Denise Balvanz


Denise has been knitting, crocheting and sewing since she was a little girl. Over the years Denise has taught many others to knit, crochet and sew and loves to be able to share what she knows about the crafts with others. For 25 years, Denise was doing custom dressmaking from home while her 8 young children played. Her children wore a lot of my creations as they grew up!

Sewing took the back burner and knitting and crochet took over Denise's life when she was asked to teach classes at the local yarn shop. Writing patterns for those classes was the start of her design career. A local acquaintance later offered an opportunity to work for 3+ years in her business as an importer/distributor/translator of a Norwegian yarn and pattern line. During that time, Denise was able to spend two weeks in Norway learning about the Norwegian knitting traditions.

Much like Norway, surviving the cold winters in Iowa takes a lot of warm hand-mades. Denise's love of fiber crafts has allowed her to interact with many wonderful people over the years and she counts it a privilege to be able to share what she's learned and to continue to learn with all of you!

Projects by Denise Balvanz

Winter Green Snowflake Stocking

Vinter, Norwegain for winter, is the most wonderful time of the year. You loved the original Norwegian Snowflake Stocking so much, we gave it an update — now in green! Try your hand at this stocking for a taste of traditional Norwegian motifs. Knit from the top down, with traditional Norwegian “lice” stitches, this timeless stocking will look perfect above the fireplace.

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Candy Ribbons Stocking

One of my favorite Christmas treats has always been ribbon candies. In this stocking, they frame the edges of a garland. Worked in two-color stranding, it is worked top down, with a picot hem, contrast flap-heel and a star toe. The ribbons are repeated across the toe just before the shaping.

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Norwegian Snowflake Stocking

Snowflakes are a very popular motif in northern Europe, where the snow falls for much of the winter and mountains are always covered in snow. Inspired by the knitting traditions in Norway, this intricate pattern will bring a little Norwegian style into your home. This particular Christmas stocking features one of the elaborate snowflake patterns.

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Caribbean Cables Scarf

The cable and lace motifs in this scarf look like fish swimming in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. Wear this scarf with a pretty dress of over a simple summer tee.

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Crystalline Frost Stocking

Non-traditional holiday colors are all the rage. Combine that with Norwegian-inspired colorwork and you’ve got a holiday project that’s sure to be a hit. This blue and white stocking features stranded snowflakes and detailing and an I-cord loop for hanging. Line this stocking with an old t-shirt to keep this around for years to come.

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Leaf Cuff Set

The Leaf Cuff Mitten and Hat Set begins with an Old Norwegian cast-on method and features colored leaf motifs along the hat brim and mitt cuffs.

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Old Norwegian Cast-On

The Old Norwegian Cast-On, also known as the German Twisted Cast-On, is a cast-on method similar to the long-tail method but with a few extra steps and an extra twist. You might choose to use this cast-on when knitting socks since it creates a stretch edge that resists curling.

This cast-on method is a little tricky,

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Snug-as-a-Bug Baby Bunting

This comfy little bunting has a button-front closure and a lapped back opening to allow for seatbelts in car seats or strollers. Perfect for an advanced beginner, this baby bunting is the best way to keep your little one cozy and secure during trips and doubles as a wrap for chilly nights.

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Latvian Hat and Gloves Set

Keeping your ears warm can be a challenge during a polar vortex! With temperatures in the negative and snow blowing everywhere, you need winter accessories that can block the wind. This matching set features a stranded design and a warm, bulky knit.

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Fireside Christmas Stocking

Imagine chestnuts roasting on an open fire with this beautiful fair isle stocking hanging just below the mantel. Beautiful, isn’t it? Create your own picture perfect Christmas by knitting up this classic piece of home decor.

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