9 december: x-mas balls

This is my tree:
x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016
It stands next to my knitting chair and it’s a real tree. It’s decorated all silver and red, with my favourite glass x-mas baubles.

This is our other tree, it’s in the front room, visible from the street and it’s the plastic one:
x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016
It wouldn’t hold the new piek I bought so it now has the light weight felted cat angle. I got it in one of my very first swaps on Ravelry, all the way from Finland.

(Who designs a fake tree that won’t hold the weight of a glass piek on top? That’s #2 requirement for a fake x-mas tree, I’d think.)

My new piek now sits on top of the real tree:
x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016
I didn’t have to cut off the top which is good because I’m going to try and plant the tree in the garden once x-mas time is over. I love this tree. I put in the baubles I love most. A bird house and owls and a robin and many pine cones. They’re all glass.

On the cabinet on the left is a paper Advent star I got for Sinterklaas, in it is a string of LED-lights that my husband programmed to change colour. Initially programmed to resemble a cosy fire it now serves as a cosy star.

Besides delicate glass baubles any tree of mine should have chocolate balls:
x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016Untitled
These are from the HEMA and have a sweet illustration on it. Very 2016, don’t you think? With the light background and the way the animals are drawn. I’ve got tea tins from Søsterne Grene that are in the same style:
x-mas tea tin Sosterne Grene
If you go onto Pinterest I’m sure you could make a collection of various illustrators all doing this style.

Anyway, decorated chocolate. No tree is complete without it.

The thing with mass produced chocolate is that I’m allergic to cheap vanilla flavour.
It gives me the strangest of symptoms: thoughts of doom. It’s true! Just 2 or 3 hours after consuming something with cheap vanilla in it, let’s say waffles or the average chocolate brand such as Twix, Mars, Cote d’Or, Milka etc. I get very depressed. Desperate. “I’m worthless, life’s worthless, the world is doomed.” Very unhappy.
Two hours later I’m fine again.
It was one of the stranger sensitivities to figure out. (Another one is: a draft against my ankles = 12 sneezes.)(how about this one? I’m hungry = I’ve got to pee.)
Even though it’s only a couple of hours of misery it’s something that’s really not worth my wile/ time so I avoid cheap vanilla like the plague.
pic by captcreate

The thing the second is: I’m fine with normal vanilla. Vanilla pods, vanilla powder, Bourbon vanilla = all fine, in fact I LOVE it. Vanilla flavour makes really happy.
It’s only the cheap stuff that gets me. Apparently vanilla consists of two substances: vanilla and vanillin. Vanillin is the stronger of the two for taste and smell and can be made cheaply by bacteria. Profit!
Vanillin is the only one I react severely to. Because all the human (brain) cells have receptors for vanilla, or something, and the vanillin part is just too aggressive?
Anyway. I’m fine when I eat expensive bonbons and chocolatier products or use vanilla pods or vanilla powder from the organic shop.
Árvore de Natal - Chez BonbonOutra da Chez Bonbon
pics by Bruno Fontes for Chez Bonbon

The third remarkable thing is: cheapy cheap chocolate such as these chocolate balls and the chocolate Sinterklaas and Kerstman (Santaclaus) and Easter Bunny I get from the Aldi, Lidl or Action are all made with real vanilla.
Score!
x-mas tree baubles kerstballen 2016
Now I’ve got chocolate (and) x-mas balls on the mind so today I’m knitting balls in my Advent shawl. I’m using a Wolop yarn I purchased earlier this year:

On my screen you see StitchFiddle in action, I’m making the stranded patterns for my shawl as I go along. Today I had thought to do a tree but the blue that came from the Advent box has so much contrast next to the white that it doesn’t fit my shawl.

I think I’ll do a rose with the blue instead, you know, the typical Norwegian rose/snowflake:

Norwegian roses by Birger Berge, a paid for pattern knitted in Rauma Finullgarn.

Here’s a late night photo of my finished Fir Cowl, all its ends woven in:
 I’ve been wearing it all day. I think I’d enjoy having a second one, it has the right amount of snugness.

Because I was one of three to knit this cowl so fast the designer gave me a free pattern! I chose this one:

Lady Liberty by Ursa Major Knits

Isn’t that great?!
Minor thing is that I’m pretty stressed for time these days. The end of the year is looming and I still want to do so many things this year. And there are many administrative things to handle before the year ends. And I haven’t sewn any clothes for weeks now and on Monday there’s already a new class of pattern drafting.
I’m really exercising my “relaaaax, it’ll be fine muscle” these days.

OMG I still have to make pannacotta today! And balls aren’t even done yet.

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