Saturday, June 3, 2017

When Crochet Turned Into A Formula 1 Race

I am not a fast crocheter. I never was. I tried, but I just found myself getting frustrated when I had to stress a project. My WiPs often grow in a slow pace. Especially big projects. It is not unusual that a blanket can take a year to complete (Read the analogy Giving Birth To A Crochet Blanket here). Because crochet is supposed to be slow and comfortable. At least it started out that way...

When flicking through my Instagram feed it seems like crochet has jumped on the Formula 1 track though. It is so fast, one WiP is quickly replaced by another. Projects are finished in a blink of an eye. Blankets and garments finished within days. Piles of granny squares accomplished before lunch is served. Commissions are made in factory pace... There is the noise of adrenaline pumped crochet hooks rushing their way through the loops and stitches, row by row. It's like a race, just as competitive as any sponsored sticker covered Ferrari car on a track in Monaco. Who can produce the most, the fastest? Come up with something new? Blow the audience away?

Where did crochet with harmony go? Crochet for joy? Crochet for taking a moment to be just kind to oneself?

So let me explain how I feel about this right now. As a crochet blogger and someone who has had some success in designing crochet patterns, and someone who has consumed crochet blogs and crochet Instagram feeds on a daily basis for a long time, all of a sudden I felt a switch... It sneaked up on me and before I knew it I found myself getting consumed by the amount of crochet that is shared out there, instead of me consuming it. Somehow this enormous amount of colorful flow, that used to make me incredibly excited, happy and inspired, suddenly started to back fire on me and make me feel... fatigue. That I wasn't good enough... I lost control in this big hectic jungle, got drawn into it. It is so easy to be swept away in the big wave, you know... I started to compare myself, my own style, my own ideas, my creative abilities, my business capabilities to others'... I started to feel stressed and pressured and lost and I wondered where I was going with my own crochet. My little My Rose Valley hobby business. Was it really this I wanted? I lost control and I lost direction. Eventually I just felt a great need to withdraw from it all to find my way back to my own creative self. Re-discover the joy of crochet instead of just doing it because I had to keep up with the pace. Anyone who feels the same?

Crochet should be slow in my opinion, give you the feeling of flow and happiness. That is the whole thing, right? So I'm checking out in pit lane and park my Ferrari hook. I choose slow. I have a number of UFO's in my crochet corner. Let them take their time. I've decided to do no more high speed crochet. Only slow. No pressure to deliver in the fastest possible time, just pure pleasure.  No more competing and trying to stay up with the elite... No, I'm done hanging out in the fast lane and from now on I will go back to blissful and relaxed crochet and follow my own pace. Disconnect from feeds for a while and just be back on my own two feet touching the ground beneath me. I'm looking forward to it.


Kärlek
Annette


FOLLOW  MY ROSE VALLEY HERE:

https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/my-rose-valley-1529995 https://www.facebook.com/MyRoseValley https://instagram.com/myrosevalley/ https://www.pinterest.com/myrosevalley/

43 comments :

  1. I'm feeling completely the same.

    I think there are so many who want and seek to earn money with something I used to treasure only in my heart like creativity and all kinds of handcraft including crochet. Our world is so very materialistic. I'm tired of it.

    Regula



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    Replies
    1. I. CHOOSE. SLOW. TOO.
      Phew! That's it, that's it in a nutshell.
      As I get older I feel I am more fragile and instead of being older, wiser, nurturing my older self, I inadvertently got carried away. Swoosh!
      I.CHOOSE.SLOW.
      Thank you .

      Delete
  2. Oh Annette, you have put into words so beautifully just how I feel. I do love to see all the beautiful crochet around but with CALs and FB sites and Pinterest I have been feeling a little bombarded, I just felt like 'dipping out' of social media to give me some breathing space. You are so right :) Thank you for letting me know it's not just me :)

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  3. I think the 'fast' crochet is because people mistakenly believe that they need to keep showing finished objects to be worthy of being a craft blog or podcast. Not so, and why the need for labels or definitions anyway? People used to document the process of their makes but now we just tend to have the beginning and the end of it, and yes it can be very quick.

    The thing is, it is often the person who interests us most, well me anyway and although I love the crafting (and I really do) it is not all about that. There is plenty of stuff that a good blogger or pod-caster can tell me without it needing to be so full on. Little anecdotes from life, the other things they do, opinions and so on (some bloggers seem scared to have opinions though). Yes I am nosy, and prefer not to just see a wall of finished items without the storytelling. That's why I will always prefer a blog over Instagram. A picture does not really paint a thousand words,I actually think the reverse is true.

    Instagram is a race to the finish because it is all about the pictures. But again the story could be better told through pictures without being all about finished objects. People actively apologise for blogging their lives rather than crochet but yet crochet is only a part of anyone's life. People categorise too much but that only puts constraints and restraints on content. Then people get to feel pressured that they have to produce more, more, more to blog about the crochet, and then ultimately get burnt out as that is not sustainable.

    Art and craft is about creativity and being inspired, how can anyone be that on tap and to order? It is too much. I hate that it is expected of processional artists as it is contradictory, but it is so unnecessary for people crafting for fun and interest. People are not machines!

    If bloggers want to be read, then yes they need to be interesting but they don't need to be competitive automatons and I think many bloggers do that to themselves.

    I said previously, when you asked if blogging was dying that yes I thought it was - evidently so as there are so many gone now. You vigorously disagreed with me, yet here you are finishing up yourself. How sad I was to hear that! It isn't always good to be right, I wish I was wrong, but really there are hardly any blogs left and it is sad that you will be writing your last soon.

    Blogs and podcasts become formatted because people copy each other but the beauty of the internet is that it can be whatever the individual wanted it to be. Just because we like how someone does their blog, it doesn't mean we won't like someone else doing something completely differently and going their own way, in a way that suits them. People lose their voice trying to be the next Posie gets cozy, because it never was their voice in the first voice. Innovation is good. Stay, doing it your way? Please.

    You have your own clear voice ringing out clear and true, I will miss the pure sweet sounds.
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Well said, I often feel inadequate because I'm not on IG showing off my work, I blog, about my crafts - quilting (which is never quick) , stitching, cooking, books, and gardens. I love reading logs, they are a little window into other peoples lives.

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  4. you are so right annette, i took up crochet again after a break of almost 30 years and your blog was one of the first i came across and which inspired me to take up my hooks again, crochet has also helped me a lot in times of stress but it seems nowadays so many people have lost the ability to just 'enjoy'

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  5. I agree wholeheartedly Annette. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. Your achievements are not weighted on how much and how quickly you can do something. It's just the 'doing' that counts. There should be no competition, but we're only human and sometimes feel as though we should be better, faster, more accomplished. This beautiful craft should be savoured, not rushed, no deadlines to meet. I commend you on opening up about your insecurities, and wish you many hours of unhurried, relaxed crochet time moving forward. I'm right there with you....x

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  6. I hear you. Myself being a real snail and enjoying to crochet or to knit in the stolen ours in the evening, with a fulltime job and being a single mum these moments I treasure. Flipping through FB or IG makes me wonder where people find the time to complete a whole garment in just a few days.To crochet is to Zen, not a competition.
    Kind regards, Vera

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  7. I'm feeling the same.
    Great post!
    Hugs from Portugal
    Nina

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  8. You are definitely not the only one Annette. I have never been a fast crocheter and I never will be. Crochet is a way to relax and step back from our fast paced world and be creative and if it takes me a long while to finish a project then that is okay. I often look at the hectic pace of some of the crochet blogs and Instagram pics and wonder if they have a life aside from crochet. For me there are only so many hours in a day and I love being able to crochet, or put it down and do some sewing, or read to my grandchildren and just be me. Thank you for sharing this and helping me to realize that we are not alone!!

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  9. Love, love, love what you wrote. And it's so true. To crochet is to make something by hand - handmade with love and time. We are not machines. There are plenty of companies that turn out "crafts" by the thousands. They have no soul. Go at your own pace. You are inspiring!

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  10. Such a refreshing blog post and I agree! I tried to 'finish' a project in May and I've hardly touched it because I had made myself feel guilty every time I picked it up, because I hadn't done enough and I wasn't going to get it finished, so I actually crocheted much less than I would normally have done and I didn't enjoy it as much (and I didn't get it finished either). Gradually I am slowing my pace in life down, and I am really enjoying not being hurried, especially in crochet. I really love your blog posts and your beautiful crochet. You are very inspiring. Thank you, I think you shared a really important message :-) Gods blessings to you and your family xxx

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  11. Oh, Annette, I so agree with everything you’ve said. I love to crochet, but I do it in fits and starts, depending on my mood. It is my way of relaxing down, especially in times of stress. I love life in the slow lane, you have time to savour and enjoy the moment and appreciate the beauty of what you are making. Please don’t doubt yourself, you create beautiful work and I adore the colours you choose for your projects.

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  12. Dear Karen - My rose valley
    You have been a great inspirator for me and has been a reason for me to pick up the crocheting again. I fell exactly the same way though. I've been 3 years to finish up a blanket made of rhombes, have had materials for the next project for the last 1.5 year. Full time job and a lot of other interests too, so everything has a reason behind. I've loved your pictures Of 'slowness', the beautiful colours and landscapes from you neighborhood and the country you live in. I respect you, your decision and your honesty, thanks.
    Love, Rikke
    Denmark

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  13. French writer Françoise Sagan wrote :

    “Mon passe-temps favori, c’est laisser passer le temps, avoir du temps, prendre son temps, perdre son temps, vivre à contretemps.”

    which means:

    “My favourite past-time is to let time go by but to be in possession of it, to take my time as well as waste it and to live offbeat.”


    A quotation I try to remember whenever I feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace of life.

    All the best from France
    Sandrine

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  14. Lisa~Do you mind if I crochet?June 3, 2017 at 6:53 PM

    I'm feeling the same. Like i need to crochet faster and be better etc..... it is totally overwhelming me. Thank you for speaking up and putting it in writing. Take care of yourself. And your work is beautiful....don't ever doubt that ��

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  15. Dear Karen - My rose valley
    I've enjoyed your posts and you have been a big inspirator for me and got me back to crocheting. I totally agree with you, we need to be mindfull and slow again. I've just finished a blanket made of rhombes and it took me 3 years. I've had materials for the next one waiting the last 1.5 year and I think people forget to be honest. So I'll thank you for your honesty.
    I'll miss the beautiful colours, landscapes and inspirering words from your neighborhood. Take care and get out of the pit stop and back to the life you want to be part of.
    Love Rikke, Denmark

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  16. Dear Annette,
    You put my thoughts so elouqently into words.
    I guess I took my cue from my late mother, watching her as she crocheted slowly but steadily. When one project was completed she took a little break -or not- then started another. She passed thirty years ago, and in all this time it never seriously occurred to me to start a second project before finishing the current one. I was astonished when I started quilting then crocheting again (after a 30 year hiatus) to find people did that. Really. I don't get out much. It's funny, I started my blog as a way for my grandkids to look back on me one day if they wanted to. Then I began to read "how to make your blog better" stuff and it scared me right out of writing. And forget about taking photos! Now everything must be "styled." Anyway, I have a slow blanket on my hook, a blurry photo of my cat's eyes close up on Instagram, and I think will go back to writing my blog. And you, Annette, have shared your thoughts, colors, places, crochet, family life and more just fine, in my opinion. I hate to see you go, but you say you want to teach, and I wish you all the hope, joy, and peace in the world on your new path. xxoo, Maureen (and Josephine the cat)

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  17. Hi Annette,
    It's so nice to read things and you think, hey I feel totally the same. I have a small blog and I have been comparing myself with 'the big ones' since the start. Or when all those 'famous' bloggers seems to know each other and I don't. I feel left out, and why? Just because I want to be like them maybe. But I can't. I don't have that much time to crochet as they maybe can and I'm not in the same age. I know that now and I have to make peace with myself that I won't have a blog that's followed by thousands, but maybe by less than a 100 and that's okay. So Annette, I totally know how you feel. And I'm trying to slow it down too. And read a good book from time to time. hihi.
    Have a nice weekend Annette.

    Sweet greetings,
    Emily
    (casacreaemilia.blogspot.nl)

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  18. I am a knitter too, and knitting has been like that for a few years now, to me. Instead of falling in love with the project you are on, you lust after the next one, and want the one on the needles or hook to be done. There is no joy in the process when this occurs. It is the opposite of mindfulness, being present in the moment. Designers have the same problem, needing to create new designs constantly. It must be soul sucking at times. I didn't realize it at the time, but the whole pace has caused me to slow down, rejecting it. Now I am a monogomous knitter and crocheter. The wips can wait.

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  19. Thank you for writing this! It was honest and I completely agree!

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  20. I completely agree, I am a very slow knitter and sewer, I just do a bit when I feel like it really. Two rows last week I think! It's reassuring to have a project in a basket in the corner for when I need it. But I'm definitely not in favour of relentlessly churning stuff out, unless that's what you find soothing. CJ xx

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  21. We love all of your posts! Thank you for your honest writing (& your gorgeous & mindful crochet🙂)

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  22. Thank you, Annette. With all this fast social media we live in an age of 'supposed' superhumans. Us snails so do not count:) I've never been fast, and often got commented on because of that. My mantra is, slowly but surely. and by doing it that way, you'd be surprised what you can do and what gets done. Wishing you all the best in the future. Thank you for sharing a part of life's journey with us.

    Sincerely, Janina from Ontario, Canada

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  23. Oh, how wonderful it is to read exactly how I'm feeling ! And yet I fell in the trap, as well. Couldn't get enough patterns and yarn, couldn't crochet faster... and lost my pleasure and soothing time in the process.

    We've got to be careful, not to get "eaten" by the system, the competition, and the stressful race to accomplishments.
    It took me some time to realize I needed to "park my Ferrari", and go back to my own, blissful pace... Now, I'm so happy to quietly work on soothing projects that have long simmered in my heart, ENJOYING every step of the process, and putting my SOUL and LOVE in every stitch :D

    THANK YOU, dear Annette, for such a GREAT post !

    In stitches,
    Nadine

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  24. I think this is soooo interesting to read! I think the thing is this - it isn't about the pace (fast or slow) it's about whether we are being true to ourselves. It's about whether we are honestly fulfilling our creative souls. I find my creative year has a rhythm to it, sometimes I feel a pressing need to crochet ALLLLLL the time, other times of year I faff and fiddle and create very little. Both are valid, both are meaningful, at least they are to me. It's the same with blogging - sometimes I have lots to say and share, sometimes I withdraw and keep to myself. The important thing is to look inside and know that it's all honest and true, that the "pace" gives comfort and satisfaction. Keeping the external influences from dictating isn't so hard if you believe in your own worth and love what you do with an honest passion - I know you have that honest passion Annette, have faith in it!! xxxxxxxxx

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  25. Você me fez repensar o meu blog.
    Obrigado
    Também eu pensava que ele estava a morrer em detrimento do instagram e do facebook, mas acho que vai ser exactamente o contrário.
    Obrigado
    Não pare o seu blog, apenas lhe dê o ritmo que o seu coração sente.
    Obrigado
    Este é um dos blogs que nunca deixei de seguir.
    Beijos desde Portugal

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  26. Thank you for putting into words what I have been thinking and feeling recently, I have been racing to get a jumper knitted for one of my grandchildren and have been cross with myself because it wasn't finished sooner. I realised I wasn't enjoying what I was doing thought what a shame it was. Since then I have put my knitting and crochet down and have given my poor hands and arms a rest. I will go back to it at some stage but in a slower and calmer way.
    I wish you all the very best for the next part of your life. I will really miss your blog, you have been inspirational. Wishing you peace and happiness, Fiona x

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  27. I have come back to read some more comments. I am struck by the sense of competition or sense of being left out that some contributors haave voiced. Don't we do that to ourselves with so many things? For instance with body image, or with other mothers at the school gate (apparently a horrible issue now, yet largely unnoticed by myself in the pre-internet era), as well as the stay at home/working mothers thing. Why? Don't we have enough to contend with in life already? Is it enabled by social media and its photos of 'perfection?' Sometimes life seems to be a repeat of the cliques and the sadness of feeling less than enough which we picked up in school.

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  28. Thank you so much for this post, I feel very much the same! My work life is at times very fast paced as well (Swedish teacher) and during the last years I have often felt totally inadequate both as a teacher and a crocheter - before I started to go more from within and my needs instead of the things I thought I am supposed to do when looking at other makers/teachers. I am still learning this of course. At the beginning of this year I also wrote down some principles for myself on my blog and created a subtitle - slow making, gentle living and stitches of love - just to remind myself what it is that I want to stand for. Ha en fin sommar du och din familj!

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  29. I agree, if we are not enjoying it, what's the point?! (It just becomes another chore on that never ending list.) I too got caught up the frenzy for awhile and discovered it was taking the joy out of it. All the groups on Ravelry are great, and I have enjoyed them to a point, they are great for motivation when you need it and the fellowship, but I don't want deadlines put on my hobby I have enough of them elsewhere.

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  30. I think crochet , knitting or sewing/needle work should be whatever you want it to be. I am never interested in the speed with which others get things done and I am all about moving at my own pace. Sometimes, although rare I get a patch of time and I can wiz through a project. More often then that a project takes its own time because I am busy elsewhere. Playing with yarn is my passion, even if many of the projects I make don't work out perfectly. I just take it as it comes, sometimes fast but more often just slow and steady.

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  31. yes! that's why I started crocheting, for the wonderful slowness of it and watching yarn magically turn into something beautiful. I am patient, I can wait to see what you've made next, and love it all the more when its done. by the way I love the red edging on that blanket <3

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  32. I always feel that someone else work is better than mine and that they can knit/crochet so much faster than me till in the end I wasn't enjoying what I was making also I felt I wasn't good enough, and I stopped for a while but then I re thought it all and realised if I took ages to make something and if I knit/crochet slower than someone else does it matter. No it doesn't matter that I'm slow as long as I enjoy it so I now give myself all the time I want to make something and I enjoy it again. Knitting/crochet should be fun, not a chore. Thank you for writing about it on your blog as it has made me realise I'm not the only one this has happened to. Love Marion (pinklady558) xxxx

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  33. Goodness, I feel that you have reached into my heart and explained perfectly how I have felt for such a long time. I started to feel stressed by how little I seem to accomplish in my hobbies. Some of my favourite Instagram folk seem to accomplish more in a month than I do in a year! Then I too stopped crocheting and knitting for a while, the pressure was too much. My husband wisely pointed out that my anxiety is caused only by pressure that I put on myself, and to stop comparing myself to others. So it has been lovely to read your beautiful words. I have seen posts from those who document themselves knitting or crocheting whilst walking, and can only wonder why they do not want to look at the world around them! Some podcasters knit whilst filming, and although I still enjoy their videos it is true that they are distracted and not wholly present in their own presentations. I will remember your wise words and go at my own pace, thank you.

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  34. Dear, dear Annette,
    I was so sad to hear that you are about to leave this space, but I totally understand you!! Thank you for everything you have shared and you are still sharing with us!! You helped me again as you did in the beginning when I found your beautiful blog.. I just wrote a blog post and if you have time, please read it!! Thank you for everything!! ♥
    https://crochetsophiee.blogspot.hu/2017/06/trying-to-explain-igyekszem.html

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  35. It can be a bit of a colourful visual overload, Instagram and blog land, I totally understand that you are feeling overwhelmed and fatigued. I am either frantically working on a project I want to finish yesterday, or working slowly on a project when I feel like it. I am slowly finishing a jumper I started knitting last summer and I am working your very own Happy Scrappy blanket, one row every now and then. I also have a quilt on the go, it is now ready to be sandwiched and hand quilted - something I find particularly soothing because it is so beautifully slow and deliberate. Taking your time is good. x

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  36. I just came across your post and thought I would join in. I'm a beginner/intermediate crocheter, meaning I just started crocheting after 30 years. I forgot how much I enjoyed crocheting and how much I've forgotten. Anyway, I'm a slowly getting back into it again with the help of all the youtubes and a class I'm taking. So far, I've finished 2 blankets and many scrubbies. For me, it's just a big accomplishment and never the speed. Crocheting is therapy and never speed for me..love every moment of it till I can't do it anymore! ☺️

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  37. ♥ yes! Love this! I always feel like I'm not crocheting fast enough, I think that's why I put aside projects so often, I feel like I'm not doing good enough. I need to quit that thinking!

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  38. Thank you Annette, and yes, you are right! WilhelminaCee

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  39. I have enjoyed reading both your post and the responses. I am a frenetic crafter - sewing, knitting, crochet, cutting... anything. As long as I am making something (fast or slow) I am happy and I like to see what makes other happy. You keep doing what makes you happy Annette. Jo xxxx

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  40. Det blir väl så när garnföretagen hakar på och haussar upp det faktum att handarbete är poppis. Det sponsras och läggs ut så mycket så man storknar. Nej tack, jag lånar lite böcker då och då på bibblan och spanar in mönster. Slutar med att jag går på mina rutor ändå. Alla WIP och UFOS får ligga till sig. Vissa repas upp och en del ligger och skäms. När jag blir "överinspirerad" skriver jag upp alla tankar och idéer på nya projekt i min kalender (filofax, vägrar telefonen). Sen får dom ligga till sig där, man suger på karamellen ett tag och kanske kanske är det en av 25 idéer som blir verklighet!
    Då har jag iofs redan fått nya idéer. Så nej, det går verkligen inte fort här heller!
    Hoppas du får en härlig resa!

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  41. Thank you so much for this post! I am not quick - you can see how long it has taken me to write a comment :) But while I think the revival of a lot of 'old-fashioned' crafts on the internet is a good thing, I am overwhelmed by the speed and sheer amount of projects people accomplish. A sweater in a week? A blanket in two? I have always found crochet and knitting to be a long, slow process, to be enjoyed in drips and drabs, as and when I feel like it. I test knit for a short time, but I found it so stressful - I found I was 'having to knit' rather than choosing to knit. So I have given that up. I am now working on a sweater, and if it takes me a year (which it has done before), then so what? Who cares? And while I very much enjoy your blog, having only recently found it, I completely understand why you would want to give it up. I hope you enjoy your crafts and your family and your beautiful Swiss life in your own time and speed.

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Thank you so much for visiting my world. I love reading your comments and I do my utterly best to respond to questions and sweet messages. Thank you again for popping by.

Kärlek
Annette

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