9 Oct 2016

GrandPa's Vest

I guess we all know the feeling - discovering too late we haven't sorted out the birthday present in time. With the family living overseas we always have to include delivery time or arrange for the presents to be ready for to whenever there are visitors coming here or we are going there.

We've had the pleasure of my parents in-Law visiting us over the last weeks, but the night before their arrival it suddenly dawned on me, that we were a birthday present behind. What to do? they were arriving the next morning?

Well - I can knit my Father In-Law a nice woolen vest, I said.

- and so I did.
We gave him a gift card, he chose the pattern and the yarn and I started knitting.
Luckily we had a road-trip planned and I got plenty of hours to knit while on the road (in the passenger seat of course).

So after a week it was finished.

It is a modified Matthew's Vest by Joanna Johnson.
I have chosen to knit the vest in a thinner yarn, so with the different gauge the pattern and number of stiches were recalculated. Also when starting on the cables, I didn't have the pattern at hand. Thinking I could remember the cable design I continued on. My cables are therefore slightly different to the original, but my Father (and Mother In-Law) assured me they didn't mind the alteration.

Great knit and a beautiful result.

A modification of Matthew's Vest by Joanna Johnson - from Green Gables Knits, available for purchase on Ravelry.
Yarn:  170 gram Blackhill Wool, colour 'mørk rullesten' from www.garnudsalg.dk
Needles: 2,5 and 3,25 circular needles.

As always the Blackhill Wool is a pleasure to knit with. The weight is perfect for a warm but not too bulky garment. After the first wash it is so soft and smooth. The fit and the colour is perfect for GrandPa, and a vest has the extreme advantage of NO SLEEVES!!!

Happy crafting. Jane

21 Aug 2016

Olympic knitting

The Rio Olympic games have had us captured in front of the TV for the last two weeks. We have spent many hours watching sports we've never knew existed and we have cheered on all the athletes in their attempts to achieve their goals. So inspiring to watch their dedication to their sport.

Currently my sport is knitting, and I am dedicated too.
A Danish instagrammer (and blogger) arranged a creative Olympics. You could participate in any creative discipline: sewing, crocheting, knitting, finish UFOs or whatever your heart or crafty hands desired. During the games we can follow each others' progress and achievements via #krealegene. So much fun to see what people have accomplished while enduring hours of couch sitting watching the 'real' athletes fighting it out in Rio.

I competed (and is still competing) in the discipline #shawlknitting and #blanketcrochet. My goal is to finish the shawl, and it is approaching the finish line, but with only a couple of days left there is a risk I will be disqualified for not meeting the minimum time line.

I knit the beautiful shawl Line break designed by  Veera Välmäki (link to ravelry). It is so simple and yet so beautiful with its asymmetrical shape. For this project I use Geilsk 100% pure wool in a lovely purple colour. Three balls of yarn left over from the Lady Marple cardigan I knitted a few years back, and I thought they would work perfectly with this pattern  - and they do. Love this shawl and love the knitting so much that the knitting needles have poked a small hole in the tip of my right index finger. Even though I carefully try to avoid the wound the needle unavoidably finds the little hole in the skin - and it hurts.

That's when the second discipline #blanketcrochet comes in handy, but more on that later.

What have you been doing while spending all your evenings and spare time on the couch watching athletes around the World achieving amazing victories?

13 Jul 2016

Balle's Bazaar Boutique - now open

We probably all daydream once in while. I have a confession to make - I daydream a lot. In those dreams I am full-time creative. I run workshops, create and publish online knitting courses, design a jumper or two and sell my creations in a tiny little boutique.

Daydreams have the tendency to remain a fantasy and mine (mines, as I have several) is likely to have the same destiny. One actual achievement though is Balle's Bazaar Boutique, and you can find it right here on the blog by choosing the second tab.

The first products available in the boutique are a series of colorful baby vests sizes 3, 6, 12-18 and 24 months. They are all hand knitted (by me) in a lovely 100% super wash merino wool - machine washable at 40C. Have a look. I ship worldwide and if you want different color combinations or sizes, let me know, and I can make one for you.

If (when) I manage to turn my daydreams into reality there will more products available in the boutique. I fantasize of kitchen accessories like dish cloths, oven mittens, tea towels, aprons etc. or something completely different.  Let's see how it all turns out.

What would spark your interest? I would love to hear.

All the best. Jane

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,