Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ballerina Dreams

As we've discussed previously, I spent most of my life in dance studios growing up.  Even now, as my time away from dance lengthens, I am still overwhelmingly fond of all things dance and ballet (and do still toy with the idea of taking an adult ballet class in my free time, whenever that may be).  Imagine my delight last fall when I discovered the plethora of ballet and dance documentaries available streaming on Netflix! These were constant companions for about three months, and I studied the dancers' technique and lines as I knitted away on sample knits.  It was inevitable that the joining of those two art forms was imminent.  I started studying the warm up gear more intently over time, and the idea for the Galina Pullover was born.

(all photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Quince)
Knit from the bottom up in Quince's lovely Finch in the colorway Delft , this sweater employs an unusual construction similar to that of ballet warm ups. 

The body is knit in the round, and then split for the deep neckline.  The sleeves are then joined back in the round and knit straight up, almost like a pair of upside-down tights.  The pattern calls for 1-2" of positive ease, but I've also worn the sample with 4" of negative ease and been happy with the fit, so it's up to you!

I know the neckline seems daring, but I'd also love to see this on top of a printed camisole, or even a button-up shirt.  The possibilities are endless!

Galina can be found with Quince here and on Ravelry here.   And if you're interested in some hardcore dance documentary watching of your own, here's the list of movies I watched over and over and over! The links will take you to Netflix for your own queueing.  :)

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance; a profile on the history of the Joffrey Ballet

Last Dance; a document of the collaboration between Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Maurice Sendak.  This has some NSFW bits, but an amazing profile on the creation of a dance piece

Ballerina; profiles of five dancers in different stages of their career with the Kirov Ballet in Moscow

The Dancer; a profile of a young Swedish dancer as she finishes her training and goes out into the professional world

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Dance Academy.  This show is complete fiction and complete fluff, but I couldn't stop watching it (and made other people do so as well).  Set in a ballet school in Sydney, Australia, it's a teen soap opera that follows a group of friends through their first couple years of training.  I haven't watched the second season yet, but I'm expecting to hunker down sometime this winter and watch ALL of it at once and then not be able to talk about anything else for a month.


  1. Thank you for the movie recommendations. I watched The Dancer last night and really enjoyed it.

    1. So sorry for the delay in reply--I let the blog comments get away from me for a bit! So glad you enjoyed the movie; there's another new one on there, First Position, that's also fantastic!

  2. Thanks for the film recommendations. I’ve added them to my queue. I think Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet and Mao's Last Dancer, which are currently available on Netflix streaming, are both very good.

    Portland Ballet offers walk-in classes for adults. I'm not sure what level dancers attend now, but in the past there were often some current and former professionals.

    1. Lynne! So good to hear from you, and so sorry about the delay in reply! I let the blog comments get away from me for a bit there. I will definitely check out the two you suggested and offer another one, First Position--it's about the Youth American Grand Prix and has some amazing dancers in it. And one of my requests for Christmas was a pass to the Portland Ballet's adult classes, so I'm going to give it a try!