 15 (5 for the chain and 10 for the flower), sl st in the 10th st to make a ring, turn work, and in the ring sc1, make 3dc puff, ch3 and sc1 again. Repeat this pattern to make 5 petals. When the 5th petal is done, ch5 and sl st in the second non-picoted sc stitch. Repeat making the flowers to the end of the row.  
So, what do you say? Do you like it? I certainly do love how it looks on my scarf. I crocheted it first and than sewed it onto the scarf. Now I am ready to wear it again.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Pattern Release: Bohemian Bralette

The pattern is released and it can be found on etsy, ravelry and Love knitting
Tools: Crochet hook 3 mm (metric), US / (option: D/3), UK 11; tapestry needle for weaving ends.

Materials: 160 meters / 175 yards of DK cotton yarn if made in one color

Difficulty: intermediate

Used terms in American terminology: chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), skip (sk), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc), picot.

Finished measurements:
Size S: bra cup center down (lace included): 22 cm / 8.7”
Across chest: 32 cm / 12.6” Lace underbust: 34 cm /13.4”
Size M: bra cup center down (lace included): 23 cm / 9”
Across chest: 38 cm / 15” Lace underbust: 42 cm /16.5”

Gauge: the gauge is calculated for the center part of the bra cup where 10 dc st. are made in in 7 cm / 2.75”.
There are photos accompanying the pattern which makes it easy to work on this lovely bralette.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Statement Flower Brooch

Let me tell you about my newest statement brooch!
It was made in spring (was it that long ago?) with a lovely DK mercerized cotton yarn I went crazy over and bought like nearly a ton in every possible color the shop had and they didn't have many {which is a pity} and the flower is composed of the lefties from another project that is yet to see the light of day.
It is really huge (see the last photo). It measures about 15 cm in diameter. And that is another thing about me. I either like my brooches small or gigantic :) Otherwise it wouldn't be a statement brooch if you ask me...
It comes with a brooch pin at the back which is not sewn onto it, so it can be pinned on shawls, coats, hats, bags, even belts!
I have it for sale if you are interested.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

4 Crochet Stitches to Try

I am always on the lookout for some interesting, textured stitches and it is incredible how many are out there waiting to be tried. For this post I chose just 4 that I think might be just perfect for winter scarves and hats. Click the link under each picture to get to the relevant pattern.



Monday, October 1, 2018

✽Happy October✽

HAPPY OCTOBER dear friends!
Although I am a summer child, I dearly love October and it has a big, warm, sparling place in my heart! It is filled with lots of family members and friends' birthdays and anniversaries, lots of celebrations and family gatherings...
Along with celebrating life and love, we'll be enjoying nature's change of attire, go pumpkin picking and chestnut roasting, we'll be cake making and tea drinking, travel a bit and read a lot. We'll be making warm sweaters, snuggly blankets and tons of homemade jam.  That is a glimpse of our bucket list.
What does yours look like?


All the images I used for this post are from Sarah Kay, because they always make me sit back and reminisce my fabulous childhood! If you are a Sarah Kay lover, you simply have to check out my post  where I revived my childhood memories here and go through  my board here!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

What I have pinned lately #14

Inspiration by Kenzo
This month, the internet has been literally bursting up with fabulous ideas and patterns. My pinterest boards are filling in nicely and this is my latest selection.
Nordic Crochet Sweater by Drops Design

Tea House Wrap  by Two of Wands

Inspiration by Valentino

More inspiration {and free or not) crochet on my board here.