Christmas and Cookies

Hello Friends! How are you? How was your Holidays? Mine was wonderful! On Christmas Eve we went to my father-in-law’s house to celebrate with him and his fiancée’s family. She made a delicious dinner of pot roast and lobster. She decorated the table beautifully.

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When I said something about it, she said ” I just thought Forest and decided that was how I was decorating the table” We even got to take home the cups or pots on the table. In each one she had put a bulb and right now I can’t remember what she said it was. It will be a surprise for me 🙂

After we got home, we put on our Christmas Eve pajamas and sprinkled reindeer food outside, got out cookies and milk for Santa and off to bed we went!

In the morning we woke up to this.

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We were all spoiled and received some wonderful things. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying our presents before it was time to make dinner.  I didn’t even think to take a picture of our dinner. Lane was in charge of the turkey and I made the stuffing, cheesy potatoes, head salad and a peanut butter pie. I did get a picture of the pie!

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It didn’t set up as much as I was expecting it to. It was still super yummy to eat though! Everything was perfect!!

Now on to the cookies I mentioned in my post before Christmas. On Tuesday I was on a mission, I got all the butter out I needed and set it out to soften. I cleaned some dishes, got the cookies sheets, cookie cutters, cookie racks and mixing things out and ready. Then I did the most tedious part of making my cookies.

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I ground my almonds. It actually wasn’t as bad as I remembered. After I got started on the first cookies, which actually became my second cookie since I didn’t read far enough in my recipe to the part that said the dough went in the freezer for 45 minutes. Oops. But no problem I just made the Vanillekipferl first.

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Then back to the freezer for my Chocolate Snowcaps. It’s a chocolate dough that you roll in powdered sugar.

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And then after they have baked they come out looking like this.

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They have some instant coffee grounds in them and it really brings out the chocolate flavor and makes them so yummy!!

After those I made the ZimtSterne, (Cinnamon Stars, that’s not the recipe I use but it gives you an idea) which are my absolute favorite cookies ever. They have this slight crunch on the outside but are so moist and gooey on the inside. Yum!!!!

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I saved the ones that are the most work for last. These are the Spitzbuben, i have also heard them called Linzer cookies. There is lots of cookie cutting and rolling of the dough and in and out of the oven. They are worth it 😉

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Then I put Raspberry jelly on the bottom part of the cookie. Put a top on it and dust them with powdered sugar.

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Christmas cookies are some of the best!!

Also in my last post I told you about the package i received from my friend Jules. I have opened all her little Advent surprises now.

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So much fun stuff!! When she said she still had quite a bit of Diddl stuff she was finding, I never imagined all this! Every bit of it is a new treasure!! I can’t wait to look at the books and postcards more in-depth. The new Diddl friends are already meeting my old Diddl friends! It’s a Diddl party over here! Thank you again so much Julia!!!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

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Spoiled by a Friend

Hello Friends! How are you? Things are going well over here! Christmas Vacation has started for Little Man and I. Today we went and took care of the grocery shopping for our Christmas meal and Christmas cookies that I am going to be making tomorrow. I didn’t make cookies last year so it has been two years since I made cookies and I am feeling a bit nervous about it! Kinda silly, but hopefully they all turn out well. I will be making four different cookies. Three are ones that my grandma makes for Christmas and one is from a magazine that I cut out a few years ago and really like. But I will show them off tomorrow.

We had a really nice weekend. Little Man is in cub scouts and they were doing a special nights with discounted tickets for the hockey team in our area. So on Friday we went to the hockey game.

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It was a lot of fun, I am not really a sports fan of any kind, but even I got into it. Our team is in red and the white shirts was a team from New York. Little Man really enjoyed it too, it was his first time. The scouts all got a patch, water bottle, hockey puck and a nice backpack at the game. The first 5000 people got a free Christmas-y T-shirt, and we were three of those lucky 5000. Little Man even got a practice puck after the game from one of the attendants.

I finally finished my tree over the weekend.

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Better late than never!

Little Man went off to spend the night at his aunts on Saturday so I wrapped his presents while he was gone.  Then we had a nice dinner with my father-in-law and his fiancee and watched a movie at their house. By Sunday my cold had hit me full force so Hubby and I did nothing. It was so nice. We watched the last Inspector George Gently available on Netflix and then some Wallander.

Another big highlight of the weekend happened on Saturday.  I got a package from my friend Jule. Oh what a package it was!!

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I already started opening it when i remembered I must take pictures. And I apologize, some of the pics are a bit blurry and I didn’t realize until I loaded them unto the computer today.

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😀 she made me an advent calendar!! How totally sweet and awesome is that!!

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Inside the binder were some stars.

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I have already stuck them in my Christmas tree.

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There were all kinds of goodies. You will notice a lot of Diddl stuff. That was part of what started this whole swap between her and I. She had some stuff she was getting rid of and I am a huge fan and was happy to take it off her hands to add to my collection.

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There were some other goodies in my package too!

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In the Anna magazine there is a pattern for some fox gloves and Jules bought me some yarn to make them.

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Aren’t they cute! I am really looking forward to casting them on.

There were some other magazines.

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I have already looked at the Nooz one. It’s a super cute little magazine!! Once the Christmas cookies are all eaten up I am going to make the button cookies that are on the cover of it. There were some other things in there I want to make as well. Like I said, super cute magazine! I am looking forward to sitting down and enjoying the others.

One more thing before we get to the Advent calendar.

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It’s a diary. It’s one of those that has more that one year in it. So this one is a three year one and you write just a little highlight of your day. And it even has the weather and little faces. So cool! I have seen them around here but the are smaller and don’t have those little extras. I am really looking to starting this in the new year.

Next up is the biggie! The Advent Calendar!!

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So I went back and forth a lot on how I was going to open up my little presents. For one second i did consider opening them all up to the 20th but then I knew I didn’t want to do that. So then I thought about just starting from day one and going day by day from there but I was not patient enough for that. So I figured out how many presents I could open a day until Christmas. It came out to four a day and then on Christmas day I will open five.

Here are the four I opened on Saturday.

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And here are Sunday and today.

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Wow!! What great stuff!! Little Man already has plans for us to play the memory game. I can’t wait to open my other little presents!

Thank you so much Jules! Your package made my day! I never expected so much. I appreciate all the time and thought you put into putting this package together for me!

Another Week Flown by!!

Hello Friends! How are you all? I am doing good. Keeping busy around the house, with work and trying to get ready for Christmas. I can’t believe it will be here next week! December has flown by! I am almost done with my shopping, what about you? Decorating the house is like half done, I know…I am slacking! But I did remember my favorite thing for the season.

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My Advent candles. I took this picture this past Saturday so it still only has two candles lit. I am always scrambling days before or on the day of to find the right candles but I always make sure it is set up and ready. I love sitting at the table with my candles lit and just the whole set up. It’s a comforting feeling. Is there anything about this time that you really look forward to?

Last Saturday we also went to our library because they had an activity for kids to decorate gingerbread houses. Little Man had fun working on his and coming up with ideas. I helped a bit with the fence but other than that he pretty much did it on his own.

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I also had my work Christmas party Saturday Evening. It didn’t go quite as planned. Both of our bosses called a friend I work with and said they were sick and couldn’t make it, just a couple of hours before it started. They had all the food and supplies for the party so my friend scrambled to get some snacks and salad stuff. My one boss ordered some pizza to be delivered to the hall where we had the party but he only ordered seven pizzas for almost 50 people, so she had to order more. Apart from that it was nice to hang out with some of the ladies outside of work. Have any of you had any Christmas parties already?

Yesterday my mom gave me a bunch of oranges so I decided to make a clove orange today while I was working on dinner.

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I forgot to get a picture of it done. I didn’t do a special pattern I just covered it all over with cloves. I will get a picture of it hanging up and all done. My mom used to have one hanging in our hallway for a long time and it smelled so good and lasted a really long time. I hope mine does too.

Tomorrow I am planning on finishing my tree. It has lights and a few ornaments that I have bought and that my grandma sent me. So hopefully I am successful!

I will be back soon, really I will! 🙂

Shaun the Sheep

Pattern: Shaun the Sheep by Alan Dart, Patons 2240 and was also published in Woman’s Weekly long time ago. I got my copy on eBay.

Dates: Nov. 11-Dec. 19, 2008

Made for: Babsi

Yarn: Vanna’s Choice in Black and White. Joann’s Sensations Angel Hair, white. and for the sweater some  leftover yarn i had.

Needles: Size 8 double points

Notes: I did use thicker yarn and needles than the pattern calls for so that way he would be a little bit bigger.

After looking at other Shaun Sheep on Ravelry i read that another knitter had knit her shaun in the round.  Since i dislike seaming so greatly i decided to try that as well.  I was able to knit the tail, body, neck, head, eyes, ears and head tuft in the round.  I started on of the legs in the round but for some reason it came out looking funny so i decided to work the legs flat like in the pattern.  Over all the pattern was very easy to follow and had no mistakes that i noticed. In my copy of the pattern, from the magazine, the ear instructions are titles Legs-no biggie.

Assembling Shaun also went okay until it was time to attach his head to his neck.  I went through the head and neck with so much yarn to make it stiff and keep from falling all the way forward.  Later after putting on the sweater i found out i didn’t have to quite so much because the neck on the sweater helps keep his head up a little as well.  The sweater only helps a little so you want to make sure you do stabilize the head and neck well.

For the sweater i chose just to make it in a color my mom likes than the one in the pattern. The pattern sweater is modeled after what Shaun was wearing in A Close Shave.   I knit the front and back flat and then picked up stitches around the sleeve and knit them in the round.  The sweater fits him pretty snuggly and that is my fault, i should have adjusted the stitch count slightly to make up for using the thicker yarn on Shaun.

I would say the knitting for this pattern is not hard but the assembly does take time, patience and maybe even some adjusting.

Finally,  it was so hard to give this guy away-he turned out way better than i thought he would. I do want to make myself one of these but it won’t be for awhile.   He was received with a squeal of “Oh! How Cute.” so i know he is being loved.

Tomorrow a Goat 🙂

FO and What’s on the Needles

I have been absent for the a little while and it was mostly due to my illness and once i finally started getting better i had to play catch up on everything.  This one was a bad one and i don’t think it’s gone yet. I think it was a Sinus Cold or something along those lines.  It was something i had never had before and i had this headache mostly in my forehead and moving my head to much especially up and down made it all worse. I still have a very small headache but nothing like what i had last weekend.

But i have gotten some knitting done. While i was sick it suddenly hit me how close to Christmas we are getting and if i want to make anyone anything i better figure it out.  I started with my grandma in Germany since i have to mail her package out by the first of December to make sure it gets to her on time cause you just never know with the postal service especially if you are sending something overseas. 

Omi asked for another Bainbridge Scarf (pdf) and i was happy to oblige. She picked the yarn out herself while she was here. It is Patons Rumor, an acrylic and alpaca blend yarn.  Rumor is a bulky yarn so i had to make some adjustments to make it the same size and the one in the pattern.  I ended up using size 9 circulars and cast on 90 sts and then followed the pattern.  For the ties i only cast on 2 stitches and worked as in pattern. It’s an easy and straightforward pattern and i am glad Omi liked her first so much that she asked for another.

Next up is my mom:  I have a Shaun planned for her and maybe one more thing-we’ll see.

I have his head, head fluff, neck, body, tail and one leg done. I was able to work everything but his front leg in the round so far to cut down on seaming.

Then i got some yarn on Ebay and Ravelry

to make this for Little Man but i don’t think it will be a present i just want to make it because i really liked it the moment i saw it in the magazine, Verena Stricken Winter 2007/08. I actually forgot about until i decided to go through all my mags and try and clean some out that i know i just don’t need.

And we can’t forget about Cosima-i am almost done with the left front panel but i got to where i start decreasing the neckline and it’s not hard just very wordy and do this so many times on these many rows and your eyes kinda cross and your brain starts to hurt as you reread to make sure you understand and start figuring out in your head 🙂 and after a few rows you start to decrease for the armhole as well so you are doing 2 things at once. I decided to set it aside until i got better and was alone to i could sit down and write it out a bit easier for myself-that’s my goal for tomorrow because i really should have finished this cardigan by now.

whew, i think i am all caught up and this should be the last of these extended breaks.