Welcome to my webshop

I have been working as a knitting designer for almost 40 years and started knitting when I was 6 years old.
I have continued to do so ever since.

Early in the 1980s I was already established as a freelance knitwear designer and designed for Dale Yarns, Drops, Garnglede and most of the Norwegian magazines.

After working for a year in Denmark, as an agent for a number of Italian spinning mills, I was offered a job as Marketing Manager at Dale, where I gained an insight into Norwegian yarn production and learned the business thoroughly. When I moved back to Oslo, I established Colors, where I worked with color and style analysis for a number of years. I also sold yarn in all the colors of the rainbow, and many people came to appreciate the colorful shop at Vika. This is where I also met my husband, Per, who introduced me to alpaca and I fell head-over-heels both for the alpaca fibers and the man!

Du Store Alpakka
The popular Norwegian television series “Stompa”, based on Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings stories, had a grumpy lecturer called Tørrdal, whose favorite expression was: “Du store alpakka (You Great Alpaca)!”. This became the obvious choice of name for the company that Per and I started together in 1999.
We wanted to introduce alpaca to the Norwegian people! And we did.
We started with two empty hands, loads of courage and enthusiasm. The company grew year after year; and when we sold the company in 2012, we were selling just over 30 tons of alpaca yarn a year. The learning curve was steep and we learned an awful lot on the way. I continued to make designs, learned to photograph and had the main responsibility for the yarn collections and the shade cards. Photography has gradually become more and more fascinating and I am currently working as a photographer with my own studio at Gran in Norway.

Mirasol School
From heart to heart, from Norway to Peru.

On our first trip to Peru, we met two alpaca-shepherd children high up in the Andes; it was a meeting that would change our lives. The meeting with these children started a process of collecting money for a boarding school, which would give the children in the district the possibility to choose a future other than poverty and illiteracy. The child mortality rate was at 50% and I am proud to say that today it is down nearly to zero. The children have moved into the school and have started planning for the future.

Today, I principally work with knitwear design, selling patterns on Ravelry and on this webpage, but I am also an author of knitting books. My 15th book, STRIKK- mine fineste skatter, was published (in Norwegian) spring 2020. My previous Norwegian titles were "Strikkepoesi", “Den Strikkeboka”, “Hjertestrikk” and “Designguide for strikkere” among others.

Finally some good news, little by little my patterns are translated into English and Deuch and be released for sale here on my webpage. You can also find my patterns on Ravelry - just follow the link.

Love & Light

Here you will find some of my most popular knitting patterns translated to English and Dutch.
As soon as you have placed the order you will recive a link to the PDF with the pattern. Please check your spam box and contact me by e-mail, kari@balanzen.no, if the pattern does not reach you.