31 Dec 2016

2016 in review

2016 is definitely approaching its end - and what a year it's been.

We started the year moving into our new home - I will never forget the feeling when we opened the front door the first time, and entered our first own Australian home.
How lucky we are to wake up to this amazing view every single morning. I still pinch myself of gratitude for our luck.

With the  boxes emptied and the family settled into our new area, I could reconnect with my knitting needles again. When looking through the pictures I realise how slack I've been over the year. Several projects haven't yet been mentioned here on the blog. They will of course be included in the 2016 year review, and maybe even be featured in special post early in the new year.

Thomas had long hassled me for a cardigan to substitute the previous brown one. Same style, slightly slimmer and in a beautiful charcoal grey wool. Simple zipped raglan, but with added details at the shoulder seems and down the sides. I thought this would become my first ever pattern, but I forgot to take proper notes during the process, so a knitting designer debut will have to wait until next time.

It is always exciting to cut open the front to insert the zip, but knitting round and cut open is so much more preferable than endless purl rows.

To knit for babies is always such a delight. Small projects and the pure joy of imagining the cute little fellars wearing the knitting is half the pleasure of knitting.
I made a 'grandpa jacket and trousers' for my niece's little Magnus and a 'Rilletroeje' and a 'djaevlehue' for Lachlan, the son of a dear colleague.
Further I knitted the babyvests for sale and sold a number of vests this year. The most popular colour combination was yellow/green.

One of my favourites this year was 'Navy Blue' from the book 'Blue Notes' by Susie Haumann. I love the beautiful lines and the simple structure yet very elegant and effective. The pattern suggest a shorter back and longer fronts, but I wanted a long cardigan so I extended the back to full length. It turned out absolutely stunning - and is of course in my favourite grey coloured light weight wool.
The cardigan is knitted back and forth and not in the round as I normally prefer. It took a while to finish, but on the other hand, this was the project teaching me to like purl knitting.
I did get the front edge sorted with blocking and ironing, although it still has a tendency to curl up.
Sky Blue by Susie Haumann. Staying in the greys and in the 'Blue Notes' universe I moved on to 'Sky Blue', a beautiful, simple raglan sweater with the two yarns defining the character. The sleeves are made with one thread silk mohair (lace weight) and are knitted on very thin needles. They took forever to finish, but I was very pleased with the result.
Much to my dismay, however I have to admit it is still stuck in the UFO basket with only one sleeve attached. This review post is a good reminder to get it finished.
Line Break by Veera Välimäki This year also brought the pleasure of knitting the Line Break shawl twice. I had this beautiful green cottonwool sitting in the stash, and I thought it would be perfect for a shawl for my Mother InLaw. There was'nt enough yarn though and the shawl became too small.
The second version is made out of a beautiful purple/grey wool - also from the stash. This time the shawl was the right size, but again the yarn didn't last, so I chose to add a different colour to the lace edge. It turned out very well, and I am very happy with the result.
The green Line Break wasn't knitted in vain though. I through it in the washing machine for a bit of felting and cut it into small triangles, added a crocheted stem, put four trees on a string and added them to my stall at the Christmas Market - and wupti a disaster turned into a huge success. 
RUBY by Lene Holme Samsoe. Another of the knitted favourites is this pink, soft and mooshie oversize raglan jumper.  It is knitted with on thread of cashmere wool and one thread silk mohair. It cannot be any softer.
I love this simple oversize jumper - so easy to take on and off as the weather changes. It is way to warm now in the middle of summer, but during winter and early spring it was perfect.
Matthews Vest by Joanna Johnson. Another gift - this time for my Father In Law - and I had decided to make him a vest. Of course I was way too late, and had to present a gift card for a hand knitted vest as make it during the three weeks they were here visiting.
Couldn't have found a better project to bring on to the roadtrip Sydney-Melbourne-Great Ocean Road-Bendigo and back to Sydney and the vest was done the day before we rolled back into our driveway.
For a long time I had wanted to gather other crafters to share the passion for knitting with. 2016 was the year the dream came into reality, and I hosted the first Craft n'Coffee during the early Aussie winter. Such a delight to meet new people and see good old friends and colleagues joined for a couple of hours chatting, sipping and knitting along. Definitely a success to be repeated in 2017.
Oven Mitts by Lutter Idyl (Danish). I love the simplicity and graphic structures of everything Lutter Idyl crochets, and I have long wanted to try to crochet the bubbles structure. These oven mitts were so fun to crochet and so rewarding to see the pattern unfold for every row. It is definitely not the last time I will be hooked :-)
Kitchen Cloths - pure carter stitch. Simple, beautiful and most importantly very practical. 100% cotton yarn and pure carter stitches. I think I've made at least 30 Kitchen cloths this year. Many of them were sold at the Balle's Bazaar stall at the Danish Christmas market and some has been presented as gifts - always with great appreciation. 

To continue the kitchen theme I made aprons and matching oven mitts. There are still a grey set and two white sets available for sale. If you are interested head over to the Balle's Bazaar Boutique page for more details.
Again this year the pouches were a big success. I have decorated them with prints made by the stamps cut out by my Grand Farther, needless to say hoe much I love to work with these treasures.
Finally I have knitted countless woollen hearts. They (and the kitchen cloths) have accompanied me on the train to and from work. I could knit two hearts on a single train ride and I've enjoyed them all. You can find the pattern at Ulla Bella (a Norwegian blog).
At the un-felted stage
The hearts look absolutely awesome on a naked branch
One of the goals for 2016 was to have my own Balle's Bazaar stall at the Danish Christmas Market in Sydney. It happened. I'm pleased, slightly impressed and very proud of how the stall turned out. Thank you to all the beautiful people stopping by for visit and chat. So happy to serve my customers hand made gifts and Christmas goodies. I'll be back next year.

2016 was a good year for me, my family and my craft. Thank you to all of you who has followed me through this and previous years. The blog has not been as active as I would have liked, but if you enter 'ballesbazaar' in the search field of Instragram you will find more frequent updates.

To all of you, my friends out there I wish 2017 will be a great year, filled with love, laughter and happiness.

All the best.


  1. Sikke mange skønne ting du har fået lavet i 2016 - både dem med garn og stof :-) Jeg følger også på IG og nyder at se lidt af livet down under. Godt nytår til dig og dine kære 🎉🍾

    1. Tusind tak Lise. Dejligt at hoere fra dig. Godt Nytaar til dig og dine.

  2. Sikke en masse dejlige billeder! Hvor må det være spændende at forsøge sig i en ny verdensdel, og så skabe et håndarbejdsfora, en god måde at samles på. Hvor er det nogle fine punge du har fået lavet. Det tryk er bare flot. Mvh Lotte

    1. Hi Lotte. Tunsind tak for din dejlige kommentar, og jeg unskylder meget det sene svar. Bloggen er blevet noget saa grusomt forsoemt den sidste lange tid. At skifte til en ny verdensdel giver rigtig mange forandringer. Haandarbejde er ikke saa udbredt hernede som i Danmark, men jeg forsoeger at skabe en base for det her ogsaa, og online communities er jo ligeglade med landegraenser saa jeg bruger instagram meget til inspiration og til at dele min glaede for det haandlavede. Trykkene er jeg specielt glad for ogsaa. Klodserne har min Morfar lavet og jeg har arvet dem efter min Mormor. De betyder rigtig meget for mig, saa det er en meget stor glaede at de faar positiv opmaerksomhed.
      Tusind tak fordi du tog dig tid til at skrive en kommentar - det betyder alverden.

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