Friday, June 23, 2017

Just Normal Stuff

All goals by the norm are achieved. I finished school, I traveled, I fell in love, I fell out of love. I got heart broken and I even broke some hearts on my way through my twenties.

I partied, made foolish stuff and faced difficult situations and people. But I was never in danger. I never got hooked on drugs or alcohol, developed bulimia or anorexia. Had abusive boy friends or ended up in violent relationships. I just did normal stuff. You know.

I worked, got myself a flat but never dared to drill into the walls. I had laundry time on Thursday evenings and went to the gym regularly and grabbed an after work beer on Friday nights with my girl friends downtown Stockholm city. I tried different professions and always did my best. Put my mind to whatever I wanted to achieve and achieved it. But one day I wanted to jump off the "normal" life and I quit my job - at the top of my current career - and went traveling for adventure and clarity.

I met a man who was totally different from any other man I had known and we got married. I left my home country, my language, my culture and my roots. It was easy at the time. It felt so right. After years of drifting it felt like coming home although it was in a foreign world. Maybe this part wasn't really normal stuff, you know, but it felt so normal at the time.

I had children, I raised my children and gave up my own being in the process. I became a full on Mama on every level. Their needs before my own. I was riding faaaar back on the priority train... In the luggage wagon actually... It was my call, my purpose, everything I wanted. Not very comfortable or fulfilling, kind of hard but still so so wonderful. Just normal stuff. You know.

Now the kids are older, more independent and in less need of me, unless they need a ride or some cash. And I'm a full on Mama who is trying to find her way back to that woman she once was, before all these things happened. Or, let me re-phrase that... I'm trying to figure out who Annette is today, AFTER all these things happened... Because I'm not the same, I'm different. And I truly feel a bit lost. I'm in the middle of a mid life crises, questioning where I am, what I've done and where I'm going. Reflecting upon choices I've made, or not made and choices I will be making or not make. If you ask some of my friends they would say I'm always in crisis of some sort... I guess that is partly true. And there is nothing wrong or bad in that. Quite the opposite, it's a sign of growth. Learning. Discovery. Embrace crisis, reflection, striving for answers and directions, purposes and meaning. Go with it. After all it is just normal stuff. You know.

PS Bless Prince Harry for finally allowing himself to express his thoughts and feelings so openly in public, lifting that lid off expected royal perfection and showing people that he is only human like the rest of us. Being royal or not, it was never his choice to be brought to the world as a prince, it just kind of happened, and his life is filled with as much "just normal stuff" like yours and mine. No one has the right to tell him to not talk openly about it. Not in 2017.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A typical My Rose Valley Colour Palette

It is all about colours. Always. It is the choice of colours that makes our hearts skip. Our blood run like crazy through our bodies. Producing dopamine for our fragile brains and making us feel... HAPPY! That is why crochet is such a beautiful craft, hobby, art, activity, therapy and medicine. Is there anything more fun than taking out a box or basket of yarn and just sort through it? Wind up balls, sort into brights and pastels, naturals, autumn, spring and Christmas??? Lets do purples and pinks. Greens and blues. Yellow and pinks. Oh yes, throw in some orange too. 

Every combination soothes a different soul. And we all have our own favorite palette of colors. Mine is something close to the above. It depends on the season, but most often I return to a light, fresh and crisp palette, the palette I used for both my Swedish Scrappy Happy V-stitch Blanket and My Circle In Square Blanket.

As I know many of you work with the popular acrylic yarn Special DK from Stylecraft when making blankets and throws, I decided to put together a colour chart in this yarn for the Circle In Square Blanket. I've done my best to match most of the colours used and all you need to do is add scraps of similar shades from your already existing stash of acrylic yarn.

I had so much fun putting together this colour chart, because that is also playing with colors. And playing with layout programs and graphic design is also a great source of HAPPY for me, so why not? I hope the typical My Rose Valley colour palette can inspire you for a new make. And I'm curious to know what your favorite palette is? Where in the wheel of colour are you the most happy?



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Crochet Blanket Edging Tutorial - Bird Foot Stitch

Hi my lovelies
Thank you so much for all the flattering comments my Circle In Square Blanket in my previous post. It is really a gem I have to admit, I think it is the light colors and the duck egg blue that does the trick really. And the edging.

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for the edging as promised. I tried numerous edgings and border ideas for this blanket but in the end I just wanted something really simple. So once again, after rows of fiddling with lace edging pattern, I decided on making small "bird feet". I think the stitch is called Crow's Foot Stitch in real crochet terms. I have modified and improvised the original stitch until it came out the way I wanted it. I call this stitch "The Bird Foot Stitch" based on that it looks like a foot of a bird clinging onto the edging of my blanket. Ok, are you ready? Lets do this.

THE BIRD FOOT CROCHET STITCH - A Crochet Blanket Edging Tutorial

I have used DK weight yarn from my stash. All amounts are approximate.
• 200g of Merino 120 from Lang, color 174 at (Duck egg blue)
• 100g of Acrylic DK weight from my stash, no brand (White)
• 50g of Special DK acrylic from Stylecraft, color Pomegranate 1083 at (Berry red)

Abbreviations in UK terms:ch - chain
tr - treble
dc - double crochet

Special stitches:
Granny cluster = group of 3tr (UK) in same stitch/space.

Join duck egg blue yarn in any space between granny clusters (not between blocks) after you have joined all squares of your blanket. I joined at the middle of my second square before a corner.

Ch3 (counts as first tr), make 2tr in same space (first granny cluster), continue to make granny clusters (3tr in same space) in every space between granny clusters until you arrive to the joining  between crochet blocks.

At join make 1tr in the first block's corner space - bridge over with a tr2tog (1tr in first block's corner together with 1tr in following block's corner) - make 1tr in the following block's corner, makes a total of 3 stitches over the joining = 1 cluster. Great picture tutorial here.

In every corner make 3tr - ch3 - 3tr. 

Make a total of 8 rows.

Join white yarn in any stitch approx. 4 inches/10 cm before or after a corner. Ch1, make 1dc in every stitch around the blanket. Make 3dc in every corner stitch.

Make a total of 5 rows.

It is hard to describe exactly how to make this stitch with only words, but I hope that my pictures will help you, see an X that marks out which stitch to insert your hook into.

Simply put, the pattern is Bird Foot Stitch - dc in next 6 stitches - Bird Foot Stitch etc all around the blanket. Adjust the amount of dc's when getting to the corners if needed, and make your Bird Foot Stitch in every corner stitch.

Join with berry red yarn in 7th stitch after any corner stitch, make a dc in same stitch and in next 5 stitches (total of 6dc made).

Picture 1:
Yarn over (2 loops on hook), insert hook in stitch below in previous row below your stitch  and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook).

Picture 2:

Yarn over (4 loops on hook), insert hook in stitch below in 2 rows below and pull up a loop (5 loops on hook). 

Picture 3:
Yarn over (6 loops on hook), insert hook in stitch below in previous row below and pull up a loop (7 loops on hook). 

Picture 4:
Fetch yarn and pull through all loops. Make dc in next 6 stitches. Continue with bird foot stitch - dc in next 6 stitches etc. all around the blanket, finish with a slip stitch into your first dc made. Fasten off yarn and Voila! Your blanket is done. Hope you found this tutorial helpful. Good luck and thanks for popping by today. Tomorrow I'll share a full colour palette for this blanket as well. Stay tuned...


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