31 Dezember 2006

Kurz vor Schluß

Man soll ja bekanntlich nicht mit unerledigten Dingen ins Neue Jahr gehen. Also hab ich diese Woche noch meine Rechnungen bezahlt, hab die ausgeliehenen Bücher zurückgebracht, und dann ist mir siedendheiß eingefallen, daß ich mich hier im Blog ja noch gar nicht bei den Wollspenderinnen für Sibirien bedankt habe. Das wollte ich jetzt heute machen, aber leider hab ich gemerkt, daß ich mir nur die Namen aufgeschrieben habe und nicht die teilweise dazugehörigen Blogs. Falls ihr, liebe Spenderinnen das hier lest und auch einen Blog habt, schreibt mir bitte nochmal eine Mail! Danke!

For not liking to start the New Year with unfinished things, I was busy in paying my bills this week, returned the borrowed books and then it occured to me that I never thanked the ones of you, who donated yarn for Siberia, here at the blog. I wanted to do it immediately but recognized, that I´ve written down your names, but not your blog-addresses. So if you, dear giver, are reading this and if you also have a blog, please email me with it´s URL. Thank you!

Was ich diese Woche noch beendet habe, waren 3 ganze Paar Socken. Und eines davon gefällt mir besonders gut, ich mag die Farben so gern. Es ist ein schon älteres Knäuel von Wollmeisenwolle, und ich weiß leider den Namen der Farbe nicht. Das Lustige ist, daß ich mit Claudias Wolle damit zum ersten Mal Socken gestrickt habe, und deshalb jetzt erst gemerkt habe was für hübsche Ringel sich da ergeben. Und gestern hab ich eine kleine Blogrunde gemacht, und gemerkt, daß viele von euch jetzt ihre Wollvorräte durchsehen und neu ordnen. Ich dachte bisher immer, ich hätte selber riesige Mengen Wolle, aber nach einigen Fotos die bei euch zu sehen ware kam ich zu dem Schluß, daß ich eigentlich sehr wenig habe. Und somit war der Abend gestern gelaufen, ich hab sofort hier und hier und hier Stunden verbracht, ich kann mich nur noch nicht so recht entscheiden. Ganz ganz gut gefällt mir diese Matchmaker Merinowolle von Jaeger - hat eine von euch schon Erfahrung damit und kann sie empfehlen? Das wäre supernett. (Und es tut mir so leid, aber der Link zur Wollmeise funktioniert bei mir heute nicht)

What I also finished this week are 3 completed pair (!) of socks. With one of them I am especially fond of, I love the colours very much. This was an old skein of Wollmeise-sockyarn, I am so sorry for not being able to give you the name of the colour. It´s a wonderful shade, the lighter blue is with a tick to turqouise, very nice. And for knitting the first time socks out of Claudias yarn I was really surprised to see that it makes lovely stripes. Yesterday evening I also made a round through your blogs and I recognized that a lot of you are looking through their yarn stash this days, making lists and pictures and put it in new order. I always thought that I also have a lot of yarn here with me, but some of your pictures showed me that I own just a very very small amount. So you might imagine what I did the rest of the evening - yes, I was here and here and here for hours, I still can´t decide which to order first. I fancy with some very very nice Jaeger Matchmaker Merino - is there someone out there who has used it already and could recommend it to me? I would love to know it. (And I am sorry, too, that the link to Wollmeise don´t work, I don´t know why)

Und dann hab ich mir gedacht, im Neuen Jahr werd ich mal eine Zeit lang aufhören Kissen und Decken zu machen, ich möcht jetzt erst mal lauter hübsche neue Jäckchen und Pullover und so. Und da ich schon seit Jahren eine wunderbar weiche anthrazitfarbene Merinowolle von Lana Grossa habe, hab ich mir gedacht, ich fang mit was Kleinem, Schnellen an. Tja, klein wird es werden, aber bei 260 Maschen mit 3er Nadeln und meiner Strickgeschwindigkeit wird es sicher nichts Schnelles. Aber wenn´s was wird, zeig ich es euch sicher in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Wochen, wenn´s nichts wird, reden wir nicht mehr drüber. Und jetzt, 5 Stunden vor Mitternacht mach ich mich besser auf ins Bad, schick anziehen und schminken, und ich wünsch euch allen ein wunderbares einzigartiges Glückliches Neues Jahr, daß all eure Träume, Wünsche und Vorstellungen wahr werden! Habt eine schöne Nacht!

And I thought it would be nice to stop making cushions and blankets for a while now, I would love so much to have a lot of wonderful charming cardis and sweaters and all those sweet little things. So for having a nice soft merino yarn of Lana Grossa here for years, I thought it is a good idea to start with something small and fast. OK, it will be small, but with 260 stitches on 3mm needles and my own knitting speed it will not be the fastes knitting. But if I ever finish it and it is as beautiful as I imagine, I will show it to you in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks. If not, let us never talk about it anymore. And now, 5 hours before midnight, I am going to get dressed and make uped and I wish you all a very very Happy New Year, might all your plans, dreams and ideas come true! Have a wonderful night!

22 Dezember 2006

Schöne Weihnachten!

Wie ihr sehen könnt, scheint heute ganz herrlich die Sonne, es ist mild, die Meisen zwitschern - man sollte nicht denken, daß übermorgen Weihnachten ist. Und bevor ich ihn verpacke, wollte ich euch noch meinen fertigen Schal zeigen. Er ist wieder gehäkelt, ein ganz einfaches Zickzackmuster in verschiedenen Beerentönen (Blushes, Liqueur, Vino, Fondant und Grace), ein bißchen grün (Elegance) und ein noch kleineres bißchen Glimmer. Er erinnert mich an eine feine Schokolade, schön braun und zart schmelzend, gefüllt mit einem Mix aus Preiselbeeren, ein kleines bißchen Sahne darunter und ein leichter Hauch von frischer grüner Pfefferminze.

As you can see in the picture, the sun is shining bright, it´s a beautiful springy day, the birds are singing and no one might guess that the day after tomorrow is Christmas. And before I will wrap it, I wanted to show you quickly my finished scarf. It is crochetted again, a quite simple zigzag pattern in several shades of ripe berries (Blushes, Liqueur, Vino, Fondant and Grace), a hint of green (Elegance) and an even smaller bit of glimmer. It reminds me of chocolate, brown and smooth, filled with a delicious mousse of mixed jam, a layer of thick white cream and a bloom of fresh green peppermint.

Das Garn ist diesmal Kid Silk Haze von Rowan. Es war das erste Mal, daß ich mit dieser Wolle was gemacht habe und es ist ab sofort mein Lieblingsgarn. So weich, so leicht und luftig, so schmusig. Es ist jeden einzelnen Cent wert, es läßt sich wunderbar waschen und ist nach dem Trocknen genauso duftig wie vorher. Ich bin absolut begeistert! Die glitzernden Streifen dazwischen sind Lurex Shimmer in Bronze, leider gibt es das jetzt nicht mehr, da die Lieferfirma Konkurs gegangen ist. Das ist schade, denn so klitzekleine Streifen damit finde ich recht schön, irgendwie ein bißchen Glamour und Luxus. Nicht immer, aber so ab und zu.

Aber eigentlich ist heute gar nicht die richtige Zeit, um endlos über einen kleinen Schal zu schreiben. Ich möchte euch viel lieber ein frohes, gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest wünschen, ein paar schöne, ruhige und besinnliche Tage mit Lichterglanz und Heiterkeit, gemütlich und entspannend. Habt ein schöne Zeit wo immer ihr sie auch seid, mit und im Kreis eurer Liebsten! Frohe Weihnachten Euch allen!

The yarn I was using is Kid Silk Haze of Rowan. It was the first time that I used it and it will now and forever be one of my definitely favorits. So soft, so light-weight and airy, so buttery. It is worth every single Cent, it even washes well (and I usually hate handwash things) and after drying it is filmy as before. Love it! The glimmering stripes inbetween are Lurex Shimmer in Bronze, sad to say that this yarn is now not available anymore, this suppliers for Rowan went bankrupt. Very sad, cause I think that some tiny bits of it can make something look more glamorous. Not always, but sometimes.

Actually today is not the day to write a lot about a small scarf. Today I want to wish you happy Christmas Holidays, wonderful, relaxing, contemplative days with a lot of lighter brightness and merriment, comforting and soothing. Have a wonderful time wherever you are, a time to be yourselves, spent and surrounded by the ones you love. Merry Christmas To You!

15 Dezember 2006


YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!!! Thank you so much for joining in and telling your Christmas stories. I loved every single one, it was so inspiring and interesting to get to know your ways and traditions. Wow, I am really thrilled. I would never had thought that so much are leaving a comment, and it seems to me that not even every country, no, even every family has its own habits, customs and style - I appreciated so much your kindness of telling me/us it all. Thanks alot!

Actually I wanted to show you what I have done last week. It´s another crochetted scarf and I like it very much. But my camera is not willing to work today, so there is now time left for me to do the final touches till next week and show you the finished one. I am done with the hook and it will need ages anyway to sew in all those hundreds of threads. Btw have you noticed that there is a lot of crochetting this days in blogland? I have seen some absolutely beautiful and fabulous things, Moonstitches made a fantastic apron and hat and shared this wonderwonderful links with us, Yarnstorm also took the hook and made a bright and cheery scarf, this blanket at Green Kitchen is one of my definitely favorits, the haphazard knitter is doing wonderful funny things with the hook and her blanket is also a must-have on my list. It seems, that crochet is all around and for having recently ordered this book and still a lot of cotton yarn in my stash, I think it´s the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

And to have also some pictures in this post (colour is all we need), I thought I show you some of the Christkindl-Markets I visited. A lot of very nice things, very crowded, very cold and sometimes wet, very expensive, very nice dealers and sellers, and the very best for getting into the Christmas mood.

Here we have some cute and absolutely lovely handmade wooden lanterns, oh so nice for my garden, and some amazing handmade brushes, all black and white (I have bought one for my potatoes and carrots, but not black and white, just plain white and very useful, I´ve tested it already!)

This are the beautiful wooden things from the Erzgebirge, I love them so much, I would like to have them all, for Christmas, for Easter and the small flower children for inbetween. Sadly more than expensive, - exorbitant!

A cute little bear´s home, so sweet.

Doll´s houses and every thing you need to make a good living for them. They also had microscopically tiny school books and pencils and bags. This reminded me of a doll house I once had and loved so much, and then one day my little sister destroyed it all. But maybe one day I will buy a new one to have a memory and the ideal beautiful home again.

Handmade soaps and body butters, smelled fantastic!

These are "Zwetschgenmännle", means prune-men. They are made of prunes, the face is a walnut and sometimes also figs are used. In my childhood we had them every year, but now never and I think most of them are sold to tourists nowadays. So sad, it was such a great habit and I remember how much I loved this little men as a child. I think actually they are made to eat them, too, but in my family we children never dared to bite into them (the same with chocolate-Nikolaus and the chocolate-Easter bunny) and so they stood as long as they were still visible under the dust.

This are my favorites. Teeny-weeny Wicky´s and knights, ladies of the castle, seamen and witches, skiers, flower fairies and penguins. They are made out of hazelnuts, leaves and small twigs. This market stall is always, always surrounded by a lot of kids, all adoring and "ah" and "oh" and begging the parents to buy just one of them. And I am feeling like a child, too, they are soooooooo sweet.

And last, but not least, this is the wish-tree and this is not a usual German custom. It is just at the market in Regensburg, it´s an old celtic custom, to tie your wishes into a tree. You get your ribbon for a donation to the poor and then you can put it on the tree. We have seen such an old celtic holy tree in England, it was a very magical and enchanted place and a lot of people already had tied anything they had into the tree, even a handkerchief, a plastic bag and a bra! This are the things I love so much. OK, but here we are in good old Bavaria, here we are using coloured ribbons and it is importand to make just one knot, not to make a bow, because your wish has to be able to go with the wind to become true. I love it a lot and every Christmas time we do it now for many years.

So have a great weekend, I hope you can enjoy it and not be in a hurry for Christmas. I am now nearly finished with my presents, the big cleaning is done, we have 4 pre-Christmas-dinner-invitations for the next week so I don´t have to cook, I forgot to write Christmas cards like nearly every year, we have no snow till now and so maybe this will be the first not-white-christmas here and yesterday I thought now it would be nice to knit something bright, airy for spring. After finishing some UFOs of course! Happy 3rd Advent!

08 Dezember 2006

Bavarian Christmas

One thing I really love with the blogs is, that I get to know traditions and life in countries far away. I am always glad when you are writing about special events and the habits of your family, recipes and your holidays. Starting by the 5 o´clock tea in England, across the Chinese New Year to the best Thanksgiving turkey recipes and celebrating Christmas in spring in Australia. For having noticed, that the St. Nikolaus day isn´t celebrated in all countries, I want to tell you something about the German Christmas time. Here in Germany we have wonderful old traditions, but at the same time Germany is and was always oriented by the United States. This is so strange, for example till some years ago Halloween was never a German tradition. Nowadays we have Halloween partys and events, and in some towns the teenagers are doing awful things like squezzing ketchup into letter boxes or throwing old eggs at the entrance of neighbourhood houses. I don´t know, whether this are customs in the US, but I am glad that I live in a very very small village where this does not happen - till now (fingers crossed!). And so sometimes the people here also forget how the Christmas time should be in Germany, when you are in town and in big department stores you could here more often "Jingle Bell" and the Nikolaus looks like a funny Santa Claus, than the Bishop he was and the German Christmas songs.
I am living here in the countryside of Bavaria, and old traditions are still here. And Christmas time is a wonderful time to celebrate and repeat them year by year. I love to have repetitions, they give me comfort and a link between my grandparents, my childhood and my family now. And my country, it is great when everyone is doing the same at some times and every one knows what you are talking about.
So maybe I am telling you now things you are also doing in your country, then please forgive me for not knowing it.

Let me start with the Advents wreath. It presentes the 4 weeks before the Christmas evening. Traditional he is made out of fir, has always 4 red candles and every sunday you are counting down the weeks to Christmas by lighting the candles. I mean, the first Advent sunday has one candle burning, the second two and so on. All 4 candles are burning on the sunday before Christmas or like this year on Christmas itself.
The first weekend of the Advent is also the start of Christmas time here in Germany, that means although you can find mountains of Lebkuchen at the shops in September, only now the shop windows are decorated with Christmas trees, the Christmas songs are played everywhere and the Christkindl-markets are opened.

At the 6th of December is the Nikolausday. Saint Nikolaus was a holy man, a bishop, and he loved children very much. In my childhood he still was a bishop, nowadays he is more dressed like Santa Claus. But Nikolaus is NOT the Weihnachtsmann, which means Santa Claus!
At this special evening he is visiting every child, he has a golden book in which is written down how the child behaved during the last year. And he knows everything, the good and the bad. For having a long white beard his visit is mostly done by an uncle or the father itself and children are always listening with a mix between fear and respect when he is reading aloud all your sins. He is a really good man, so no child has to be afraid of him, he forgives everything but is also giving the children rebukes. Sometimes, in case of really bad behaving children, he is accompanied by Knecht Rupprecht, or Krampus like we say here in Bavaria. This is a wild man, dressed in a dark fur coat and with a rod. He never hurts children in real life, but naughty ones are very very silent when seeing him wagging it. And maybe he is the only one to keep children well behaving for some days.
So either the Saint Nikolaus is coming in "real" at this evening and is giving the children also some presents, just tiny things like chocolate and socks or a book or new pencils, or if he is in a hurry and cannot come by itself, he is filling the shoes of the children. Not the socks, the schoes. To be discovered by them at the next morning.

And now we are coming to the most important person here for Christmas, the Christkind. Above being German I am Bavarian, and we don´t have the Weihnachtsmann, which is comparable to your Santa Claus I think. I really have to say "I think", cause I don´t now. We don´t have him here in Bavaria.

So the Christkind is our representative for the Holy Evening. It is no child and no adult, neither male nor female, no angel, nobody knows exactly who it is. Yes, the Christkind is "it", not she or he. It is always blonde, young and beautiful. Some say it is the young Christ, some it is the angel of announcement, but all this explanation are unsufficient. For us the Christkind is simply the Christkind. Nowone has ever seen it, it is coming down from the heaven to bring joy and peace and of course the Christmas tree and the presents.

And here we are, at the Holy Evening. That means the 24th of December. At this day, and only at this day the Christmas tree is brought into the house, mostly at the sitting/living room. In Germany there are no Christmas trees in the house before this date, although the plain trees are bought earlier and kept outside to keep it fresh. Then, when it is set up in the house, the door of the room is locked, so no children is allowed to go into it, cause now the Christkind is coming and with the help of its angel it is embellishing the tree and bringing the presents. Mostly the father is then collecting the children for a walk, while the mothers are embellishing the tree.

The traditional colours for Christmas and the Christmas time in Germany are green and red and gold, and so are the colours for the tree. It should have beeswax candles, red apples and bows, golden balls and nuts, straw stars and everything glimmering and shimmering. The apples are always smelling wonderful and so are the candles. When everything is done and the children/adults have waited impatiently enough, the Christkind is ringing a bell, a sign that it is leaving now and the family could come to see the beautiful tree. Everyone is proper dressed, the candles are burning, the electric light is switched off, the music is playing and the family is standing or sitting in front of the tree and singing. Then the big distribution of Christmas presents starts, mostly the whole family is together at this evening, I mean the parents, grandparents, children, and sometimes also aunts and uncles and cousins. The meal at this evening is simple, a lot of Germans are eating simple sausages with potatoe salad to keep the women away from spending too much time with cooking, and in a lot of families it is the only evening of the year where the TV stays switched off, it all about talking and laughing and playing games and reading Christmas stories. At about 10 pm the Christmette (Christmass) is starting, so a good opportunity to have a small walk with refreshing air, to move from the sofa to the church bench and although during the year the churches are empty, just a few people are going to church on sundays, at the Holy Evening the churches are crowded. I love it so much when at the end of the mass the lights were switched off, only the very big Christmas tree is illuminated, and the whole crowd is singing "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" (Silent Night, Holy Night). And when you are walking home again, and the sky is clear and you could see the stars, then it´s time for a special, secret wish. It is a night, where animals can talk and it is also a night where it would be kind to put some extra food for the animals (and the elfs and dwarfs) outside in the garden.

The next two days are also holidays in Germany, two days with a lot of eating, talking, playing with new toys, watching old movies on TV, two very nice and relaxing days.

And now I would love so much to hear how you are spending Christmas time in your country and your family. What are you doing at the evening of the 24th december - are you staying awake all night and drink bowls of egg-flip like to be seen in english/american movies? Is it true that you already now have the Christmas tree in your house? Is the Advent wreath just German? Do you also have Christmas markets in your country? I really want to know it all, please tell me.

06 Dezember 2006

6. Dezember

War ein paar Tage weg und bin grad rechtzeitig zum Nikolausabend wieder hier. Der Wärmflaschenbezug ist auch fertig, Schokolade gekauft, einem schönen Abend steht also nichts mehr im Weg. Ich hoffe, ihr wart auch alle brav und wünsch euch einen schönen Nikolaustag!

I am back again from a tiny advent-visit in Austria, just right in time for Nikolaus-evening. By the way, do you celebrate this day and evening, too, like we do in Germany? I am asking because I haven´t found a translation for Nikolaus in English.
My hot water bottle cover is finished, chocolate is bought, so everything is prepared for a great evening. We are invited for dinner and I better unpack our luggage and get proper dressed. I hope you behaved well during the last year to have a wonderful, charming Nikolaus evening.