A quiz

(sometimes it’s easier to just answer a few questions instead of writing an original blogpost)

This Quiz comes from here, I found it at Chrisknitssews. Feel free to join in if you dare.

Here I go!!!!

1. What was the last food you ate? Two boiled eggs (breakfast)
2. Do you sleep with socks on? Sometimes, but not since we moved to this house (no aircon)
3. Worst physical pain you’ve had? Root canal with hardly any sedation
4. Favorite place you have ever been to? Rome
5. How late did you stay up last night? 8:45 pm (that’s normal for us on weekdays)
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? United States (don’t know which state, I think the beauty of it is that there are so many different surroundings to choose from – maybe I’d just buy a camper and drive around)
7. What is your favorite sport? I don’t like sport at all. We never watch sport and the only “sport” I like doing is swimming (but just recreational)
8. When was the last time you cried? A few weeks ago, when my mother’s situation finally broke through my defenses.
9. Who took your profile pic? T. did. I needed a picture for my new book.
10. Two of your favorite movies? Independence Day and Hudson Hawk
11. What’s your favorite season? Summer (luckily, we have that year-long around here)
12. If you could have any career what would it be? What I do now (writer, blogger) – but it would be fun if I was more successful/made more money (that would make it a real career)
13. What was the last book you read? By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder – found it at a thrift store last Saturday and love reading it. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but I don’t mind. These days I’m all into easy reading (got too much going on in my mind)
14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be? Amanda Soule from Soulemama.com. I’ve been somewhat (ha!) obsessed with her blog for years and I’d love to meet her in real life.
15. Are you a good influence on other people? I’d like to be, but no. Not at this moment. Too stressed out.
16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza? No! It makes it all wet and soggy and sweet. Yuk!
17. You have the remote, what show is on? Supernatural. We got stuck at season 13 last year, so I’d really like to see how it all ends. I would also not mind watching reruns, because Dean 😉
18. Last text message: OK (to my husband, informing me when his plane would land)
19. What’s the last concert you’ve been to? Never been to a real concert, but we love to see the live performances at our favorite beach bar. Last time it was Roadhouse unplugged (a rock band).
20. Favorite food: Pizza (but I haven’t had it for a long time – I always feel sick after I eat it)
21. Favorite album all-time? Songbook by Paul Simon
22. Favorite day of the week? Sunday, because I always think the week ahead will be a good one
23. Have you ever drank alcohol? Yes, but I don’t anymore. I get sick after only one glass of wine.
24. Did you go to college? No (also not to any equivalent in Holland – I started working at 18)
25. Have you ever experienced depression? Yes, several times.

Join in. Tag someone. Why not?
Please join in. The more the merrier. Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link if you’re posting it on your blog so we can read your answers.

Just a fun little hat

I had so much fun knitting this little hat! It was a step up from the plain knitting I had done for the past few months, but not too hard for my brain to handle right now.
I did the ribbing* as a 1×1 rib with a twisted knit stitch to make it look a bit more interesting and then broke up the plain stockinette top with single purl rows to make those little lines. I really like how it turned out. It looks interesting but is simple enough to actually be wearable, even for men.

* is that the right word? I used to call it the brim, but it seems I was wrong about that. Ravelry made a note on one of my patterns because I said it was a brimmed hat, but it just had large ribbing. What is the word I should have used for that part that fits around your ears?

Crafty goals

So, last week was mildly successful. I did enjoy a bit of knitting daily, but it went kind of slowly, because I wasn’t feeling so well. Still, I had fun, that’s what counts. I did get to sewing last Saturday and that felt so so good! Since T. will be away again this Saturday, I’m planning a whole day of sewing.

Last week’s list:

X- finish Christmas yarn hat – so close, but not done
X- finish dark gray hat – also close, but not done either
… – work on cowl – I did, but it’s far from finished
✔- sew?- Yes! Just a little bit, but yes! I made three drawstring project bags for my knitting (see picture). I will probably also write a whole post about this simple project though.

This week’s list

– finish Christmas yarn hat
– finish dark gray hat
– work on cowl
– make skirts I bought smaller to fit into them (I liked them, but they are XL – I’m S)
– shorten T.’s pants
– make a bag/basket for my knitting (to hold current projects and bring them outside)
– make purse to use daily (bigger than the one I’m using now, smaller than the other one I have)
– organize fabric and yarn

What’s on your list this week?

A weird week

Last week was weird. Not really bad, but not really good either. I felt sick, but I really wasn’t. I tried to rest, but we had some broken nights (customers from Holland calling – time difference can be a problem). But at the end of the week, I managed to get my act together and actually do the most important things on my list.
My Saturday was just as fun as I hoped it would be. I found some great stuff at the thrift shop and bought some very nice fabric and yarn. I’ll do a post about what I bought later. I even got to do a little bit of sewing. It was a wonderful day.
I don’t know if it was the food I indulged on Saturday (should have known better, gluten I’m not sure about, but sugar and cheese are big no-no’s. I did enjoy eating it though), or the fact that I was out and about all day, or just the virus I’d been carrying throughout the week, but yesterday I was feeling really sick and feverish. So I just slept and rested and did a bit of light reading. Feeling a lot better today. Which is good, since there is a lot I want to do this coming week.

It still feels like a calm before the storm here, but I’m (sort of) getting used to it. Focusing on the house, the things I love to do (knitting, sewing, blogging) and taking time to really notice the good things around me, however small they might be, really helps. Having a lot of (paid) work to do isn’t too bad either 😉

Wishing you all a bon siman, a great week!

A very plain sweaterdress

Yes, plain. That’s what it is if you’re honest about it. No embellishments, no special pattern, just the most simple construction. But that’s also exactly what I wanted. I was hoping to find myself a basic pattern that I can build on in time.
And that’s just what I got. It fits perfectly, and I’m already contemplating stitch patterns around the collar and things like that. I could also make it a lot shorter and have a cute sweater to wear with a skirt or jeans (or shorts).

In the next picture, you have to imagine me wearing leggings and a long-sleeved shirt underneath. (Also, feel free to imagine my hips are thinner in reality than they look in this picture – I do). It’s 100% wool, so it was hot enough to wear just the sweater for a few short minutes to take these pictures. I couldn’t get myself motivated to dress up for the full look.
I think it does look great as a dress without them too, but I can’t wear it here. Too hot. It will be one of my ‘when in Holland’ outfits.

On a side note: it took me incredibly long to take this picture of myself wearing the dress. I almost gave up, but then I found out that I could lean my camera on the books in the (still mostly empty) guest room, just before my battery died. So this will have to do, bad lighting, blurry, cut off feet and all. It’s the best I can do.
I need a tripod. Or a big mirror.
Okay, I could also ask T. to take these shots, but he hates that fake smile, so he’ll wait for me to really laugh and get all wrinkly. And he doesn’t have the patience, or the time, to help me find a pose that doesn’t make me look fat, so that would leave me with pictures that I wouldn’t want to post on the internet and then he would say ‘but that’s how you look’ and I would… Never mind. Not going to ask him.
Goodness. Being a blogger isn’t easy 😉

Second side note: I have never knit larger garments with real wool, so I didn’t get the whole blocking thing. Blocking synthetic yarn doesn’t really make a difference (though I sometimes wash my knitting on a quick cycle to even out stitches).
But this was real wool. There were a few stains on it, so I soaked the sweater to get those out before taking pictures of it. And then I laid it out flat on a towel to dry, which is basically what blocking is.
Well… wow! It was like magic. The whole thing looked so much better after blocking.
People, if you knit with wool you really need to block!

This Saturday (Three Things)

This Saturday T. will be off the island for a day (for work). I’ll have to bring him to the airport early in the morning and pick him up in the evening. And then I have the whole day for myself.
There are so many things I could do. Sleep all day for instance. I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, so if I need to, that’s what I’ll do. But there are three other things I’m planning to do and I’m really looking forward to that.

1. Visit thrift shops. We’ve got three of them on the island. One of them is only open on Tuesday afternoons and on the last Saturday of the month. We’ve never been there because it’s on the other side of the island. But I figure I’m already halfway there when I’m at the airport, so I’m really looking forward to going. I heard it’s mostly books, but books are good. I also really want to visit the one in Otrobanda, because that’s a real one. You know, furniture, books, clothes, houseware, the lot. I will sort of pass that one on my way back, so it’s only logical to go there, don’t you think? I’m not sure I’ll go to the third one though, it’s rather expensive and far from the other two. We’ll see.
It’s not that T. doesn’t like thrift shops, by the way. He does. But he’s mostly looking at the bigger stuff and then he’s done, while I like browsing everything. And he hates when I look for clothes in thrift shops, but I want to see what they have here. In Holland, I found a lot of good things in the clothing sections.

2. Visit craft shops. Again, he doesn’t mind to go with me if I ask him to make a stop there (since we live out in the country, we tend to make lists of errands and run them all on the same day), but well, you know. Men don’t browse. Men want you to decide and go on. I want to think things through before I buy anything. But I “need” more yarn if I want to make everyone hats for Christmas and I really need some sewing stuff. Pattern paper, interfacing, things like that. There’s a shop I’ve never visited that advertised on Instagram that they have quilting cotton now. Oh my, I think I need to establish a budget before I go there!

3. And then, after a morning of fun shopping, I want to get my sewing machine out and sew. I need to hem some pants and curtains, but I really hope that I’ll also get to making something fun. A bag maybe.

There may not be enough hours in that day…

Linking up with Carole’s Three on Thursday

(unrelated picture – can’t have a blog post without a picture 😉 )

Growing papaya

The piece of land our house is (and a lot of other houses are) built on, used to be known as “Papaya Tuyn” and is still officially called ‘Papaya bij Westpunt”. I can’t find a lot of information about it, but I don’t think they really grew papaya trees here. Still, I thought it was only fitting to try to grow them myself.
I just sowed some of the seeds of a papaya I ate, and that worked like a charm. The first batch was eaten by birds, but I have seven seedlings now. One of them is actually already past the seedling state and growing really fast. I’m not sure these will ever produce fruit (sometimes the seeds of fruit you buy in the supermarket don’t work for that), but I like seeing them grow.

I’m not particularly fond of the taste of papaya anyway, though it does taste so much better if you sprinkle lime juice on it. I do know it has a lot of health benefits though, so it’s worth trying to eat it regularly. The leaves can be used medicinal too, so these trees will be a great start for my dream of growing a Caribbean medicinal and edible garden.
I can’t wait till these are big enough to plant out! Not that I already have a garden lot ready for that, to be honest, but I’ll get to that soon.
(Really? Well, probably not, but a girl is allowed to dream big, isn’t she?)

Crafty goals

Friends, I’ve been knitting up a storm this past week! I don’t know if it was the list I made last week that kept me motivated or that I suddenly and unrelated got my mojo back, but I’m really, really happy about it. I feel a lot more like myself this way.

Last week’s list:

✔- finish sleeveless sweater/tunic. Done!
✔- figure out what to do with green yarn and Christmas yarn. Done!
✔- start a new hat. Done!

Sneak peek of the sweater (it will get its own post):

The green yarn will be one of those cowls that grow wider to cover your shoulders (showl?) and the Christmas yarn will be a hat for my husband. There’s a story I could tell you about that, but I’ll share that when it’s finished (got to spread my content).
I started and finished a hat with the dark gray yarn, but that will get it’s own post too and I already started a new one. I’m not committing to it yet, but maybe I will do some hat giving to family for Christmas after all.
The only thing I still didn’t do (but I suspected as much, so it wasn’t really on the list) was sewing, but I will get to it one of these days, I promise!

This week’s list:

– finish Christmas yarn hat
– finish dark gray hat
– work on cowl
– sew? (need to shorten three of T.’s pants, want to sew bags, pouches, dresses, skirts… So many ideas)

What’s on your list this week?

A calm before the storm

Wow, I feel like the last time I did a Monday post was only yesterday…
Last week was weird. A lot happened and a lot didn’t. My mom is home and more or less stable. The weeks ahead will be like a calm before the storm, I guess. She doesn’t want me to come over right now, because she’s determined to survive until after Christmas (we’ve already booked to go to the Netherlands in December). She’s also determined to get everything out of the little bit of life she still has. Enjoy being home with my dad, going out for a cup of coffee or to see the sea, buying plants and rearranging little things in the house and the garden, seeing friends and family. I really hope she’ll get a few months for that.
Meanwhile, I find myself preparing for that sad urgent trip and trying to finish as much of my paid (bookkeeping, editing, and writing) work as I can.  This is not a great state of mind to keep going for months, so I’m trying to be as hopeful as my mom is herself.
Anyway, a new week ahead. I’m still planning to finish some of the bigger tasks and to get our house clean and organized as much as possible. We did two other ceilings this weekend, so now it’s just the bathrooms and the little hallway downstairs. Getting so close!
I’m also trying to make decisions about blogging and Instagram, but I can’t find the time and headspace to really do that, so I’ll just go with the flow right now. I am actually knitting, so there is crafty content coming up soon 😉

Wishing you all a bon siman (good week)!

When perfectionism gets in the way of creativity

A few months ago I started knitting potholders from cotton scraps. Great idea, isn’t it? Yeah, I thought so too. But after I finished the first two squares (the ones on the left in this picture), I found out I didn’t have enough scraps to continue the color choices I had made.
I know. That’s what you get when you’re working with scraps. So I finished the other two squares with scraps in other colors.
That does sound easier and quicker than it actually was. I didn’t like the color combinations I had to make and these squares lingered around for a long time.
When I picked up knitting a few weeks ago, I forced myself to finish them. But I still didn’t like the color combinations. And I couldn’t get myself to sewing them together as potholders, because I would have either two with nice fronts and ugly backs, or one nice potholder and one ugly.

In the end, I decided to crochet borders on the individual squares, to make them into dishcloths. Now I can leave the nice ones on the counter and use the other ones for incidental cleaning.

Phew. Saved my scraps and my knitting. But man! Perfectionism can be difficult to deal with sometimes…