December has been a horrible month. Our family has been struck down with a nasty virus, the kids first, then the adults who have had it particularly badly. It feels like a such a long time since I actually felt well, I’d say coming up to three weeks now. My motivation for creating anything has been low but I have managed to turn out seven of these lovely little Christmas balls while cuddled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a box of tissues.
They are Julekuler by Arne and Carlos, two Norwegian men who were commercial knitwear designers who branched out into hand knitting and have become superstars of the knitting world. I have the hardcover book which is really lovely and full of beautiful color photographs of Christmas in Norway. It is clunkily translated into English as “55 Christmas Balls to Knit”. There’s only 2624 projects for this pattern on Ravelry!
The yarn I used is Knitpicks Palette which is a 4ply/fingering 100% wool yarn especially for colourwork. I used the colors white, serrano (red) and spruce (green) and 2.75mm double point needles. The yarn the designers used was 5ply/sport but I think my balls came out a nice size.
Clockwise from top right: Greek Cross, Hospitality – room in the heart, Tricolor, Snow Crystal and Hand knit Border. I made these as gifts and I wish I could have made them for more people. I managed to get five made and posted off to Australia and magically they did arrive before Christmas. I was pretty sad to see them go and so made two more for myself to keep! It’s a nice idea knitting the same basic pattern but with different colourwork designs. I felt I had mastered the pattern after the first two or three balls but the different designs kept it interesting. It was pretty challenging in the beginning – very fiddly with only my third time using DPN and second attempt at stranded colourwork. The hanging loops were my first crochet chain. I had intended to try two handed colourwork but I was quite overwhelmed and gave up on that idea. The rocking horse design was my nemesis. After three unsuccessful attempts at getting it going I cut off the yarn and threw it in the bin. That was rather cleansing.
Secret Rose (in red and white) and Dacing Around the Tree (in green and white). I found myself drawn to the more traditional Scandinavian designs rather than the animal and figure motifs. The secret rose motif was actually on a pair of tights I bought my daughter from the Scandinavian children wear brand Hanna Andersson. The three coloured ball required a lot of detangling but the knitting itself was pretty easy.
I’m done with Christmas balls for now but suspect that there might be a few new designs appearing next Christmas on my tree. I do so love these fuzzy little ornaments. Here are some gifted ones in situ on their trees in Australia! Thanks for the photos guys!
And here are the two I kept on our own tree.
I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and holiday season, whether you are at the beach, in the snow or in the wet.