That Little Shop I Love

Finally, I’m getting to show you dears my workplace, aka the little shop I love. Yes, it’s a rather small shop, just one room actually, but it’s stuffed to the brim with goodness.

Okay, facts first. The shop „Wunderlich – Feines aus Garten und Natur“ is located in Münchberg (not far from Hof / Saale, in case you’d like to look it up on a map). It’s a family run business, selling mostly handmade goods, like jam, oil, vinegar, mustard and liqueur, in an amazing variety of flavours. Tomato vanilla jam, anyone? (It’s actually great but you don’t have to take my word for it, do come over and see for yourself.) Everything is made from real produce, no artificial flavours or food colouring, or whatever allergy inducing chemistry the food industry often adds.

We also offer wine from two different Baden-Wuerttemberg wineries, pasta and – as you know already – tea. For starters, I picked some lovely black teas: Darjeeling, a Second Flush from Glenburn Tea Estate (do  check out that link, that place is so beautiful, it makes me want to jump on the next available flight, even though I’m afraid of flying), a Nilgiri (a region in Southern India, the Blue Mountains), a China Keemun, and a Frisian tea (a very rich tea made of Assams and Javas, best enjoyed with some cream and candy). Then there are some green teas, a Chinese Chun Me, and a flavoured green tea specially designed for making ice tea, and a white tea called Pai Mu Tan (which I’m especially curious about), and of course a whole variety of fruity and fruit-flavoured teas. I picked flavours that I think will be perfect for spring and summer – berries, apple, pineapple, mango, you get the idea. I also picked one Honeybush tea, it’s similar to Roibos but sweeter, and two edible teas. „Whatever is that?“, I hear you say. Well, it’s made of dried fruits, and once you’ve made your tea from it, you can eat the now re-hydrated fruit bits, put them in your yoghurt or have them with cream or pudding, or whatever other way you fancy. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to take a photo of all the tea goodness but if you’d please go over to the shop’s Facebook page, my boss Sebastian added some photos already.

We are going to have our first ever tea party on 3rd March, we’re going to offer tea, cake and biscuits, and some of those lovely jams you see here, and honestly, I can’t wait.

Week 4/18

Hello my dears, thanks so much for all your lovely  comments on my last post. Melvin says thank you, too. He’s a very content little fish (read: spoiled brat) today, his quarters were freshened up with some fresh water, and his chow is in the making, or rather, defrosting.

Let’s move on to the yarny goodness, shall we? This:

is my latest yarn haul. 11 balls of Lang Presto in dark grey and 6 balls in light blue. Since the yarn is discontinued, my LYS had a special sale, and I grabbed these in the hope they’ll be enough for a yoke sweater for yours truly. It’s a cotton mix yarn with only about 65 m per 50 g, so not really much mileage to get out of one ball. The 11 balls of dark grey wouldn’t have been enough so I decided to add some stranded colourwork in light blue. I’m planning to do a stranded pattern in the yoke, plus smaller patterns at the ends of both the body and sleeves. I never made a seamless top-down yoke before but how hard can it be? (Famous last words, I know.) I’m going to follow the excellent instructions in „The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters“ by Ann Budd and hope to get it right. I might wait until March and my vacation, though. Might be a good idea to be able to concentrate on this for a few days in a row.

Other than that, I finished the crocheting part of Chai (with many thanks to Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail – somehow, I crochet faster when watching a nice movie), started the second sock, and even managed a few more stitches on my Fruit Salad Wave blanket. I still skipped week 3 because frankly, my mind was stuffed full with shop talk. I so enjoyed that trip to Hamburg even though it was quite a long day, it’s a 500+ km drive (one way!) so since we had to start early, I had to get up at 2 a.m., but as I was so excited (and nervous as well), I hardly slept at all the night before. We did get there alright, had a lovely day walking around the trade fair, ordered our tea, and after an early dinner, got home just in time for the snow storm. Since many of you asked about what teas I was going to pick, I decided to „show“ you the shop I work at and tell you a little more about it in an extra post.

The better part of last week was spent trying to remember a song. Do you know this feeling when you hear this one line of a song in your head, it’s on repeat, you know that you know and like that song, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember the title or any other part of the lyrics except for this one line that keeps playing on and on and on and on … Back in the old days, I would have gone to the record store and told the guy working there that I was looking for a song, „and it goes like this: *sing*“. These days, I’m spared the embarrassment because I can ask „okay, Google“. Thankfully, Auntie G. knew the song and even directed me to Youtube where I found:

Yeah, I know, right? I’ve no idea where that came from, it’s way out of my musical comfort zone.

And I also managed to squeeze a couple of books in:

„Murder at Merisham Lodge“ is the first in a three book series about Joan Hart and Verity Hunter. I liked it very much, it’s a typical British cosy. „Which end is up?“ is all about change, with infuriating and sad parts, but I still enjoyed it, even though I thought the ending was a bit rushed.

With luck, I might have my first new FO to show next week. Seriously, how much longer can it take to finish some plain vanillas?

Week 2/18

Hi there, my dears. I’m so embarrassed – I’ve got nothing new to show. I did manage to finish the first sock (except for the bind-off, that is) but I didn’t get to take a photo. For some reason, this week just flew by, and all of a sudden, it’s Sunday and I’m busy preparing for my business trip tomorrow. I’m going to Hamburg trade fair with my boss to get a tea selection for the shop I work at. We had a few selected varieties (mostly flavoured) for Christmas, and since they sold surprisingly well, my boss decided to jump in and let me pick an assortment. I’ve got my list of must-have teas ready and written, and even managed to narrow it down to only 25 teas (I’m so proud of myself, I started out with more than double). Wish me luck, please, I’ve never done anything similar before, and am equal parts nervous and excited.

I did manage to do my homework, so to speak, by finishing this book:

It’s an amazing book full of information on all things tea-related, and beautifully written as well. I do think I’ll have to re-read it a couple of times to make sure I’ve really got the important stuff memorized, though. Another six weeks until we hold our first Tea Party at the shop (again, equal parts nervous and excited), I’m sooooo very much looking forward to it.

So since I don’t have anything crafty to show today, I thought I’d just leave you with a pic of Melvin, my very own darling fish:

He’s a Betta Splendens var Halfmoon, and a beautiful specimen, I think, but then again, I’m absolutely, totally biased.

Week 1/18

Hello, my dears, and welcome to the first edition of my weekly review where I’ll show you what I was up to this week. Let’s get started right away, shall we?

This beautifully soft ball of yarn is ONline Supersocke Silk Color, a superwash sockyarn containing 55% merino, 25% poly and 20% silk. Yes, it’s just as soft and yummy to touch as it looks! And aren’t the colours just gorgeous?

I decided on plain vanillas, I want the softness of the yarn and the beautiful colours to speak for themselves. Isn’t it a shame that all that gorgeousness will be invisible to the world at large? My toes will be happy, though. I’m trying to finish the socks before the 15th so I can wear them on my business trip to Hamburg.

Next, there’s Chai by The Firefly Hook. It has taken me incredibly long for such a simple pattern, and it’s still not finished.  A few more rows to crochet, then it needs to be blocked before I can add the tassels. I chose this pattern because frankly, I just didn’t know what else to do with the yarn. I used it for the mosaic socks I tried last year, and it just wouldn’t play nicely with other colours. This is a much better use, and once the shawl is blocked and doesn’t resemble an old crumpled fishing net anymore, I guess I’m going to be in love. By the way, I love the name of the pattern – Chai is one of my favourite teas, and that business trip to Hamburg will be all about tea, so it kind of fits.

I also managed to add a few stitches to my Fruit Salad Wave blanket. The original pattern by Sue Pinner is for a scarf but I really don’t need any more scarfs in my life. I have this awful lot of sock yarn leftovers plus entire balls of sock yarn in what has been described as „man colours“ – you know, the dark, dank, depression-inducing castaways of the sockyarn community – and so another blanket taketh shape.

On to the books I’ve read this week:

I don’t plan on writing book reviews, I simply don’t have the time between two jobs, my family, and my crafting adventures. Suffice to say I absolutely loved „Ender’s Game“, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I was a bit disappointed by „Alice“, though, somehow it just wasn’t as exciting as I remembered from my childhood days. I should finish a book about tea next but I have a feeling I’ll be off on another trip to Enderverse first.

New Beginnings

Hi, I’m back, did you miss me? 😉 It’s been a while, I know. Last year when I joined the „Year of Projects“ Ravelry group, I practically burst with good intentions. I was determined to blog weekly, or maybe even twice a week, I had a list full of fabulous projects, and not only was I going to make them all, I was also going to take amazing, breath-taking photos of them all.

Ha. Ha ha.

Let’s face it, I’m just not that kind of person. You know, the organized kind, the kind that sticks to a list and actually gets stuff done. (I do get stuff done every once in a while, though rather accidentally than intentionally.) I’m more of a „try something new and see where it takes me“ kind of person, which naturally leads to an awful lot of WIPs and UFOs, and to a lot of frogging and tinking and starting anew. I kid you not, I might set out wanting to knit a sock, and end up with a blanket of sorts because sock knitting is too boring, or I decide half-way in that the yarn would be so much better for a different project, or I suddenly prefer crocheting to knitting.

So when I read through my old posts, I realized that they didn’t reflect the person I truly am, and that I wasn’t happy with my blog. I felt it was time for a fresh start so I deleted all my old posts (all those of you who have been kind enough to leave a comment – fear not, they are not lost, I saved them all),  and am quite ready for a new adventure.