Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Visiting my roots

Hellooooo! I am here. I am exhausted after our vacation in Sweden, the summer house purchase, visits with banks and realtors, birthday parties, girls' night out, shopping, traveling...  And on top of that a Blogging Your Way e-course, the photography course and last but not least - a nasty cold...  I am complete wreck but oh my, what a great time we have had. Sweden - forever and ever my big love.

The red cottages with white corners, the curvy narrow roads, the fields and woods in the most beautiful autumn color tones. How beautiful autumn can be at its peak.

Stockholm. So exquisite, so elegant, so absolutely majestic. The capital of Sweden never fails to impress me with its cute color blocks of houses, the wonderful architecture dating all the way back to the 13th century, the water and bridges connecting all the islands together to become a charming big city, not overwhelming big but just perfect. My heart is exploding with pride and love that this is where my roots come from. If you've never been to Stockholm or Sweden you should have that on your list of destinations. You will be astonished by its beauty and you won't regret it for a minute. Stockholm has it all and even more.

And no, I am not paid by the Swedish Tourist Center to write this blog post. I just speak straight from my heart because something happens when you emigrate. When you move abroad and leave it all behind you might not reflect so much about your home country and the losses at first as everything is so exciting and you have to adjust to so many new things like culture, language, infra structure, politics and bureaucracy. But after a while you notice something new on your trips back home. Because it will always remain home, no matter how many years you will live abroad.

You come home with the eyes of a visitor and you suddenly see the beauty in a new way. Maybe it is the longing of something lost, the sentimentality that makes you remembers only the good (the bad and the ugly are since long ago forgotten...). You see colors and shapes, streets and people in a more exotic way, like they are all new although they are so comfortably old and well known. It is like magic and I have enjoyed every second of being a visitor of my roots.


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Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm off

Everything has to wait. I'm leaving on a jet plane and won't be back until next week again.

The Swedish translation of The Nordic Wrist Warmers and The Popcorn & Lace Pillow and The Popcorn & Lace Square has to wait a bit longer.

The blog posts will come to a slight stall for a week.

I won't be able to respond to emails in an instant.

I won't be able to process any Tilda yarn orders this week.

No, all My Rose Valley business has to pause for a bit because we are going to Sweden, to our paradise peninsula outside Stockholm, to sign the contract on a cute little summer house, just 50 meters from my brother's summer house. Isn't that fantastic? My Swedish family is growing and we all need more space. And I am delighted to own my very own "Rosendalen", or Rose Valley as we say in English.

And when traveling you need to pick a great crochet project to bring, which often can be a struggle as you really would like to bring it all. But that is not possible right? So my advice, for anyone traveling, is to pick a project with a minimum of colors. If you are making a Gypsy Blanket you will have to bring a suitcase extra just to hold all your yarn... Not a great idea.

I am bringing this new shawl project from the wonderful book Puur Haken, written by Maaike at CreJJtion. It is her first crochet book and it is a divine to flick through and the projects are so much fun. And even if the book is in Dutch I have managed to make a few projects already with help from the beautiful diagrams and Google Translate. So a lace shawl in darkest grey it will be, for all my black dresses this winter. I will add a pinkish border at the end. Will look smashing! Have  a wonderful week everyone.

Au Revoir! Hasta Luego! Auf Wiedersehen! På återseende!
Until we meet again!


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Friday, October 10, 2014

Bring out the trash, please.

It is Friday morning. A gloomy Friday morning. The sky is heavy grey and the ground is wet from rain. Friday is garbage collecting day.

At 7.35am Nelly Bo (12 soon 13) walks out the door. Making sure she has money for lunch, her test signed and a snack packed...

25 minutes later Luca Bo (10) walks out the door. Making sure I have packed his lunch, that he has his snack and all his school books in his bag.

At 8.20am I get ready to take Emmy Bo (7) to school on my bike. I open the door and I can not believe that the garbage bags are still standing there - on the step, RIGHT in front of the door - untouched.

The thought of seeing 2 children leaving the house, jumping OVER the trash (if not FALLING over it as they rush out the door) NOT bringing the trash when walking down the road to the pick up point, makes me laugh. I can't do anything else although this will be a subject to discuss at dinner tonight.

No instructions were given. I just thought, in my humble and maybe sheepish way as a mother, that putting the garbage in a place that would force my, at this point very mature children, to stumble over it would signal to their brains that:
"Aha! It is garbage day. I'll pick up a bag and bring it with me down the road."

Well, I failed on that one didn't I? Ha ha ha! Lesson learned. Communication is essential, no reading mind techniques work... So what now? I guess I am bringing the trash down the road. Happy Friday!


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Free Pattern - The Easy Peasy Cowl

I made it super easy for myself to complete The Easy Peasy Cowl. The easiest part was that the stripy piece already was made 2 years ago, I just added a few extra rows, closed it and put an edging to it. It may not be the most perfect or pretty cowl ever but it fulfills its purpose and is already well worn.  Surprisingly so as I am not really a pastel girl, but the mix between petrol and darker shades makes this a perfect cowl for me.

I know I promised a Give Away this week but I am sorry to say I am running out of time. I am overloaded with things to do before we head off to Sweden for a week to sign the contract on our summer house. So exciting! So bare with me. I am planning more than just one Give Away in the near future. Your chance will come. Until then I am happy to share this Free Pattern, I hope you will enjoy. This cowl is a perfect "Using up scraps" project. Use the softest and most loved yarn in your scrap basket for extra satisfaction. You won't regret it.


Time approx. 3 hours or less

You will need:• DK Weight/8ply yarn, preferable soft and delicious to wear.
• Crochet hook recommended by the yarn.
• A pair of scissors.
• A darning needle with a blunt tip.

Finished cowl measures approx:
11,5 inches/29cm from bottom to top and 23 inches/58cm around

ch - chain UK/US
dc (UK)/sc (US) - double crochet (UK)/single crochet (US)
htr (UK)/hdc (US) - half treble (UK)/half double (US)
tr (UK)/dc (US) - treble (UK)/double crochet (US)
dtr (UK/tr (US) - double treble (UK)/treble (US)
st - stitch

Make 48 chains + 2 to turn.

Step 1:

[Make htr (UK)/hdc (US) in every stitch until end of row, chain 2 and turn your work]. Repeat [ ] and change color every 2 rows. Make a total of 28 double row stripes in different colors (that is 56 rows in total). You can of course alternate your stripes as you want; make 3 rows of one color, 1 row of another, 2 rows of a third etc... Use your imagination.

Step 2:
Fold your striped piece in the middle - front facing front - to form a tube, and stitch or slip stitch the sides together.

Step 3:
Join a yarn in the most blending in color with your stripes and chain 1 (does not count as a stitch), make dc (UK)/sc (US) in every stitch at the top edge of your tube, spreading your stitches evenly with approx. 4 stitches per 2 rows.

Step 4:

Change color to the desired edging color, join this yarn, chain 1 (does not count as a stitch) and make dc(UK)/sc(US) in every stitch all around your edge, close with a slip stitch in your first dc (UK)/sc (US).

Step 5:

Skip 2 first stitches and make following in next stitch; 2tr (UK)/2dc (US) - 1dtr (UK)/1tr (US) - 2tr (UK)/2dc (US) (counts as a shell stitch), skip 2 stitches and make a dc (UK)/sc (US) in next stitch. Repeat making shell stitches followed by skipping 2 stitches, 1 dc (UK)/1sc (US) all the way around, closing with slip stitch between your last and first shell stitch.

Step 6:
Join a yarn in the same color as teh edging on the top and chain 1 (does not count as a stitch). Make dc (UK)/sc (US) in every stitch at the bottom edge of your tube, spreading your stitches evenly with approx. 4 stitches per 2 rows. Chain 1 (does not count as a stitch) and make another row of dc (UK)/sc (US) in every stitch. Finish with a slip stitch in your first dc (UK)/sc (US) made. Fasten off all threads. Congratulations - your Easy Peasy Cowl is finished!


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