1 May 2016

Craft n Coffee - an invitation to a crafty get together

This has been brewing in my mind for while and now it is about to become a reality.


As you will know I enjoy everything crafty as long as it involves yarn or fabric, and I've been looking for likeminded crafters to share the passion with. There are several opportunities out there, and I have attended a few. Really great events indeed, but why not organize one myself - here in my craft room at home!!


So here it is - an invitation to Craft n' Coffee!





Bring your knitting or crochet project and I'll put on the kettle for a cuppa and we can spend a few hours together crafting, chatting and inspiring each other.


Send me an email jane@ballenet.dk if you are interested and I'll send you the details. Can't wait to meet you.


Please feel free to share the invitation.


Jane


PS: For my overseas followers - you are more than welcome!!
however taking the distance into consideration it will be difficult to make it. I promise to follow up with a post and pictures (if I remember) here on the blog,

26 Apr 2016

Autumn or is it winter already?

It is Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere and the evening darkness creeps in early.


So far since we've moved in into our house we've had our evening dinners outside on the balcony or the terrasse but now we cocoon indoors and had a delicious pulled pork wrap while watching the home cooks taking on the grand final of My Kitchen Rules.





Asger in his PJ on the sofa under the duvet and me with the ambition of finishing off the grey cardigan I've been working on (on and off) since Christmas. More pictures to come, but for now a little sneak peak.




What do you enjoy making today? 

25 Apr 2016

A new beginning

I've just had a week off work. A week dedicated to relaxation, knitting and buckets of coffee. I needed a break from the hamster wheel. A week to breath, feel myself and reorient to a my next direction.


At some point during every holiday or long weekend I start longing for the revival of this blog. In this holiday the urge is listened to. The Balle's Bazaar blog is active again.





Today is Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia honoring the current and past armed forces of Australia and New Zealand, remembering those fellow country men paying the ultimate price protecting the freedom here and overseas.


Being of Danish heritage the war history is so vastly different from what we've grown up with. Here the stories mainly relates to wars against the Japanese, while the Danish war stories are all about the German occupation of the country during second World War. I clearly remember how surprised we were watching the television coverage of the event the first year we were here. It was jungle wars - so different from German soldiers building bunkers along the entire Danish western coast line.




I have to admit, we didn't join the dawn remembrance services today. We've enjoyed a stunning sunny autumn day. A bushwalk at the back of our garden - literally!! A mid day nap on the balcony and waking up to the smell of freshly cooked pancakes followed by a round of Settlers board game.





Now the chicken curry simmering on the stove fills the kitchen with a delightful aroma marking the end of a wonderful day. Tomorrow it's back to work again. Wish I could extend the day to last  a few extra hours.





Often the treasures of life are hidden in the small day to day activities with your loved ones.
Don't you agree?


I'm looking very forward to catching up with you all!!!

21 Jun 2015

Skylark's at sleeve stage

Its been raining heavily lately. Not the best of weather, but on the other hand the football matches scheduled for this weekend got cancelled and suddenly we had a full weekend to our disposal.
Interestingly with that amount of time, you (or at least I) tend to do a little here, there and everywhere without actually completing or achieving anything. 

Today the shortest day of the year, I slept in and had a very quiet morning, with a book, coffee(s) and a bit of knitting. Later a short run, a nap, a shower and a bit of bread baking, a few photographs, clothes washing while pondering over what I should do, to feel having accomplished something today.

So here I am writing a blog post to you. What a delight to again put words to paper to share a few stories of knitting and life.


Knitting wise, Skylark by Kim Hargreaves has now reached the sleeve stage. First sleeve is in the making. It feels nice to again have time to knit. During the last few weeks my work has been challenging at work and I have been busy trying to find out what to become ‘when I grow up’.  I’m digging deep to find out what amazing career is for me and what is holding me back from getting there. So far I have found my direction (I think) but I tend to create endless barriers for myself, which prevents me from moving ahead and makes me feel stuck.

A very clever lady, who I adore and admire, said to me ‘Get over yourself, Jane. It’s your time to shine’, so this is what I’m trying to do, not with the major success yet, but hey,  I’ve just started and it will get much better. Just you wait and see.

Thanks for listening and see you again soon.

Det har regnet jævnt og kraftigt på det seneste. Ikke det bedste vejr, men det jo trods alt vinter, og med den megen regn kommer aflyste fodboldkampe. Vupti, Vupti – en weekend helt uden planer – altså bortset fra Astrid’s lille fødselsdagsfest  i går.

Jeg synes nu ikke, jeg har fået lavet en dyt. I dag, årets korteste dag, har jeg sovet længe, læst et kapitel eller to i min bog, drukket spandvis af kaffe og strikket et par omgange på strikketøjet. Derefter er det blevet til en lille løbetur (meget lille), et bad, lidt brødbagning, et par billeder i kameraet, lidt tøjvask mens jeg spekulerede på hvad jeg synes skal gøres for at føle at jeg har opnået noget i dag.

Så her sidder jeg så ved skærmen og skriver et lille indlæg til jer. Dejligt at sætte ord på papir (eller skærm) igen og dyrke interessen for håndarbejde og fortælle lidt om hvad der ellers sker i livet hernede.


Med hensyn til strikkeriet, så er jeg nu nået til ærmestadiet på Skylark af Kim Hargreaves. Første ærme er i gang. Normalt læser jeg når jeg strikker, men med det lille mønster i Wisdom har jeg ikke kunnet multitaske, så jeg missede den sidste bog i bogklubben, fordi strikkes skal der jo, og når der ikke kan læses samtidig, må bogen vige. 

De seneste uger er det dog ikke blevet til mange pinde. Jeg har haft for travlt med at irritere mig over en ny chef og at prøve at finde ud af hvad jeg vil ’være når jeg bliver stor’. Lidt af en proces at tage fat på her midt i livet, men det er jo aldrig for sent og det bliver interessant at se hvor det leder mig hen. Indtil videre har jeg en fornemmelse af retning, og er blevet smerteligt bevidst om alle de barrierer jeg sætter op for mig selv, og som giver følelsen af at sidde fast.


En klog kone, som er meget motiverende og lidt af en indpisker sagde til mig tidligere på ugen: ’get over yourself, Jane. It’s your time to shine’. Det vil jeg så prøve. Lad os se hvordan det går. 

11 May 2015

Baby pink turning into dark brown

Thanks for your lovely comments helping out with my dilemma on the baby pink jumper I'm currently working on. Thrilled and enthusiastic after your encouraging recommendations to continue my knitting endeavors I happily set off again and knitted the second sleeve in no time.

I gathered the body and the sleeves ready to embark the laced upper part of the jumper - and read the pattern. OMG 4K tog and then 4K tog in the back loop!!! my hands crippled and my shoulders raised to the roof. I will never make it to the end with this pattern! I simply hate it.

Again I've learned the hard way that reading through the entire description is essential to chose the right knitting project. Now the lovely baby pink jumper rests in the knitting basket waiting for its destiny.

On the other hand abandoning this project gave me the opportunity to start on a new one.


Welcome back to 'Skylark' by Kim Hargreaves. I'm so pleased with the first one knitted and I thought a beautiful brown woolen version will come in handy as a present for a birthday coming up. I work on needles size 2,75 (US2) and it will take a while to reach the finish line on this one, but the result is so much worth it.


Tusind tak for jeres hjælp til afklaring af mit dilemma med den lyserøde drøm. I var all enige om at jeg skulle fortsætte. Glad, fuld af energi og fortrøstning satte jeg fra igen og det andet ærme nåede den ønskede længde på ingen tid. 

Krop og ærmer samlet og jeg er klar til at strikke det mønstrede bærestykke ------- og så læser jeg mønsteret, sådan rigtigt. 4 ret sammen, et sæt omslagsmasker og så dælme 4 masker strikket sammen gennem den bageste del af masken. Hænderne er fuldstændig forkrampede og skuldrene ryger helt op under loftet. Jeg kommer aldrig igennem et helt bærestykke i det mønster!!!!

Endnu engang må jeg betale prisen for ikke at have læst opskriften igennem inden jeg kaster mig ud i det. Nu ligger den lille lyserøde sag i stikkekurven og venter på sin skæbne. 

Nu er der jo ikke noget der er så skidt, at det ikke er godt for noget. For nu kan jeg jo starte på et nyt projekt.



Velkommen tilbage til 'Skylark' af Kim Hargreaves. Jeg er superglad for min Skylark, så jeg tænkte at en lækker dyb brun ulden udgave vil passe fint til en kommende fødselsdagsgave. Trøjen strikker jeg på pinde 2,75, så det kommer til at tage sin tid, men jeg vil nyde processen og vide at resultatet er værd at vente på. 

1 May 2015

A dilemma

If you follow me @ballesbazaar on Instagram you’ll notice that I’ve been working on a few projects lately. One of these projects is a jumper for myself knitted with the lovely cotton and wool mix in a beautiful subtle soft baby pink.


After a thorough search for a suitable pattern I decided on this beauty from Drops. 

The balance between the feminine touch and the clean simplicity I like was just perfect. During the rainy and cold Easter some weeks ago, my only activity was to knit, knit and knit a bit more, while sitting all wrapped up in blankets and woolen jumpers undercover on the deck drinking liters of coffee and listening to the sound of raindrops drizzling or pouring down.  

The body is done and one arm is almost done – but now the dilemma kicks in.
Is this really the jumper I want to make? Is it too feminine? Will I use it? Or should I instead do a simple top down raglan jumper – no fuss – just beauty in its purest simplicity? Or would that be too boring?  

Maybe you can help me. Should I complete what’s started or should I unravel and start up again.
The options are:
  1. Complete the jumper I've embarked on
  2. Unravel and do a simple raglan sweater like this
  3. Unravel and make this jumper
  4. or this (opens in ravelry)
Please let me here what you think - option 1, 2, 3 or 4?
Your input will help me make up my mind.


Hvis du følger med på @ballesbazaar på Instagram vil du se at jeg multitasker - der er flere projekter i gang samtidig, noget jeg normalt ellers forsøger at undgå. 
Et af projekterne på pindene er en skøn ego-strik i sart rosa cottonwool. 

Efter timers internet søgen valgte jeg at denne smuksak skulle blive min. 
Jeg synes dette mønster har den rette balance mellem det simple og det feminine og ville passe godt til garnet. Med en kold og regnvåd Påske voksede trøjen støt mens jeg sad på den overdækkede terrasse inhyllet i uldtrøje og tæppe, med spandevis af kaffe og lyttende til regnens trommen mod taget. 



Kroppen er og det ene ærme er færdige og klar til bærestykket. 

Så er det tvivlen begynder at nage. Er det den rigtige trøje? er den for feminin og pyntet? eller skal jeg hellere lave en enkel top-down raglan trøje? eller noget helt andert?

Et sandt dilemma, som jeg du måske kan hjælpe mig med at løse. Skal jeg fortsætte hvor jeg er, eller sadle om og strikke noget andet. 
Muligheerne er:

  1. Fortsætte som om intet var hændt
  2. trævle op og strikke en simpel raglan som denne
  3. trævle op og strikke denne
  4. eller denne (link til ravelry)
Hvad synes du? Jeg er lutter øren. 
Glædelig Store Bededag til alle jer, mine danske venner. 

12 Apr 2015

Camomille - a black beauty

Suddenly 4 months have passed since the last blog post wishing you all a happy New Year and presenting the knitting of 2014. Now we are well into April - where did the time go??

The last few months have been challenging due to stress in my professional life. The stress is not due to busyness but more the opposite - lack of role clarity, a lot of changes and uncertainty of what the future will bring. I have used creativity and knitting in particular as a welcomed refuge to recharge my batteries and regaining emotional sanity. It has however also been a way to escape the outer world's craziness and sometimes I think I've used the creative space as a platform to avoid dealing with the challenges I face and the decisions and actions that need to be made. 

How do you use your creative space - as a recharger or as an escape? or both maybe? or something completely different? I would love to hear your stories.

One of the creative projects finished through this first quarter of 2015 is a 'Camomille' scarf/shawl,
which I made as a birthday present for my Mum.



This shawl is an easy knit - just knit stiches in alternating rows of different yarn weights, which results in a beautiful stripy effect - similar to previous projects. Plissé and the present for my Sister in law last Christmas.

The plain knitting is concluded with a beautiful but still simple lace pattern along the outer edges. It is easy - yes, but with 1800 stiches and a pattern that runs over 6 it did take a while to complete the countless number of small triangles giving the edge its beautiful appearance.



The shawl is light and cozy and yet warm enough to give comfort on a chilly winter day or as protection against the draught in an air conditioned room.

Facts:
Design: 'Camomille' by Isager - available in English and Danish in Amimono Knit Collection 2010 (link opens in Ravelry)
Yarn: Blackhill Highland 100% wool - colour Black and Blackhill Silk Mohair - colour Black both from Garnudsalg. The finished shawl weighs 175g with the wool yarn as the primary contributor.
Needles: size 4

Good or Bad: Love this shawl. Lovely to knit lovely to wear.




Ups - pludselig er der gået 4 måneder siden sidste indlæg som bød jer allesammen velkomne til 2015 med en lille kavalkade over færdige strikkeprojekter i 2014. Nu er vi så godt på vej til midten af April - hvor blev tiden dog af? 


Det meste er faktisk blevet brugt til bekymringer og stress. Ikke på grund af for meget at læve, nej nærmere det modsatte. Usikkerhed om min rolle i det professionelle liv, og hvad fremtiden bringer har givet mig mange hovedbrud og en lammende træthed.


Igennem disse måneder har jeg brugt det kreative rum til bade at lade op men måske også flygte ind i, så jeg ikke behøvede at tage stilling, tage de beslutninger og de handlinger, der ville hjælpe mig ud af suppedasen. Jeg er endnu ikke ude, men at have lyst og energi til at skrive dette indlæg er faktisk et skridt i den rigtige retning.  


Hvordan bruger I det kreative rum - til opladning eller som en flugtvej? - eller måske en kombination of begge? eller noget helt tredje?  




I disse første måneder er et Camomille sjal kommet af mine pinde og sendt til Danmark som fødselsdagsgave til min Mor. Da hun besøgte os sidste år var hun interesseret i at strikke et selv, men jeg tænkte, at jeg kunne nå at overhale hende indenom, og besluttede på stedet at hun skulle have et i gave.


’Camomille’ en god gammel traver, som vi vist alle kender. Simple ret riller i striber af garn med forskellig tykkelse afsluttet med en enkelt blondekant. Ja blondekanten er nem at strikke, men det tager sin tid. 1800 masker og et mønster over 6 masker giver rigtig mange små trekanter og jeg måtte mønstre en god del ihærdig tålmodighed for at få det færdigt, men det lykkedes.  


Sjalet er let, luftigt og lækkert men varmer stadig godt på en kølig vinterdag og til at slynge omkring skuldrene som beskyttelse mod drillende træk. Jeg ved at Mor er glad for sjalet og kommer til at bruge det rigtig meget.  




Facts:
Opskrift: ’Camomille’ af Isager  fra Amimono Knit Collection 2010 (link til Ravelry)
Garn: Højlandsuld – sort og Silk Mohair – sort begge fra Garnudsalg. Sjalet vejer 175g hvoraf højlandsulden bidrager med ca. 120-130 g vil jeg tro.
Pinde: str. 4. 


Godt og Skidt: Kun godt – en fornøjelse at strikke og en fornøjelse at bære. Denne version er stikket større end hvad opskriften foreslår, så det er blevet mere et sjal end et tørklæde.

En sikker vinder hver gang!