19 Jun 2016

Sky Blue turning grey

Sometimes you just cant wait to finish a project - either because you are so excited with the delightful anticipation of wearing it - or because you simply can't get the project done fast enough so you can get on to something else.

I can't wait to finish this jumper - for both reasons.

 I love that different light weight yarns are used for body and sleeves, and I love the lightness of the jumper. The yarns are beautiful and so light and soft that it feels like wearing nothing at all.

The sleeves are knitted in a thin one threaded alpaca, which proved to be tricky almost impossible to knit evenly and I must admit that fiddling with the thin smooth yarn on double pointed needles have made me silently swear. Nothing wrong with the yarn though. It's my own decision to use this delicate yarn on its own even though it's meant to be the extra thread to spice up your knitting.  

This is also the jumper with three sleeves. Almost done with the first sleeve I tried it on, and it fitted perfectly, actually it was too perfect - it was too tight. Such a thin and delicate fabric looks better if there is bit more fluffiness and room for the elbow to bend.

Happy World Wide Knit in Public Day everyone. I hope you had a fabulous day bringing your passion out in the open. I stayed at home yesterday - not feeling at my best, but I enjoyed the couch, a couple of films on the iPad and hours of delicate sleeve knitting.

How did you celebrate WWKP day? I would love to hear.

Sleeves: Blackhill Alpaca (lace) colour: 'lys rullesten' -
Body: Wool and cashmere (2 ply) coulour: 'antracit' - both from www.garnudsalg.dk

Pattern: (in Danish)
Sky Blue from the book 'Blue notes' by Susie Haumann.
The original is knitted in beautiful baby blue grey tones. My version is made up of two shades of grey.

23 May 2016

Thoughts after the first Craft n' Coffee

So the first Craft n' Coffee event was a success.

In the days leading up to the event I suddenly felt nervous of whether anybody would come, whether this was a good idea after all, and why I had been so stupid to publically announce 'my certain route to failure'.

Of course I had no reason to worry. 3 lovely ladies, a collegue, a fellow Dane and a local Mum, joined me in the crafty spirit. A first time knitter, who had taught herself the art of knitting by watching YouTube videos, and a couple of experienced knitters who could help her with advice, tips and tricks.

We had such a great evening with lots of chatter and laughs - buckets of tea - and no coffee - despite the evening title. All appreciated the initiative and definitely wanted to meet again. For sure I said.

So the next Craft n’ Coffee will be Thursday 9 June 7:30pm AEST.

This is one of my (many) ideas and dreams: to promote hand crafting, gather beautiful crafters to share inspiration and passion. Maybe the Craft n' Coffee events could be the pre-cursor for 'learn to knit' workshops. That would be a dream comes true!!!

My obstacle though is to learn all the knitting specific vocabulary in English.
Do you have any good recommendations for the best way to acquire that expertise?

I wish you a lovely night - or day - wherever you are. Cheers, Jane

8 May 2016

Happy Mother's Day - a day of precious memories

Happy Mother's Day to my lovely Mum and to all of you amazing Mums out there.

A day to appreciate everything our Mums have done for us, and for our kids to appreciate us for everything we do for them. Asger made breakfast for me (and the rest of the family). He actually did it last Sunday too, because we thought it was Mother's Day then, but he wanted (self declared) to do it again today.

Apart for a delicious breakfast I got to do what I really enjoy doing - textile printing.

In the love for simplicity the theme is black and white These prints these prints will later be turned into the next batch of cosmetics pouches.

My Grandfather made the stamps. He cut the pattern in linoleum, glued them to wooden blocks and my Grandmother (Mormor) used them to make gorgeous fabrics and turned them into totes, tea cozies, pillows, tablecloths, napkins, aprons and more.

I have two large boxes filled with different stamps. Some with rabbits, eggs and flowers to celebrate Easter and gnomes, hearts, cantles, Santa to make adorable Christmas tapestry and table cloths.

When I was a kid, I went to my Grandma's every December to create Christmas presents with these stamps. My Mum still decorate for Christmas with the table cloths I made for her 40 years ago.

I was reminded of my Grandma today while printing away. I hear her instructions for how to apply just the right amount of paint for the print to be even and beautiful. My Grandma would've loved the thought of her stamps going all the way to Australia and giving me so much joy. They are very precious to me and I think of them as one of my greatest treasures.

A lovely Mother's Day is ending. A spicy Thai soup is in the making. It has turned dark outside and we have lid a few candles. I feel so blessed for beautiful memories and my family who has made this day to special.

What made your day special? and how do you appreciate your Mum and Grandmother?

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.


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.