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.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's in a name?

Back in the summer of 2003, I was getting ready to go to college.  As you might remember from that time period, AOL Instant Messenger was all the rage, and I would spend hours typing away on my new computer (affectionately named Rosie the Robot) to friends, discussing what the coming years would bring for us.  I had picked AIM up a few years before under the spunky, quirky moniker of "GoddessSqueaky" (yes, go ahead and laugh), but the big change about to occur in my life called for something grander.  Something more adult.  Something . . . collegiate.

 As anyone who spent as many hours chatting in those little boxes as I did knows, your AIM name is a powerful symbol, and not to be taken lightly.  Many ideas were discussed and discarded.  My love for Allen Ginsberg suggested "angelheadedhipster" (might I remind you, before hipsters were a big thing), but that was already taken.  My love for T.S. Eliot suggested "tilhumanvoiceswakeus", but that was too long.  I toyed with song lyrics, Shakespeare quotes, random in-jokes, characters from literature, but none suited. 

Finally, given the hippie and bohemian nature of my chosen college, just a few months away, I settled on "joyousbohemian".  It fit, I was happy, it stayed.  And stayed.  And stayed.  When I signed up for Ravelry in 2007, it was the obvious choice.  Twitter this past year? Same thing.  But, as time has gone on and I understand myself more and more, and as my career in the knitting and fiber industry has developed, something began to niggle.  Why couldn't I just be me?

My name has always been something that people remark on.  It is different, and I'm not going to say that it wasn't hard when I was younger.  I recall a particularly dark period when I was five when all I wanted was to be named "Amy".  But now? Now it's me.  Now I feel like I fit my name, and my name fits me.  So, from here on in, you'll find me elsewhere on the internets as BristolIvy.  My little "Hi! My Ravelry name is. . ." button will proudly proclaim it (so come say hi at fiber festivals!), any forum comments will use it, and any silly comments on Twitter will give you even further insight into my goofball side.  It's a wrench to say goodbye to "joyousbohemian" and the history that it entails, but I'm ready to make a whole lot of new history with my name front and center.