A hat (!)

After I finished the baby blanket I itched for a small, simple project. And well… if you have been around here for a while, you know. I just wanted to knit a hat.

So that’s what I did, using the scraps of the blanket. The ribbing is a simple twisted k1, p1, and after that just plain stockinette stripes. So much fun!

Almost sewing dresses

Look what I did! I know, it’s far from instagram worthy. But I don’t care. Those are not an ugly old desk and a crusty old chair. That’s my very own sewing corner and I couldn’t be happier with it.

I thought I’d quickly start sewing some dresses, but I was smart and decided to see if things were still working first. Well, they weren’t. My thread kept breaking and my stitches were a mess. So I cleaned my machine thoroughly and oiled it. That, and a spool of brand new thread, did the trick. (and then I looked back in my archives and discovered that my poor machine had not been used since the last time I made dresses. In March 2020. Oy! No wonder it needed a bit of oil).

I started by repairing my old dresses and adding pockets to them. I figured I could try that out first, before ruining my new fabrics with pockets that look weird. Well, first of all, it doesn’t look weird at all, and second: I love having pockets on my dresses! So that will happen for all of them from now on.

So, did I actually make a dress? Well, almost. I cut the fabric. And then life happened and I never got to sewing. But it’s right there, in my sewing corner, so I’m sure I will pick it up very, very soon!


A while ago, I bought some fresh herbs (three types of basil and mint) to grow myself some new plants for my garden. I found I have more luck growing strong plants from cut herbs than from the little plants with roots you can buy at the supermarket. Those roots were never meant to grow big plants, just to keep the herbs fresh.

Anyway, this is how I do it. Select the parts with strong stems, remove leaves, cut right under the little thickness in the stem where leaves used to be and put them in water. It’s as simple as that. Doesn’t work with all herbs, but I’ve done basil, mint, sage, lippia alba, thyme and rosemary this way.

This little window sill is right above my kitchen counter, so I can check easily and often if they need more water. That’s all I do. And two weeks later….

I have to admit this batch wasn’t the best one. I lost all the purple basil and the mint is iffy. But I put them in soil and I’m sure some of them will survive. If not, I’ll just try again.

While we’re here anyway, let me introduce you to my “nursery” on the back of the porch.

I finally got my act together and sowed some vegetables and flowers in the planters on the left. Not sure if it will work, I found that seeds I can buy here don’t necessarily grow here. Or maybe I did something wrong the last time I tried, I don’t know. But I have a lot of seeds so I’m just going to try and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

A blanket for baby

After struggling a bit (a lot actually) last week, trying to be positive, but actually having deleted a lot of whining about how slow I was going, something shifted. It’s as if accepting that it would take a while to finish this blanket, made me more motivated to pick it up.

There was a whole lot of knitting in the weekend and on Monday morning I cast off and started weaving in ends. I finished it on Monday evening. On Wednesday I worked up the courage to try and soften the scratchy (acrylic) yarn and that worked quite well. It’s a lot softer now, though the dark blue (that was the scratchiest), could use another round. Maybe I’ll wash everything one more time before we go to the Netherlands.

I basically followed every step in this blog post, except for the dryer, since I don’t have one. Oh, and she mentions “ice cold water”, but I just used what came out of the tap (that’s almost lukewarm here).

Anyway, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I think I will try this pattern (or something similar) again (but with better yarn). It’s perfect for this baby’s parents, who like simple and basic, but also things that are slightly different. It’s big enough to cover the bottom of a standard playpen, so of course also plenty big to wrap a baby in, or to cover him while he’s sleeping. I hope it will be used a lot.

Now I’m thinking hard about what else to knit. I’m not really done with the baby knitting yet, but we had to switch airlines (KLM canceled our flight – the third time this year) and TUI allows only one piece of hand luggage. That means I have limited space to take stuff with me. So I cast on for an adult sized hat last night. That also needs to come with me (no need for a hat here), but isn’t as time sensitive as itty-bitty baby clothes. I guess knitting bigger baby clothes would be a solution. Or finally work up the courage to try knitting (or crocheting) toys.

Endless possibilities…. I think that’s why I love knitting (and crochet and sewing) so much.

In my garden

So, my garden… It’s huge. Or at least it is for me. We’re on 2000 m2 (1/2 acre). The house sits in the back corner of the lot, so there’s no real “back” or “front” yard. Someday we’re going to build guesthouses on “the other half” of the lot, but that part sits mostly neglected at this point. I sometimes try to work my way through the thorn bushes, but well… my energy is limited and it doesn’t help if you’re not home for almost five months. I was actually thinking I was on top of things when we left in April, but when we got back…. Oh well, I will get to it someday.

My pride and joy though, is the part on the side of the house. Technically it’s in front of the house, but our entrance is on the side and we’ve only got a bedroom window and a small kitchen window looking out on it, so it feels like the side (does that make any sense at all?).

In March 2021 it looked like this:

Now, from a slightly different angle:

And from the other corners (I cleared a path that goes around it).

Yeah, I know. It’s a mess. I’m working on it and I will post pictures when I’ve got it under control again. But looking back at that first picture (really, March 2021!) I’m quite impressed with what I’ve achieved here. Most of the plants and trees I grew from seed or cuttings, a few were purchased, but I never buy big (expensive) plants. And look how big they are now! No wonder things got out of hand in only five months.

I have a vision of how I want this garden to be and I do believe I will get there. As soon as I pull those weeds…


Last week I was working on the second row of the lighter blue, so I’m definitely getting closer to the end. I only need one more repeat of every color to get the desired size (big enough to cover the bottom of a standard playpen).

It’s going slow, but it’s actually really nice to take my time, add a few rows every day and see it grow over time. It makes me feel connected to it, and the people I’m making it for.

Ten good things

When life feels overwhelming, negativity creeps into my mind and worries keep me awake at night, nothing works better than listing the good things in life. So here are ten things that make me happy today.

  1. cute little birds that visit us and sing for us in exchange for a little bit of sugar
  2. our (unborn) grandson growing big and doing very well (and our daughter too)
  3. our other daughter finally getting high enough on the list to believe she will get a house in the area where she works soon (the long commute is burning her out)
  4. knitting
  5. being in the garden, making plans for the garden, working in the garden, even if it’s only for short moments between rain showers and exhaustion
  6. this house. The way to finding and eventually buying it was bumpy (a story better saved for another blogpost), but so worth it. I love it so much
  7. feeling that my body is healing. Slowly, but surely
  8. all-time favorite books that sooth my mind and make me smile (especially during those sleepless nights)
  9. phone calls from the girls and my father. These take hours (literally) out of my days, but I love spending time with them that way. It makes this distance between us bearable.
  10. this blog; the way it makes me think about my life and the connections made through it

What is making you happy today?

Rain and blooms

The last bit of the hurricane season is proving to be quite serious. Don’t worry, we hardly ever get hurricanes. We do get tropical waves and tropical storms though. And that means we’re having lots and lots of rain these days.

We did have a little bit of water coming in (the windows aren’t exactly build to keep water out and there’s this one wall that’s half under the surface of the hill) but we’re happy to be high enough not to have any of the “flooding in the usual places”- as our weather channel calls it. The clouds are blocking the sun, so we don’t get enough power from our solar systems these days, but luckily we do have a back-up from the power company now (we did without for almost two years).

So – mindful about people being less fortunate with this weather – I’m actually quite enjoying it. Everything is so green right now and there are flowers and blooms everywhere.

Um, ignore the mess in that last picture. Weeds are growing really fast too these days. I have been wanting to do “in my garden” posts for a while, but I get stuck overthinking it, because taking good pictures of the garden as a whole is pretty much impossible. And then I don’t take pictures at all (the other pictures are plants on or around our porch). And I wonder what to tell you about that garden anyway. It’s not a regular vegetable garden that keeps changing over the months. And who is interested in a garden in a very specific climate (tropical island) anyway? As I said, overthinking.

Because I’d be interested to see it myself and it will be fun to try and capture the things I notice (it will also help me to notice more, I think). And it will be even more fun to talk about my plans and ideas and dreams… Yes, it will be great to do garden posts…

So I plan on sharing more next week. (There, that’s a promise, now I have to do it, don’t I?)