Three on Thursday:: Friday Visits

Yes, we're officially back in Holland now, but I'm going to linger on Curaçao on my blog for a while. I'd like to say I'm lingering in my thoughts, but those are filled with things to do before we can go back. No lingering there, I'm in full action mode (despite the giant jet lag)
Anyway. I thought it would be fun to show you three pictures of what we used to visit (almost) every Friday night. Our main reason to go to Seaquarium Beach every Friday night was to have a snack at Aloha and a drink at Wet & Wild Beach Bar but between the snack and the drinks we usually took a walk down to the Seaquarium to see:

1. Fish

Lots of them in the water there. This is not a pond or another restricted aerea, it's open to the sea and these fish are free to come and go. But it seems there's a lot of food in that water, because it's usually very busy with all kinds of fish. We liked watching them swim.

2. Iguanas

There were usually one or two around, sometimes even more. I love looking at them, they're all different.

3. Sealions

These are in captivity, sadly, but they seem quite happy. In this picture they were napping in the water. So cute to watch. One of them held his nose above the water the whole time, the other one moved his head up and down to breath.

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

52 hats :: 10 - A Favorite

If you read through my older blogposts or remember my old blogs, you'd immediately recognize this one. In fact, you'd be wondering why I made nine hats before I made one of these. Somehow this is the one pattern I knit over and over again. I'm not sure how many I knit exactly (because I deleted my old ravelry account - silly thing to do) but I know I made over twenty of these already.

The weird thing about this hat is that I really don't think it looks that great on me. I never wear any of them. But it's fun to knit, that counts too, doesn't it?

The pattern is Soulemama's (apptly named Soulemama's Favorite Knit Hat Pattern) and can be downloaded from her blog. I slightly adapted it for thinner yarn and thinner needles. I cast on 72 stitches and used a 4 mm needle. The yarn I used is Julia from Zeeman.

I actually finished this one a few weeks ago, but I'm still going steady with showing one a week for now. Dreading the jetlag I will be sporting after we land in Holland on Wednesday (I hate nightflights) and the work we have to do before we can go back to the island. I don't think I will finish knitting up every bit of yarn I brought, but I'm getting close. Hat # 14 is in the works...

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting On

Three on Thursday :: Santa Martha Bay

Three pictures from last Sunday.

We drove through Banda Abou again and made our way to Santa Martha. It's a nice drive (if you're like my husband and like to drive narrow, curvy roads in the hills) and it has some beautiful views (but we didn't stop to take pictures - you can see the ones I took four years ago here).

That route takes you to an abandoned resort and a beach that is usually very quite. It wasn't now, a group young men and women was gathering there and having lots of fun playing in the higher than normal (we're having some strong winds) waves. We brought our swim suits, but decided to stick to just standing in the water (in Dutch we call that "pootjebaden" which could be translated to "leg bathing" - I don't know if there's a word for it in English).

We just stood there for a while, enjoying, savoring the moments. We're getting good at that ;-)

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

52 hats :: 9 - Zigzag

Oh my, this hat. It looks simple and cute, but it's totally not what I intended it to be. Ahem. I wanted to brim to have more zigzags, but the pattern I got from a magazine turned out to be too high for that. And then I wanted it to be a slouchy hat, but something went wrong there too, so after I frogged that part back to the brim I decided to get it over with and make a beanie.

Yes, it's cute and I'd probably wear it myself. So maybe things just worked out the way they should have been planned in the first place.

My knitting came to a full stop last week, when I found out that my e-book subscription featured all books by Agatha Christie too. I love them. I even have them all at home (I prefer not to think about having to get rid of them right now). I tend to reach for these books when I'm not feeling well and that's exactly what I needed last week. I've lost count of how many I read, but I think six or seven. And I didn't feel like trying to knit while I was reading them (sometimes I can, sometimes I can't). Oh well. I am back to knitting now, but I think there will be some yarn to bring home with me (only one week to go!) after all...

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting On

Three Things :: moments to savor

Even though it's comforting to know we'll be back, it feels like time is going too fast. Not even two more weeks until we go back to Holland. And since we're not sure when we'll be able to return (lots of things to take care of first), I'm trying to savor every moment we're still here.  Three things I'm really going to miss (apart from warmer temperatures and sunshine of course) :: swimming. We plan to go every day, but usually end up swimming about two or three time a week. Still, we love it. During week days we drive to the nearest beach around 4:30 pm and have a little swim. We usually just float around for a while and swim up and down the bay a few times as exercise. I found it's a great way to loose stress and anxiety.

:: driving around Banda Abou. This is the less populated, more natural region of the island. I love how green it is right now, after all the rain, but it's just as beautiful in dryer periods.

:: watching sunsets. We've still got two weekends ahead of us and usually spent Friday nights at Seaquarium Beach where you can see the sun set while you have a drink at the beach bar. A great way to start the weekend.

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

52 hats :: 8 - Twisted

Such a simple design, but I really like this one. I did a simple k1, p1 rib, but twisted the K stitches. And then I just did a lot of stockinette. Sometimes simple is the right choice, isn't it?

Ha! I could get all philosophic about that, because simple is usually the right choice in everything, even life decisions. I even might state that it's the reason we are going to sell our house in Holland and really move here permanently. Our first plan was to keep our house or eventually buy a smaller house in Holland and to buy a house on Curaçao too, and travel up and down a few times a year.

But we already had two situations (a big storm and very low temperatures) that caused damage to our house in the Netherlands while we were here these two months. That involved calling around, bothering other people to ask for help and worrying about inanimate objects. Worrying about family is something different, but worrying about a house while you're not even there? Nope, not right.

So our new plan is to put the things we're really attached to in storage for a few years and live in a rental here on Curaçao to see if we really want to stay. That gives us the freedom to change our minds, but without the burden of having two houses to worry about. Simple. But right.

Anyway. Knitting. I'm actually doing very well. Working on #11 already. Since we go back to Holland in two weeks, I suddenly decided that I want to try to work through the little stash I brought. Since it's all part wool, I don't think it's smart to leave it here (moths!) and I would rather take back hats in stead of skeins. After I finish #11 I have two complete skeins left and some scraps I could combine. Seems doable (probably isn't)...

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting On

Three Things ~ buildings

I was looking through my (sporadic) photo's and found I'm back to one of my old loves: photographing buildings. So I thought I'd share three of them today.

1. Beautiful old building. Imagine painting all that white trim...

2. Old church (but right now it's used by the government I think)

3. Cinemax. I love that building. So beautiful. But it's crumbling down. I wish I could get behind the fences to take better pictures before it's gone.

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

Mad Hatters' Link Party

Here are the hats I made/posted about this month:

5 :: Two of a kind - the Slouch

6::Two of a kind - the Bean

7 :: Ribbed Rib Hat (go to the post to download the free pattern for this one)

8 :: It seems my posts are a week off. But since  know in a few weeks I'll be very busy and possibly struggling to stay on course with knitting one hat a week, I'll leave it like it is for now. Gives me a bit of breathing room. Sneak preview of #8:

I just finished # 9 yesterday. You've seen the start of that one in this post, but it will get its own post too soon. I will cast on for #10 as soon as I finish this post ;-)

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52 hats:: 7 - Ribbed Rib Hat (free pattern)

(this post contains affiliate links)

It's rather simple, but I like it. It's the kind of hat my husband likes to wear. I even think I'll pack it into our carry-on luggage for him if the weather in Holland keeps doing what it's doing now (so cold! so happy to be away from it!).

Want to make one too? Download notastation_ribbedrib_hat_free_pattern.pdf (185.1K)

Please tell me if there is anything unclear or wrong with it. I'd also like to hear from you if you actually make a hat with this pattern ;-)

Making, right now:

I actually finished hat #8, but I still have to take pictures of it (It's not easy to take pictures of hats on your own head. I need to find myself a mannequin head model or something like that (the one I linked doesn't ship to Curaçao, but maybe I will be able to find one in Holland)

Working on hat #9 now. It's not going smoothly, this one, but maybe I want it to be too perfect. So right now I'm practicing the art of letting go of perfection... ;-)

This Wednesday I'll be hosting my monthly Mad Hatters' Link Party. Feel free to visit and post any hats you made last month.

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting On

Three Things

(this post contains affiliate links)

1 :: I took this picture in a local shop. These are American sheet sets, but in the Netherlands (and Curaçao) we usually just state one or two person size and measurements. This is so helpful, so thoughtful and so wrong. ;-)

2 :: Iguanas. We sort of like them. Not as a pet, but we don't mind seeing them in the wild. Fascinating creatures.
I had a chance to eat one last Sunday, but I chickened out and ordered beef stew ;-)

3 :: Since we've arrived here I've been using this hairbrush. I love it. It gets tangles out really easy. Even when I have undone my braid to let my hair dry after a swim in the ocean (so salt and wind have been doing their thing with it), it doesn't hurt to brush it out. I wish I had had this brush a lot earlier!
I decided to have a pixy cut a few years ago, after staying on Curaçao for a month. My hair was just too dry and damaged by the salt and the wind to keep it long. But I never really liked the short hair on me and let it grow out. I hope this brush will save me from having to cut it off again.

52 hats :: 5 + 6 - Two of a kind

My fifth and sixth hat were two variations on the same pattern, a slouchy one and a normal fit.

The first one had me knitting on the edge. This was all the yarn I had left to finish it... (and that was after cheating on decreases on the top: I skipped a few rows I should have knit to make it flatter).

Anyway, It actually turned out nice, I think. I added two rows of YO and two rows purls to give it a bit more movement and texture and that worked out great.

I liked that texture so much I decided to use it on the next hat too. Same yarn, different color. Shorter brim and no increasing after the brim, but the rest is the same. I thought I'd like this one better, but it seems slouchy hats are growing on me cause I prefer the slouchy one.

Which one do you like best? And what are you up to these days? Any hats?

(linking up with Frontier Dreams' Crafting On)

Right now

Right now I am...

:: looking back at a wonderful weekend

We started it on Friday evening like we do most weekends: by visiting Seaquarium Beach, have a bite to eat and a few drinks, while watching the sun set into the sea. We never get tired of that!

On Saturday we worked all day and it felt good. It's silly how chosing to work can make such a difference in how it feels... T. dove into getting to know a different programming language then he normally uses and I worked on my Dutch blog and my book. Yes, that's right. I'm afraid to jinx myself if I write it down, but it seems my writer's block is finally over!

On Sunday we drove to the west part of the island and visited Shete Boka (Seven Coves), a national park on the North Coast we love very much.

:: knitting

Hats, of course. Working on #8. Note to myself: Bring more yarn next time. I still love knitting hats, but I'd also like to pick up something else every once in a while.

:: reading

I'm really enjoying the columns a famous Dutch writer (mostly known for her children's books) wrote in the fifties. I love the way she plays with language and I also love that she dares to write what she thinks, even if it was something less acceptable in those days (she was a feminist). It's kind of inspiring.

I also read a book by Andreas Eschbach, but it seems that there isn't an English version (I read it in Dutch). To bad. I think he's one of the best writers of our time. Trying to find English versions I also found out that a lot of his books aren't translated in Dutch either (he's German). I can read German if I really want to, but it's not a fun language to read... Still, his stories are great, so maybe I will, sometime.

At the moment I'm reading and writing both in Dutch and English and I'm trying to learn Papiamento (the local language on Curaçao). I think that's enough languages in one mind for a while.

Since I keep hearing that the Matchmakers' series I enjoyed so much is comparable to Janet Evanovitch's books, I've started reading "One for the money" on Saturday. I like it sofar, but I can't download the rest of the series within my e-book subscription, so I can't read the whole series.

When I finish it I plan to start reading an historic novel about Curaçao. I feel like I should learn more about the place we want to settle, so this is a good start (I know novels aren't the best source, but this is written by an historian, so I assume he does have his facts straight).

:: writing

Lots of articles in Dutch. I hope to be back to more active blogging in English soon, but for now I'm stuck with Dutch, it seems. I'm also looking forward to keep going with my book.

:: making lists

And lists of lists to make. Hmn. Relax, Maggie, relax (oh, I was so right to pick that as my word for 2018)! But there's so much to think about. We return to Holland in about a month, but only to sell our house and to take care of lots of small things. And then (we hope in July, but it may take us longer) we'll return to Curaçao to permanently live here. O my!

We did decided to give ourselves two years here in rentals and then we'll evaluate if we want to stay or return (or move on to some other place).

:: thinking

About this blog and where to go with it. But also thinking that maybe for now it's enough to enjoy what it is now. It's fun to write about knitting and life. And I love the connections and comments. But then again, there's so much more I'd to write about and...

Relax, Maggie, relax... ;-)

Bon Siman! Wishing you all a great week.

(linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday)

Three Things

1. Carnaval is a very, very big deal on Curaçao. I have to admit that we don't really "feel" it. In Holland we live (and were born and raised) "above the rivers" (the north and middle of the country) and that part of the country doesn't really do Carnaval (mostly protestants). The south (mostly Catholics) does, but we... well, we just don't get it.
So we didn't really go and see. We also didn't end up watching the Gran Marcha (big parade) by accident like we did four years ago. But we did catch a bit of it since we were in the town's centre to have a drink. And we enjoyed watching the people coming and going from the parade. For hours. But that had mostly to do with not being able to go home since the place we parked our car was blocked by the parade ;-)

2. From Carnaval Curaçao went straight into Valentines day. Also a big deal here. We usually don't do anything (hmn, we sound boring, don't we?), but somehow the excitement here is catching. Four years ago we went on a bit of adventure, this year we spent an afternoon on the beach relaxing, because we were too tired for adventure. We did have diner at the very same restaurant we had diner four years ago though.

3. Things are starting to feel "normal" here. Including the climate. I still feel blessed to be here instead of in the cold, but yesterday I ordered hot tea at a beach bar. It was raining, temperatures dropped to 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) and I was shivering. Ahem. Don't remind me that I have to go back to Holland in about a month, when temperatures can still be very low...

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

Making, right now

Right now I'm making...

:: hats

Of course.
I sort of lost count and I don't have much time this morning (this is just a quick update), but I think I'm still on track or even ahead with my 52 hats challenge. I have been knitting almost everyday, despite all the other things I've been working on this week

:: home

Last week, we moved. We're no longer staying at our friends'. It was all quite sudden, but we rented a small (tiny) apartment in a neighborhood we've loved ever since we first visited the island. It's a long term rent, for at least a year. And yes, that does mean that living here permanently is becoming more and more a real thing. I'll talk some more about that later.

:: rhythm

I find myself going back and forth between vacation mode and stressing out. Last week I was supposed to work on the bookkeeping and taxes, but we spent three days packing, moving, shopping and cleaning (I can't feel at home somewhere if I haven't cleaned it myself - I know, it sounds like OCD and maybe it is).
Still, I managed to finish the things I really needed to do, so now I can move on to finding a rhythm that includes writing (both blogs and fiction) in my weekly routines, while still leaving room for impromptu beach visits and other fun stuff.

It's funny to find that my routines here aren't all that different from the ones I had back in Holland. I still do most of my cleaning on Mondays (got to get that over with asap) and the weekly bookkeeping on Tuesdays (need to make sure I get to that every week). Wednesdays are for grocery shopping, leaving me two days for the rest.

Oh! Writing this makes me see where my thinking is off. It seems my weeks are very full, but in fact they're not. Cleaning, book keeping and grocery shopping doesn't take all day. I have most of the afternoons free for other things to do. I think I need to start viewing my days in AM and PM to get a better idea of my planning. Will be working on that...

For now I'm wishing you all a great week.

Bon Siman! (as they say here on Monday - it means  "good week" and I love how positive that is compared to the "I hate Mondays" attitude so many people seem to adopt nowadays)

linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday

Three things

Three decisions came from all that thinking I did this week.

1. I will visit and comment on all the blogs that link up in my Mad Hatters' Linkup Party but apart from that I'm going to take a little break from blogging, blogreading and commenting next week. I have to take care of my bookkeeping tasks. I'm not too far behind, but I have been distracted by a lot of things and blogging is one of them. Even though my husband is my employer, bookkeeping is my paying job and I need to get back on top of it all.

2. I love, love, love the knitting blog community and would like to do nothing else but participate (and knit) all day, but I really need to step back a little bit. Keeping up with four link-ups each week (and creating my own) is actually quite a bit of work (if you're a perfectionist like me). Not to mention continuously hatching plans to grow and maybe even monetize my blog(s). I have to accept that now is not the time to do that.

I think I'll do a "making, right now" post on Mondays (and link up with appropriate parties when I have time to actually visit other blogs and comment on them) and maybe a three things post on Thursdays when I feel like it (and again link up when I have time to visit and comment).

3. 52 hats. Oh yes, I will knit them and I will blog about them, but I think I'll just round them up by the end of each month, sharing notes, not real patterns (writng those is also a lot of work).

Well, that's it. Putting it out here to hold myself accountable. Not really liking it (oh, the dreams and plans and ideas I have for my blogs and writing!), but I have to remind myself that I'm still recovering from a major burn-out. I had a good reason to choose "Relax" as my word for this year...

So next time I'm lying on a beach chair I may actually be capable to let it all go and really rest and enjoy instead of mulling over things like I did last Saturday...
I mean, if I can't relax in a place like this, how can I ever relax anywhere else?

(you can find more people posting Three Things at Carole Knits)

Mad Hatters' Link Party + free pattern

Well, the first month of 2018 is almost over. It wasn't the easiest month for me to keep knitting, but I did, despite travelling, tropical temperatures, a very limited stash and other obstacles.

I am on track with my challenge to make a hat each week, so that's going great.

These are the four hats I made in Januari:

1 :: True Blue

2 :: Gray Slouch

3 :: a Field of Tulips

4 :: Bobble Top

My personal favorite is the Bobble Top, and now you can knit that one too. I tried to write down my notes as clear as I possibly could. Download PDF here (204.4K).

If you find any mistakes, or have any questions, contact me in the comments or via e-mail (adres is on the pdf)

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