I know… it looks shapeless and weird, but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to look.After you finish it, it’s supposed to fold a certain way and hey presto! A little sweater. That’s why it’s called a Baby Surprise Jacket, after all.

It’s so much fun to knit this. I keep trying to fold it to get at least an idea of how big it will turn out to be, but it doesn’t make any sense yet, so I’ll just have to wait and see.

Ten things

Ten things that make me happy right now:

Sunsets. Of course. But also the fact that we’re trying to actually sit on the porch and watch them again. It’s the little things that count

    Headspace. I’ve been completely off Instagram and Youtube for a week now. My goodness. I had no idea mindless scrolling took so much mental energy. Well, to be honest, I suspected it, but I didn’t want to admit it might be better to quit doing that. But it is.

    Knitting. When it clicks, that is, and it did. I’m happily knitting away on the BSJ and I’m thinking to start being active on Ravelry (I have a sleeping account to be able to view patterns) again, just for fun

    Seeing some progress in the garden and actually enjoying working at it. . I do believe I’ll get it under control soon.

    Cats, birds, iguana’s. Love watching them.

    Counting down the days until we go to The Netherlands. Can’t wait to see our grandson. When we last saw him, he was only 18 days old. He wll be 5 months when we see him again.

    The plans T. and I are talking about, for the house and the land we have. It will take years to complete, but we are slowly getting to the point where we know what we want, instead of just calling out possibilities (love those talks too, by the way).

    The wisdom (?) that comes with time. Not too long ago I wasn’t too happy with the plans I mentioned above, since it meant I had to give up my dream to cultivate all the land we have into a giant botanical garden. I’ve always dreamt of maintaining a really, really big garden, but in the past few years I’ve learnt that I’m not a “niche” person, nor will I ever be. I love gardening, but I also want to have time to knit, sew, write, cook and who knows what else I come up with. And I’m not getting any younger. So I’m happy with the two big lots I have to play with (still more land than we ever owned before), but I’m also happy that it’s getting more and more clear what parts will be used for other things eventually.

    My plants. I bought a new one when I was grocery shopping this week. I love the name on the tag: African Queen. I don’t know what species it is, though. Google tells me there are a lot of plants that are called African Queen.

    Being able to list ten things I’m happy about (yeah, I know, I’m kind of cheating here). The cloud of depression is finally lifting, slowly, but steadily.

    And you? What makes you happy today?

    Wishing you all a great start to your week!

    Thrifted treasures

    Some of the youtubers I follow post grocery hauls and I’m always amazed how well those videos are received. I do watch them every once in a while myself, but honestly, what fun is there in seeing that someone bought green beans, avocados and grapes? It’s a mystery to me. I have been trying to picture myself filming what I bring home from the supermarket, but no… Not going to happen.

    Thrift store hauls though… yes please! Love those! It’s always fun to see what treasures people find and I love sharing the things I dig up on the shelves of our not-so-fancy thrift store.

    I popped into the thrift store when I was out for grocery shopping last Tuesday. I almost didn’t, but then I decided I really wanted to, so I took 30 minutes out of that busy morning to have a bit of fun. And here’s what I found, straight from the shop (I did clean them after I took pictures):

    How cute is that cat? It’s a tiny teapot and I love it so much! The lady at the thrift store loved it too. She actually started talking to it: “O cutie, someone is taking you away!” And then she had a hard time taking the head off to pack it seperately. But well, I really wanted it to stay safe. I was amazed that it was in such a good condition to start with and I would have hated to have it broken on the way home.

    A tiny glass duck… Such a cute find. And I’m so happy the little beak and tail are still whole – they had some other cute little animals, but those were all damaged badly.

    And a perfume bottle. Also in very good condition.

    Of course I didn’t walk away without books. I never do. I actually had a good book day.

    The stack on the left is from the free libraries in two supermarkets (I had to visit four to find our weekly supply of rice cakes). The stack on the right is from the thrift store. I paid 15 guilders (about 8,50 in dollars) for everything. The cat tea pot was priced at 10 guilders, so the rest was very cheap.

    Not clicking (or is it?)

    This post by Alissa about the name of her blog reminded me that I started this blog as a knitting blog way back in 2006 when I did a lot (a whole lot!) of knitting. But these days… I’m trying to get back to it, but somehow the projects I try don’t really “click”. You know, that special something you need to pick up those needles as often as you can, because you just want to keep knitting.

    I am working on something though, and I thought I might as well show you.

    I have a lot of single skeins of cotton yarn that I bought at a thrift store years ago. And I’m kind of struggling to find something to do with them, but too frugal to just buy a whole lot of new yarn. So I started knitting a striped top, figuring I could just knit a tube and add some narrow shoulder bands if I don’t have enough yarn for sleeves. I weighed the part I have knit already and the rest of the yarn and I should be able to get a long enough body, but I can’t really get myself to knit much on it. Maybe I should just frog it and use the yarn for something else.

    I also have been thinking about knitting a sweater for our grandson. We’ll be seeing him in May and than probably not until he is one year old in December. So if I make him a sweater in a 1 year size (80-86 in European sizes, I think) he should be able to wear it in Fall and maybe throughout winter. I would like to make a Baby Surprise Jacket. It’s on that list of baby things I never got to make. The fact that the sleeves usually come out a bit short may be perfect for a crawling toddler. There’s still a lot left over from the beige and dark blue that I used to knit a sweater and a vest for him before, so I could do stripes. And while I’m at it, maybe I could knit some matching pants? Now that I’m writing this I have to admit there is at least a little bit of a “click” there…

    (edited to add: after I wrote this post I cast on for a BSJ and I’m loving it!)

    In my garden

    I’ve slowly been reuniting myself with the joy I used to find in my garden. It still needs a lot of work, but I try not to get overwhelmed by it. I really do my best to focus on just being there and enjoying the beauty.

    Sometimes you have to change the narrative of your life, don’t you think?. Instead of: “I have to do chores in the garden”, I try to tell myself: “I get to spend time in the garden”. It’s only words, but words do have power.

    So yeah, I got to spend a lot of time in the garden last week and this weekend and I think I may be lucky enough to spend even more time in the garden today.

    Wishing you all a great start to your week!

    A dream come true

    See that? Yes, it’s true!
    We finally found the cupboard of my dreams. I have mentioned before I’d love to have a designated piece of furniture for my herbs, oils, tinctures and herbal/medicinal books. Well, I’ve got one!

    Funny story: my husband actually saw this in the second hand shop and wanted to buy it for our living room, not knowing what to use it for. He just thought it would look nice there. So I claimed it. It’s in the kitchen now, because he still has to finish some work in the corner of the living room where it’s supposed to go, but I filled it up already. Doesn’t that look nice and organized? (I think I’ll add some shelves eventually)

    It may end up staying in the kitchen though, because this thing is solid wood and extremely heavy. Also, it was hard to find a spot for our hands to really get a good grip on it. We had to MacGyver it up the hill and into the house by attaching a ladder to it and carrying it one yard at a time.

    But we both think it’s worth it. Such a beautiful (vintage) piece of furniture!

    Better late than never

    I made an Easter bunny. Yes, I know, a bit late. I actually finished it on Easter Monday, but that would be a bit late to the game too. Oh well, I had fun making him. No pattern, I just made it up as I went and I think it turned out quite nice. Well, actually I have a list of things I don’t like about it, but I have been reminding myself that this is only the third little animal I ever crocheted. I can hardly expect things to be perfect, isn’t it?.

    Monday musings

    Happy Easter Monday!

    Is that a thing where you are? It is in the Netherlands, and also here on the island. So despite my intention to start full on blogging again, I’m now on my phone, trying to at least post something, while we’re still in long-weekend mode.

    Today is also Seú, the harvest parade, and one day we’ll go and watch that, but I think we’re staying home today.

    Our weekend wasn’t a typical Holiday weekend, but it was a good one. We moved our new batteries (150 pounds each) to their spot in the garage, cleaned out said garage (which is not an actual garage, too small for even a tiny car to fit in, but it has a garage door) and than I also cleaned out the shed (which is not an actual shed – remember the little outdoot toilet? we converted that to storage for tools).

    I’m always surprised by the amount of trash I end up with after a good clean out. I’m pretty sure we don’t deliberately throw trash in those spaces. Anyway, things look a lot better and organized now.

    Tomorrow marks one year since we traveled to The Netherlands in a panic because my father was very ill and then stayed until late August to help him move to a care home and take care of emptying out his apartment. I can’t explain exactly how, but that time messed me up so badly. I am grateful we got to do all that, but I feel like the tiny bit of roots I had finally planted here were torn off. I didn’t feel at home in The Netherlands either, but I’ve been struggling with being back here too. I’m always on edge because it is inevitable that we will get that phonecall again. I know we won’t have to stay for months again if that happens, but my mind is telling me not to settle down, because I am afraid will be uprooted again. I am trying to fight it, but it’s hard. My first focus is always to get the house and the garden in a “we can leave immediately” state. I haven’t even been enjoying working in the garden; I’m just trying to prepare it to be ignored again.

    I switched to my laptop to write that last part, because typing that on a tiny on screen keyboard was impossible. I wasn’t planning on writing about it, but I think I’m going to post it anyway. Don’t worry, I am working on it. The first step in healing is to know what you’re healing from, isn’t it? And putting it out there may be just the thing I needed to do to make it more tangible.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to make this a sad post again. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. It’s going to be a good day.

    Wishing you all a great Monday and a good start to your week!

    (unrelated picture of a Warawara – I love their haughty attitude)

    Checking in

    No, I didn’t quit blogging again. I just skipped a post and than another one and before I knew it I stopped blogging completely and had a hard time starting again. I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot, but somehow I couldn’t find my way back. I kept thinking that I needed something worth posting about and nothing seemed important enough to sit down and write about. Silly, I know. Did I ever write about something important? It’s all just simple day-to-day things around here. Knitting, cooking, gardening, pretty flowers, beautiful sunsets… you know the drill.

    But I guess that’s just the problem. A lot of things happened, but nothing I tend to blog about. My husband had a health scare (a new one – I’m used to some things, but this one was different), my father went through another round of pneumonia, I managed to burn myself badly (my teapot spontaneously broke just when I topped it off with boiling water) and my daughter came over for two weeks vacation but got some very sad news while she was here. It’s just life happening, but I guess there’s a limit to what one can handle in just a few weeks.

    Anyway, I’m going to try to get back to it. I feel a bit rusty, but it’s time. I did miss talking to you all.

    Today I just wanted to check in and say hi. Next week I’m going to try “real posts” again (whatever that may mean).

    Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend and I hope to be back here on Monday!