Thursday, March 21, 2019

My haven

I pack my cabin bag but it is still almost empty. All I need is already there. I might leave Switzerland with a half empty bag, but it is always filled to its brim when I return. 

I go through security, double check which gate to go to. I stop at my favorite airport café and pick up a latte and a croissant and a salad for the flight. The food onboard is not the greatest... I feel like a runaway Mama. Leaving all kids at home with their father to do my thing. It is liberating and makes me a bit anxious at the same time. I guess I like to look at myself as indispensable...Or maybe this is the result of living in a motherhood bubble for such a long time...

I find my seat, turn on a podcast and bring out my crochet. 2 hours and 40 minutes it takes to get home. Quality time for me, myself and I.

I have two homes. One in Switzerland and one in Sweden. Sweden will always be the place I'll return to no matter what happens. Switzerland is just temporary... It's been temporary for over 10 years now. That is life for me as an expat. 

We land and the first thing I do is stop at the Pressbyrån kiosk in the arrival hall to buy a magazine, a bag of my favorite sweets and Cheese Doodles. I go and pick up my rental car. This time I actually got the model I reserved. Surprise! I tune in my favorite radio station, P4 Stockholm, and the drive to our summer house begins. The landscape I drive through is kind of dull, grey and sluggish this time of the year. There is some snow but no signs of spring yet. I drive pass Swedish red cottages, horses and big fields and forests... By the time I reach my cottage, half the bag of sweets is gone... I lied. The whole bag is gone. Of course. I've reached my destination. I'm here.

My brother Christian has turned on the heaters and left the key in the red front door. It is still very cold inside. Especially on the floor. I turn on the old transistor radio for company and some lights as it is getting dark outside. I check the water to see if the pipes have survived winter this year. They are all solid and with a victory gesture I loudly pronounce my relief with a big "YES!" creating a bit of an echo in the house. Last year every pipe had frozen and broken. It cost me a small fortune... I jump into my cottage outfit: an old pair of jeans (dirty as hell, have I ever washed them?) and an oversized washed out sweater. Dad's old jacket (which goes down to my knees at least...) and ankle high wellies.

I walk down to my brother's house and he greets me with a big bear hug. He has lit his fire place and dinner is on the stove. We chat and hang out until late when I make my way back to my cottage in the dark, guided by the iPhone flashlight. My cottage is much warmer now. I do my bedtime routine, turn off the radio and the lights and tuck myself in. The silence. The silence is so intense that it is almost uncomfortable in the beginning. It makes me want to hold my breath. My senses are desperately searching for something to take in: wind, cracking noises in the walls, animals, white noise from the fridge... Nothing. Who would have thought silence could be so... loud? Maybe it is my brain that is loud? Within minutes I'm fast asleep. 

The weekend moves on and I go for long walks, clean in the cottage, prepare it for the sale. Make the beds in the kids' cottage and try my best to make it look as cozy and attractive as possible for a future viewing. 

A big tree has fallen down in the back of the garden, luckily it has fallen right next to the kids' cottage and not on top of it. A neighbor tells me that about a dozen trees fell down in the big storm in January and amazingly no ones' property has been smashed, but there is still a lot of work left to clean up the mess. 

We have a great community here. We look out for each other at all times. I will still be a part of it after the summer house is sold. It is comforting to know. That I will still come out here. This is my haven. My place to disconnect from the demanding roles of being a mother, wife, professional and a woman with a busy life. Here I am just me and the most important thing in the day is to eat, walk, chill and do small improvements of the house and garden. No mountains of laundry, agendas to follow, picking up after family members, taxi service, activities, big dinner preparations, filling and emptying of dishwashers or making ends to meet. Here life is down to its core of simplicity. And quietly, while sitting there with a cup of tea and flicking through an old magazine with the radio buzzing in the background I wonder: "Why do we need more? Isn't this just enough?" I so wish life could always be this simple. 


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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

African Flower Earphone Case - A crochet tutorial

I'm so excited to share the African Flower earphone Case Free Pattern with you today. I' delighted to see so many of you sharing the joy over this idea. SO lets keep this quick and sweet, shall we. Here it is. Enjoy and please share on social media (use #africanflowerearphonecase and tag @myrosevalley for pattern credits, thanks). Let the African Flower Earphone Case go viral just because it is so adorable, fun to make and practical to use. Pure bliss it is.



Tilda from Svarta Fåret, a cotton/acrylic 4 ply yarn (50g - 125 m). Any cotton 4ply will do.

Scraps, every color uses approx, 5-20 grams each.

HOOK: I used a 2,5 mm/C2 (US) hook as I want the pieces to be quite tightly crocheted. Depending on how tight or loose you crochet choose a hook that matches your tension.

SIZE: Finished Earphone case measures approx 9 cm/3,5 inches across.

• This pattern is written in UK terms. Find a conversion chart below for US terms.
• Chain 3 at beginning of a row counts as first treble throughout the pattern.
• At end of row, slip stitch in top of first 3 chains made to close row.
• Cut yarn and weave in ends when finishing ROW 1 - ROW 3.


START: Make a magic ring or ch5 and sl st in the first ch to form a ring.

ROW 1 (picture 1): Ch3, 1tr into ring, ch1, *2tr into ring - ch1*, rep * * 4 more times. 
Stitch count: Six groups of 2 trebles and six chain-1-spaces in between groups.

ROW 2 (picture 2): Join new color in chain-1-space, ch3, in same space make 1tr - ch1 - 2tr, in next space make 2tr - ch1 - 2tr, rep * * 4 more times. 
Stitch count: Six groups of [2tr - ch1 - 2tr].

ROW 3 (picture 3): Join new color in chain-1-space, ch3, make 6 more tr in same chain-1-space, in next chain-1-space make *7tr*, rep * * in every chain-1-space until end of row.  
Stitch count: Six petals of 7tr.

ROW 4 (picture 4+5+6): Join new color at top of petal (4th treble in a petal), in following 3 stitches make 1dc, 1htr, 1tr, make 1tr down in the point where 2tr and 2tr meet on row ROW 2. In next petal make *1tr, 1htr, 1dc in each of the 3 next stitches, 1htr, 1tr and then 1tr down in the point where 2tr and 2tr meet on row ROW 2*. Rep * * 4 more times. DON’T CUT YARN.  
Stitch count: 48 stitches.

ROW 5 (picture 7): Continue with same color. Ch2 (counts as first htr), make 1htr in same stitch. 1htr in each of the 3 next stitches, *2tr in next stitch, 1tr in each of the next 3 stitches *, rep * * until end of row. Sl st in top of first ch2 made. Cut yarn and weave in ends.
Stitch count: 60 stitches

BACK PIECE (picture 8)

Start: Make a magic ring or ch5 and sl st in the first ch to form a ring. Leave a 10-15 cm long yarn end to attach a button with later on.

ROW 1: Ch3, make 11tr into ring.
Stitch count: 12 stitches

ROW 2: Ch3, make 1tr in same stitch. Make a repeat of 2tr in each stitch until end of row.
Stitch count: 24 stitches

ROW 3: Ch3, make 1tr in same stitch. 1tr in next stitch, *2tr in next stitch, 1tr in next*, rep * * until end of row.
Stitch count: 36 stitches

ROW 4: Ch3, make 1tr in same stitch. 1tr in each of the 2 next stitches, *2tr in next stitch, 1tr in each of the next 2 stitches *, rep * * until end of row.
Stitch count: 48 stitches.

ROW 5: Chain 2 (counts as first htr), make 1htr in same stitch, 1htr in each of the 3 next stitches, *2tr in next stitch, 1tr in each of the next 3 stitches *, rep * * until end of row.
Stitch count: 60 stitches.  


• Attach a 1,5cm/1/2 inch sized button at the front of the solid circle’s center (left piece in picture 9) with the saved beginning yarn end. Fasten off.


• Start with the African Flower front piece (right piece in picture 9).
• Join contrasting joining yarn 8 stitches before a spike stitch (1tr down in the point where 2tr and 2tr meet on row ROW 2) and make 1dc in each of the next 9 stitches, ch22 for the loop, 1dc in same stitch and in each of the next 8 stitches. 
• Now put both circles together wrong sides together. Crochet pieces together with 1dc through both loops on both circles all around. Sl st in first dc made, cut yarn and weave in ends. (picture 10-13)
• Finished (picture 14).

I hope you will enjoy this sweet pattern.  I have made many already and will list them in my Etsy Shop for those who can't crochet or just don't have the time for the moment. I'll let you know when they are listed. Happy Crocheting!

Please share your makes with me on social media:


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Saturday, March 2, 2019

My latest crochet obsession

I'm sitting here with some color therapy spread out on my table. This is my latest obsession between long work days in an office, house chores and mothering. African Flower Earphone Cases.

A long time ago I made my first little Earphone Case after getting fed up with untangling my earphones every time I reached for them in my bag or pocket. It was a simple design of two circles crocheted together with a strap and a button. I have used it soooo much and today I can not live without an Earphone Case. But the old one is getting worn out, dirty and it wasn't even cute... I wanted a new one. A cute one. A colorful and fun one. 

Using the African Flower as the front motive felt like a great idea. And this being a small and neat project makes it perfect for using up my Tilda cotton/acrylic 4 ply scraps. I simplified the strap and assembling and now I can't stop making these. And finally I can use my most adorable flower printed buttons!!! It's a match made in heaven. Just pure bliss all together! This is when I love crochet the most... (Well, the photo spamming says it all, right?)

Yesterday I took step-by-step pictures for a tutorial and I am writing down the pattern as we speak. So, stay tuned - African Flower Earphone Case Free Pattern coming soon! I'm so excited to share this joyful pattern with you all!

UPDATE: Tutorial and complete pattern can be found here: How to make the African Flower Earphone Case. 


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