Here are a few of the things that were under the tree for me to play with. I ended up ordering Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and I’m very happy about the decision. Thank you all for your help!!
Santa also brought me this gorgeous wine red wool from Lana Grossa. I’m planning on making this with it:
The picture really doesn’t do it justice. My knitting store had the sweater hanging in the window and I just couldn’t resist. I tried it on and it fit like it was made for me, so I didn’t leave without 10 balls of this stuff to knit my own. I’ve started knitting already, but because I’m following the pattern, it’s going to go slowly. I don’t have much time to knit when it’s peaceful and I can think.
The last and best present of all is the ‘Gutschein’ I got which is next to the book. Gutschein means cerificate in English. Can you see what Alexander drew for me? It took me a minute to see it, but there is a sewing machine and green knitting with red knitting needles. On the side you can see 5 boxes with numbers denoting the times when Martin takes the kids out and I’m allowed to sit and knit or sew. Do you believe it? I got time to knit and sew for Christmas! I have 5 times open!! I thought this was a super idea and can’t believe my little man made this for me. Alida helped color in the green yarn. I had no idea.
I have to admit, this brought tears to my eyes. My family is the best family anyone could ever ask for.

The tension on my sewing machine has been giving me trouble since I bought it a year ago, which means I’ve been to the store where I bought it at least a dozen times since then. Last week when it started acting up again, the owner of the store told me to come in and sew which would enable him to see exactly what the machine was doing.
What do you think I did when I heard that? Without any further hesitation, I had Martin take the kids and I trotted, with my serger and supplies tucked safely in my bike trailer, down to my sewing store where I sat from 10 am to 4 pm and sewed. As you can imagine, I was in sewer-geek heaven. The owner of the store, and a woman who works there, were both around to help me and give me lots and lots of tips. I also learned a lot from just listening to how they dealt with customers and the tips they gave them. Does it get any better than that??
My machine acted just like a little kid-perfect in front of strangers. “Oh what an angel she is” and then when you get home they start throwing a huge tantrum. I went home with a very well-behaved machine, and I hope she keeps acting so well-behaved otherwise she’s getting another time-out!!
I’m planning on making some leather slippers after Christmas, so we’ll see how well my machine works with me on this.
These are the Baby Born clothes I finished while I was there. This doll has better clothes than I do!
I would like to show you one more fun little gadget I finally finished last night. This is a row counter which you can use when increasing rows. I got the idea from String or nothing and also found one at Knit Picks here. You start at the green end which means go, in my case the leaf. Then every two rows, or every knit row, it is moved to the next ring in the direction of red, which means stop, in my case the flower. Here is my version of the row counter.
I don’t really like how the flower turned out but it’s a good start. I’m trying to figure out what I could use other than a chain because the chain links don’t fit on my bigger needles and I would like to use these for everything I knit. Any ideas?? Of course, one of these went into my mom’s package this morning which was then sent off. It should get there in time for your birthday, mom!!
Mom, here are the ornaments the kids picked out this year. You see, every year we go to the Christmas Market with the kids and they each pick out their own ornament for the tree, I kind of guide them to the good ones, and then we write their name and date on them. When they are older and have families they can take their ornaments for their own trees. These are little wooden ornaments from Käthe Wohlfahrt and I love them. Last year my parents came to visit and I think my mom and I went to the Market every day at least once, which was so much fun! Next year my parents are coming again and we are going to do those markets again, you can count on it!
Alexander picked out the airplane and Alida the teddies on the sled.
This is the book that Chris, my sister-in-law, sent in her package that we all just love. It is so funny!! Thank you again, Chris, for being so very thoughtful-thank you from all of us! Tomorrow we are making Santa pancakes.
I wish we could have been there for Conrad’s birthday party yesterday. I heard the sailboat cupcakes were soooo cute. Also in Conrad’s face. You need a blog, babe.

I apologize to all of you who have written comments in the last few days. I have not been able to find the time to answer right now, I’ve been quite busy, as you can imagine. Thank you all for writing!!!

I tried out my new stitch markers and I just love them, it is so fun knitting and knowing a chocolate candy is coming up. However, after about 10 minutes I got a bit hungry. After about 20 minutes I had my hand in the cookie jar, and my knitting was resting quietly on the couch. Hmmm That’s not really the point, now is it? That’s when I decided I needed a few ‘diet’ markers.
Of course, after making a very good-for-you banana and apple marker, I made an ice cream cone and some slices of carrot cake! I just don’t think I was meant to be on a diet! Of course, any good group has a flower too, right?

I also made two beaded row counter bracelets, one for me and one for my mom. Her birthday is the 31st of December, so I’m trying to get a package together. Mom, your package is getting bigger and bigger and later and later. It’ll be sent off soon, I promise!!
I’ve seen these bracelets before at various places, but I’ve never wanted to spend the money on one. After making the stitch markers, I realized I could probably pull off making these bracelets, too. Here they are:
beaded row counters
You see, you count the individual rows with the little white beads and groups of ten rows with the big blue beads. You just push the beads through the white beaded ring toward the egg. So simple and so helpful. These were the best beads I could find, and I thought the egg looked the best on them.
I showed them to my friend Christina yesterday, and because she is also a knitter and a lousy row counter, she thought it was a great idea. Are you surprised we are on our way to the store today to get her some beads? I love getting others addicted to my silliness.

In German the word for spinning- spinnen- has two meanings: to spin and to be crazy. I think this is very fitting!!! I must be crazy to have started something new, I just love it!! You could say I need another hobby like a good ol’ hole in the head. I went to Stefanie‘s yesterday afternoon for our monthly meet of Berlin knits and it was fabulous. Stefanie is a real spinner; she has two wheels and makes gorgeous yarn. She let me play for a while and I fell in love. Here I am.
Look at the yarn forming on the spindle. Oh what fun. Maybe I have an addictive personality and should stay away from these things.
Forget that! Now I need a spinning wheel. My birthday’s in August, so I have a bit of time to work on it!
Gabi wasn’t able to come, but she was so nice to give Steffi a drop spindle and some roving for me to play with. Steffi and I were a bit clueless on how it works, she’s been spoiled for too long with her wheel, so I have to either find a good site on the net, or wait until our next meet to figure out how to use it. We’ll see. I should have lots of time to knit, sew and even spin over Christmas-it’s on my wish list!
Have I told you I think our knitting group is great? Steffi you need to move to Berlin!! 😉 (you see, she lives on the outskirts of town and when I say outskirts, I mean one of those big huge Gone With the Wind skirts)
I met Silke for the first time and we got along super and she makes gorgeous socks. Who would’ve known?
Don’t worry, Sabine, we’ll make up for time lost yesterday in January!! (For those of you not with us, she had to go back to work, the poor thing, and leave us to eat Stollen, Steffi’s cookies and brownies alone) I didn’t think I would be able to find such wonderful knitting people here in Berlin, but I did and I’m so glad!
One last thing-I made brownies that are fabulous but I just can’t take credit for them because I stole the recipe from Nichola at Nikkishell. Here’s the recipe. Thanks, Nichola, I’ve made them a total of 3 times in the last week and I have new orders coming in daily. 🙂

Well, not real ones. I knit these mice for the cats. You see, I really don’t have much to do one week before Christmas, so I thought I would do something like this. Yeah right! I found these cute little rodents here. Well, actually I found them at first and had to have them.
Unfortunately, for our cats I didn’t have any sport weight yarn that would felt so I had to use some left-over worsted weight I found. Thanks to my WPI tool, I was able to find the exact weight of this mystery yarn. Cool tool! I used a size 9mm/13 US needle and made the body an inch longer than the original. They are so big Martin says they’re rats. Do you think the cats will be scared away from them? This is my first felting experience and I love the outcome. Granted I washed them three times to see what they look like each time. Cool.
Here’s a before and after picture. These are just mice, but humor me a bit, I’m on new felting territory here.
mouse beforemouse after
The Bob the Builder digger is in the picture for size comparison purposes only, please don’t be distracted by that. I’ve filled them with catnip and I can’t wait to see what the cats do with them. We only have two cats, so the third one is a Christmas present for Alexander’s piano teacher’s cat.

I’ve got a bit of a problem, I’ve been working on more stitch markers and I can’t stop. This is terribly addictive!! Here are a few that I’ve finished, and some that aren’t. (Once again it’s take advantage of the sunlight for pictures problem)
stitch markers
stitch markers
I can’t keep writing I’ve got to get back to my stitch markers. My mom’s package needs to be sent off and she’s getting one of each of these. I’ve got another thing I want to try to make for her, but that’ll be another day. Fimo, I’m coming.

Ok, so I’m a bit behind everyone else when it comes to IN blog things, but I’ve finally dove into the art of making stitch markers and I’m hooked. I originally saw these really fun stitch markers on A Sheep In Wools’ Clothing (scroll down to December 6) and just adored them. You can buy the so cool originals here, but they are a bit out of my price range. I was planning on waiting until January when I might have time to figure out the art of making them, but I just couldn’t resist starting now. I made a few last night thinking if I messed up it wouldn’t be a problem, and because no one knew I was trying this, I didn’t have to explain myself. Well here they are and I’m so pleased.
stitch markers
Can you tell what they are supposed to be? I used Fimo to form the shapes, baked them until they were hard then bent the wires around a necklace closure.
stitch markers
As soon as this is typed I’m off to make more. I think my mom would love them, so she’s getting a package with some in it.
Just so you know I finished bending the wires in after taking the pictures. We have so little sunlight nowadays that I rushed to get a picture in before all hope was lost. The wire ends are now nicely tucked in and I hope they won’t be catching on anyone’s yarn.

Alida’s purple cat scarf is done and she loves it. I have to admit this yarn is snuggly soft.
cat scarfcat scarf
cat scarf
Sorry about the horrible yellow color, but this was the best picture I could get that showed the detail of the cat.
I used 50 g. Schoeller Stahl Grazie which is polyamide and acrylic, but the soft factor is what convinced us to use it.
If you have a little monster that doesn’t want to wear scarves this is the perfect remedy. I didn’t write out the pattern because it was so easy, but if you really want to knit one, write me and I’ll see what I can do.

Santa fell asleep with his hat on last night.
santa sleeping
Do you think he’ll talk to me when he’s older and he see’s I’ve published this?

I couldn’t resist showing you the package my mom sent me which arrived today. I should have waited for Christmas to open it, but that’s three weeks away!!
Alida's sweateryarn bag
This came from Patternworks, which is one of the few companies who sends international, and consists of two yarn bags that each have a hole in the top to thread your yarn through. This way I can take my knitting to the playground and don’t have to worry about the ball falling on the ground and getting dirty. I love it! One is big, for maybe two or more balls, and one is small. She also sent some rubber stitch markers and a Wraps Per Inch tool which I think is sooo neat. You wrap your yarn around it to see what weight yarn you have and what yarn would be a good substitute. I love it all, thank you, mom!!!!!

Elephant sweater update: It still fits, albeit a bit small in the arms. It should be ok for a month or two, hopefully three. She doesn’t seem too sad about the whole shrinkage business.
sweater sweater
click click
I actually like the way the wool is felted, it’s got to be warm now. I’m already thinking about what to make her for next year. This time I’m making it extra big.

Did you know mittens fit well on your feet? I told the kids to get dressed yesterday morning while I blew my hair dry. This is what I found when I came out of the bathroom.

Watch out for new washing machines they are hot. Just telling you. I’ve now ruined so much with our new machine. For some reason things are really shrinking. Or we’re growing in the arms. Nonetheless, our clothes are just plain disappearing. I’m so upset I could cry about one of my favorite sweaters I knit for Alida. I knit it with 100% washable wool but it still shrunk at 40 degrees. I’ve pulled and pulled to get it back in shape, and tomorrow I should be able to see if it’s helped at all. It’s cold water from now on-no more warm water for me.
elephant sweater
Oh by the way, that’s a matching scarf I made with yarn left-overs. I haven’t washed that yet, but you can bet it won’t be with 40!

Question of the week: Mom, what’s bigger me or my crane?
crane comparison

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