While walking along the endless mazes of the Christmas Markets, we stopped at one booth and watched as a craftsman made beautiful hand blown glass ornaments. These sparkling ornaments now adorn our tree. If you want to see how they are made, this post has more information.
About a year ago, my husband and I spent a week in Germany. Little did we know what a magical experience it would be. It was the season for Germany’s Christmas Markets. Each market had its own theme – gnomes, angels, stars, and fairy tales. Here are some of the sights from Köln (Cologne).
You can see photos of the Christmas Markets in Düsseldorf here.
Here is a pictorial view of an otherwise wonderful weekend. It started off with yarn purchases. Now how can that not put a smile on anyone’s face? There are a couple of hand warmer requests in my knitting queue – one pair is for the husband. I tried the yarn stash first but didn’t have any masculine colors. I wanted a nice dark gray/charcoal color. Then I found this black-gray-white multi-ply in the gauge I needed. It’s Heritage Quatro by Cascade Yarns and I should be able to make two pairs of hand warmers from this hank. As I was searching in bin after bin of yarn, I found this luscious Squishy by Anzula in Teal and knew it was meant for me. The explosion of miniature roses came from the husband. Of course, I will knit him a pair of hand warmers.
On Sunday, we all took off to the annual Fall Fiesta put on by our church and school. My son attended this wonderful school up through 8th grade. It’s amazing to see all those little boys and girls my son went to elementary school with becoming young men and women. My son and his friend each devoured a humongous turkey leg, while my husband and I stood in line for the funnel cakes. There were fajitas with pico de gallo, empanadas, and meatball subs. There was live music, pony rides for the little ones, and all sorts of carnival rides and games. The smaller kids love buying cartons of cascarones and popping them on each other’s heads. There was confetti everywhere!
My favorite festival booth is Vintage Values. It’s basically a huge garage sale. You never know what treasures one will find. I found this cute little silver sugar bowl. Engraved on the bottom is a crown with the numbers 18 and 83 on each side. I looked it up and learned it was produced by the F.B. Rogers Silver Co. which was established in Massachusetts in 1883. I also picked up a $1 bag of wooden nutcracker Christmas ornaments and this little tea towel with a sheep decked out for the holidays.
I gave the sugar bowl a quick polish at home. It still needs a little more elbow grease but I like it.
Despite a lovely weekend, I had a migraine on Saturday that kept me up half the night. I’ve had migraines since I was a teenager. I can be in a room without windows and can tell you if the day is overcast and whether it’s going to rain with startling accuracy. I usually work my way through the migraine but sometimes they do get the best of me. Last night, after tossing in bed from the pain, I made my way to the living room and started knitting. I had gone through all my tried-and-true home remedies and had even succumbed to medication, but still it persisted. Something about the soothing rhythm of the needles made me forget about the pain. I knit several rows of a blanket I am making in garter stitch, which those who knit know is a somewhat boring endeavor. But it’s just what I needed at 1:33 in the morning. After a while, I looked up and realized the headache was gone. I slipped into bed and fell asleep.
On the last leg of our trip to Germany, after visiting the knitting needle factory and the yarn atelier, we spent time at the Christmas Markets in Dusseldorf. The evening was cool and the sky a bit overcast but the lights from all the vendor stalls filled the night.
Treasured souvenirs from Cologne – hand blown glass ornaments. The glass ornaments are made in Germany by brothers; Rolf Schrade specializes in ornaments, Rainer Schrade designs jewelry. Here is a link to the Glaswerk Galerie blog. Watch this video to see Rolf at his craft.
A highlight of our trip was the Gnome Christmas Market in Cologne, Germany. Many vendors told us the same story. According to folklore, the Heinzelmännchen (gnome-like creatures) lived unseen in craftsmen’s workshops – tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, weavers. At night, they helped the craftsmen to sew or carve or perhaps knit so that the shop owners would have more to sell to provide for their families. One night, one young girl stayed up past her bedtime because she wanted to see the gnomes at work. After a long wait, she finally spotted one in her father’s workshop. But the gnome saw her too and – poof! – disappeared, never to be seen again. You may notice that each gnome carries a book (look closely at the one on the far left). That book carries their life story, their saga. What’s your saga?