Christmas is not over yet, even though the present opening is over, and the madness of exchanging the presents have started.... However, I promise that this will be the last "Nisse" on this blog, this year. Next year I will try to make his female partner, "Nissemor".
He is shy, doesn't want anyone to see him, but he is around. All year. And you have to treat him well, or he might be very insulted and move! That means bad luck! Christmas Eve, he likes a treat of rice porridge, don't forget it!
Growing up, preparing for Christmas was much more then decorations and gifts. My mother would wash the entire house, walls, windows and ceilings, even the attic would be scrubbed, and Christmas curtains would be hung. She told me once that in her home, when she was a little girl, they would actually scrub the wooden floors with sand to get them ready for Christmas. I remember me and my siblings, all with little aprons, helping her baking cookies. It was a mess, and it had to be at least 7 different kinds, don't ask me why, it was tradition. Off course I still try to make at least 7 kinds. She would also make all these specially spiced sausages, and off course home made marzipan figures. I loved those and remember sneaking one when she wasn't around. When all the special food was prepared, she scrubbed down the kitchen. Then the decoration could start. It would be her embroidered Christmas table clothes, red candles, some angels and Santa's (nisse), and table decorations made with pine branches, cut offs from the Christmas tree. The tree would come in "little Christmas Eve", the 23rd, so that when we woke up the next morning, it had been decorated in all its glory. With candles, strings of home made paper garland, flags, and paper heart baskets. The more fancy and breakable balls would be hung towards the top, together with the angels. I remember how exiting it was to come downstairs, it was dark, the only light on was the one on the tree. I would just sit there in the dark and admire it......
I was tagged by Silja . So now I have to tag 6 people.
This is how it works: If you have been tagged, each player of this game starts with writing " 6 weird things" about themselves on their blog, as well as stating this rule clearly. Then you have to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Leave a comment on their blogs that tell them that they are tagged, and that they need to read your blog.
My family has been very helpful, the list of my weirdness could have gone on for miles.
Here is some: 1. I play very loud brass band marches when I'm in the car. I love it! Sitting on red light, the car is bouncing up and down.
2. A few months before Christmas I bury lamb-ribs in salt for a few days, hang them to dry for a couple of months, and then eat them at Christmas Eve.
3. I snort when I laugh.
4. I speak Norwegian with English words, and opposite. Who can understand it?
5. I am known to play loud Norwegian music and cry, when I clean the house. Pretty effective.
6. My kids favorite: Tired of my children talking with food in their mouths, I yelled: "Don't eat with food in your mouth!" Needless to say I couldn't hold a straight face after that one....
These will go under someones tree, and I am ready for something new. I wish I found some good, not to thin, and not to thick and not to expensive, wool yarn. I want to make a sweater for my grand daughter. The hunt is on.....
Obviously I have been doing other stuff than knitting..... The house is now fully decorated, even the Christmas tree is done, against all personal traditions. Late evening the 23rd would be the day to hang ornaments on the tree, so that the kids could wake up to the lit tree in the morning the 24th! It however had to happen early this year, do to a tight schedule. As always, we hang the Norwegian flags on strings, these on the picture are pretty old, but still in use every year.
I still need to bake a few cakes for the freezer, after that I will feel much better ...
Baked these cookies today. We always made these for Christmas growing up, they are pretty easy, and came out great. So I want to share the recipe, only thing is that you need to make the dough the day before, nd let it rest in the fridge over night.
"PEPPER NUTS" 2,5 dl (1 cup) light corn or sugar syrup 2 dl (little less than a 1 cup) sugar 65 gram (4 table spoons) butter 1/2 dl (3 table spoons) whipping cream 1 teaspoon ground star anise (I used 1 teaspoon concentrate) 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (natron) 500gram (3,5 cups) flour
Bring syrup, butter, sugar and cream to a boil. Combine and add all dry ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate over night. Make small round "nuts" and place them with some space, on a greased baking sheet, or use parchment paper. Heat oven to 400F (or 200C), and bake for 8 min. Makes about 120 cookies. Have fun!
Being busy with work, delayed the Christmas decorating. The fact is that the advent calender didn't get hung till this last weekend. It was in those dreaded boxes, stored at the loft above the garage... Filled with candy, Emilia forgave me. Sunday she had some friends over to make cookies. I got to finish the makings today.
A friend of mine sent me this picture. It's taken about 2 weeks ago here in south/west Houston. These creatures live in a park there (Brazo Bend), dipping in a lake. There is no fence in between the alligators and the track where visitors walk. She said: "It's just like walking around the lake at home (Stavanger/Norway), only difference is that instead of ducks, we have alligators".....
A Norwegian tradition is putting out "rice porridge" for "Nissen" (the Scandinavian Santa) at Christmas Eve. The truth is, he gets really sad if you forget about him.
It's also a tradition, at Christmas, to hide an almond in the porridge when it's served for the family. The lucky person that discover the almond, will get a price. Most often a small pig made of marzipan. In our family, "the lucky" would hide the almond, and the rest of us would over eat, searching for it.
As the first Advent candle was burning, we got a whole lot of dirty work done this weekend. Finally, after 4 weeks with no water and no cook top in the kitchen, we got the counter tops installed. Hurray! And I'll tell you, the electricians were not even in their car, before I was ready to tile! It's a fun, but dirty job! Jeff helped me cut the odd pieces, four hands work better then two. Doing the grout, I like to smear it with my hands, getting it better into the cracks and crevices. Bad idea! After working a 1/4 of the job, I had blisters and bleeding finger tips. There after, I wore out several pair of gloves... With drying time, several rounds of cleaning and cleaning, and more cleaning, the job got done. We love the result, and we even managed to get in a beautiful Advent Concert in the local church! Music for the soul! Rounding the day off with a glass of "Gluen wine " in front of the fire place (it's cold here in Texas!!), and we had a perfect weekend!
Thanksgiving is over for this year, and we took a long road trip. Houston - Chicago - and back, about 18 hours one way! We have done it before, and it's actually OK. Lots to look at, but to much time spent in the car. Knitted some socks on the way up, started these white socks, and almost finished them on my way back. Also knitted a purse in the car, but it's a Christmas present, so I can't show it one the blog. However, we are very happy to be back home!
My Kirby is dead! Last week I was dragging the old wreck around the floors, it was laying down, couldn't stand up anymore. It was like dragging a dead body after me. Need arm strength, good workout!! It was falling apart when I worked with it, that's also the reason for the duct tape all over. Power kept shutting down, due to a loose cord. I had to hold the cord in a certain position, or it would stop. That was it, I've had it!! I was getting ready to throw it through the window. It was sad, I almost lost interest in my most favorite thing to do over all, vacuuming!! O'boy! (Please don't believe me..) Anyway, the Kirby has been replaced with a Dyson!! And the best thing about it, - my husband loves it!! Go Jeff!!! This new wonder sucks up dust you never knew you had..... Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Don't have the time to sit down by my computer and blogg. I have been away for the weekend, travelling to Fredericksburg and Austin, seeing clients and friends. The weather was beautiful, not as hot anymore, cool enough to wear a sweater. That would be in the morning hours. When the sun is up, forget the sweater! Two sets headband/hat and wrist warmers, are done, made for my granddaughter, Tiril. It's cold where she lives, not like here in Texas, where we get exited when the temperature goes down to 60 F.
Here is the costume that never got worn, because the owner was sick on Halloween night. She posed for me tonight, showing off her pepperoni, peppers and cheese. I guess it will be stored in the garage until next year. Hopefully the rats won't eat it...
I have lots of project going on, but today I am working on the one that is the least fun. Retexturing and painting the walls around the new kitchen cabinets. I can't take the mess this remodelling is creating, and have to start doing something constructive, as we are waiting for the counter tops and water. I am sure it will all be good in the end.....
Well it was Halloween, and the dogs were supposed to be pizza rolls, since Emilia was going to be a slice of pizza. She got sick, and didn't dress up, but we shot a picture of Eini and Kine the day before, when she was trying the clothing on them. I think Kine look more like Robin Hood... Maybe I can make Emilia pose in her pizza costume, so that we can show it off.
Yesterday was "Fall Fair" day at a nearby church. This year I was one of the exhibitors, and there was many of us. Not so many with my sort of stuff, and I did have a good location. However, sales where bad, due to fairly low flow of people. The lady next to me had done these kind of sales for 24 years, and told me there would be up's and down's, and that this one was surprisingly slow. I, however, don't know if I will have patience to repeat the experience, especially not this year, who knows, we'll see.... Maybe eBay?
I thought I already had posted pictures of this purse, but I guess not. It was finished last week, and is made from one skein Lambs Pride. This yarn just has a lot of great colors. It also felt well.
The swirls are embroidered on, make sure to keep it loose like the knitting stitches. When I got it in the shape I liked, I stuffed it and tied a little yarn loosely around it, to make sure it stayed that way. At this point I still hadn't decided how it would look, I had knitted an unattached strap, and a shorter loop, so that I could close it if I wanted to, using a crochet button. I sewed a blanket stitch around the edge, and crochet in the stitches, one round.
It got lined with a hot pink lining, and it is ready for a stroll at the mall.
The small foot stool was fixed up last week, and now the small childrens chair is done also. It was originally not painted, but in a bad enough shape that I needed to do something about it. So it got a base layer off green, with a top coat of white over "crackle".
I like the fabric a lot, I have had it sitting around for a while.
This was made to be a Lonesome Skein project, but I added a couple of leftover colors to add some interest. I wanted to show how a purse get made, from A to Z (A til AA). Knitted in Lambs Pride, needles US 15 (10 mm). Felted in the washing machine, and dried. I pull and stretch a bit, and in some cases, like here, I force it into a certain shape by putting something inside. Here I used a spaghetti jar, most times I use polyester filling to hold the shape under drying.