Ravellenic Games 2012

July 27, 2012


I write to you on this beautiful sunny day (at last!!) about the 'Ravellenic games'. This is an event organised by Ravelry knitting community in honour of the old Pan-Hellenic Games. (It used to be an event in honour of a modern sporting event, but that certain event took it as 'copyright infrigement' instead.) During the course of roughly three weeks, the knitters of Ravelry join teams and do knitterly challenges.

Wether it's the Colourwork Crosscountry (knit your best colourwork!), the Sweater Triathlon (knit your best sweater!) or WIP Wrestling (finish your unfinished Works In Progress!), any knitter can join the events. Amongst the succesfull competitors of an event (or: a Ravathlete) the community gives away certain prizes, such as yarn, patterns or tickets to events.

Then there are the teams: Fans of specific designers, fellow gamers, or other groups join together to compete under a single flag: the teams are not national-based, but created by groups of people who just know how to knit along.

Yarn still kept safe in the box, waiting for the Ravellenic Games to begin.
It will be my first time joining the Ravellenics and I couldn't be more excited! Though you can't really know, but I'm from a huge sport fanatic family. The way I'm enthusiastic about making clothes, vintage and music, my family is about sports. In fact, half of them are in London at the moment to watch some of the games.So I thought it would be nice to get myself involved with a project that centers around this big event too.

I'm going to be joining Team Icelandic Knitters: this is not about knitters from Iceland, but rather for those knitters who like knitting Icelandic style knits, with Icelandic yarns. More specifically, it's a team that will be knitting Helene Magnusson patterns, who publishes under the brand name The Icelandic Knitter. It wasn't easy to choose for which team I wanted to knit as there are so many nice groups out there (A h00t for Team Owlie!!), but eventually the thought of knitting on needle size 5, do colourwork and knitting with warm wool ( it was still fall weather when I ordered this yarn a week ago!!) were decisive. Honestly I couldn't for the life of me convince myself I would be able to start and finish a vintage jumper in 17 days!

I will be knitting Brynja, casting on during the opening ceremony and try to finish it by August 12th. It will be a challenge, as I will be away for a few days, going to a festival. Still, I'm going to try my best to finish this project in the given time. You can find my project following this link.

Wish me luck!!!

Lets all cheer for my awesome temporary new ravatar!!!

*insert Rocky Balboa climbing steps to the tune of Eye of the Tiger*

Alela Diane solo 18 July 2012

July 21, 2012

Wednesday I went to a concert of Alela Diane. Alela diane is a folk singer from Portland, Oregon.
 She is my favourite singer and I listen to her music almost every day. I went with my bf, my brother and his girlfriend, they knew she is my favourite singer and wanted to know what all the fuzz was about.

Her songs are honest and from the heart. On her first two albums she uses little instruments: voice, guitar, banjo, and percussion, her last album is the first one in which she uses a band to which I needed some time to get used to, and though I prefer the other two I really like this album now as well. She sings about mothers, forests, herself, cliffs and more!

Close-up of the beautiful glass panels at Roepaen.
The concert was at a beautiful venue in the south of the Netherlands. it used to be a monastery but it's now being used as a cultural venue. The history of the venue is clearly visible: The long hallways are still adorned with the solemn wooden benches the monks used to sit on, lit with candles. It is no coincidence that the venue, called Roepaen, chose the beautiful stained glass panels as their logo: they really capture the place's identity.

This was not the first time I went to a concert from her, but it was however the first time I saw her doing such an intimate solo performance. It certainly didn't dissapoint! Two songs of the Alela Diane & the Wild Divine, the album she did with a band, were adapted for this accoustic solo performance. I really liked this new adaption for 'Elijah'.

Although the hit-record 'Pirates Gospel' is left in the past, she did play a lot of songs from the first two albums. She started the performance with 'Dry Grass & Shadows' from her second album, and my favorite song so-far, 'The Rifle', is a classic from the very first album that was also played. Here's a video of Alela performing The Rifle in Amsterdam, a day before the concert I went to.

The core of the concert however came from the newly revealed songs wich will appear on a new album coming out around next spring. 'Colorado Blue' set the tone for all the new songs she revealed: dark, melancholic folksongs, with a strong focus on storytelling and lyrical symbolism. The same goes for 'Lost Land' and the rest of the new songs. The new album will be much more of a solo affair, so more like the first two albums: Pirate's gospel and To be Still. It will be released around March next year, and I honestly can't wait!

The whole show was lit by candles which added to the magic athmosphere Alela created with her voice and guitar play. I can honestly say it has to be the most beautiful concert I have ever been to and the whole time she was playing I felt magic and connected with the music. It was a very special evening and I was happy to be able to share it with people I care so much about.

After the show I got a chance to talk with Alela. I was a bit nervous about this, as one is about ones favourite artist, I was a bit scared she would be totally different in person then the person I had pictured in my mind. Turns out I had no need to worry, she was amazing, and exactly like she is in the songs and on stage. She was super friendly and talked a lot with everyone. I bought a rare album of her, one you can only buy as an LP & CD together, which she signed for me.

It was an amazing night, one I will remember for a long time...can't wait for the next time she will be in the Netherlands!!

All photo's were made by my brother, Lance, who I haven't seen without a camera in his hand since I don't know when ;)
I think they turned out fantastic!


Ps. If you would like to know more about this artist head over to her website or facebook.
So far Alela has produced 4 albums: Pirate's Gospel, To be Still, Alela & Alina and Wild Divine, all worth a listen!   


Finished Knit: Vintage Navy Jumper

July 11, 2012

I finished this jumper a few weeks ago but didn't really got around to photograph it properly until this weekend. This jumper was inspired by those iconic yoke sweaters from the 40's with little pitoresque scenes.
Like this flower jumper, this bird jumper, this angora jumper and ofcourse the sailor/navy theme.

The past year I've been searching for a pattern like this on various markets, etsy, ebay, ravelry etc, but I couldn't find something I really liked. Either the sailor theme was to much...or it was not there at all. So I decided to create one myself, by using the Fair Isle yoke from ASIT1 as a base and make a chart for the yoke. I made the fair isle yoke myself back in January and liked it's shaping, and decided to give it a go.

I was 'guided' by this jumper I found on flickr. It fitted the look I was searching for, was knitted from a vintage patterns, and I liked it very much. As said, I couldn't find a pattern for it, but I decided to make my own version. I don't consider this plagiarism, as there was no pattern for it and I'm not claiming this to be mine or want to to sell it for profit. So, if the original knitter of the jumper on flickr reads this: I really like your jumper and I hope you like my 'ode' to it as well! If you have other thoughts about this, please do say so!
I used this caculation program to make graphpaper to draw a chart on. It worked great and would certainly use this method again. 

Pattern: Fair Isle yoke (as a base)
Yarn: Drops alpaca
Mods: Shorter sleeves, different yoke, altered the shaping a tad bit. 

I had to re-do the neckband, as I bound of to tight...ooops!! I tried a few different sail colours as well...but eventually settled on pure white, as it coordinated best with the light and dark blue.
Wasn't sure about the light blue so close to my face with my hair colour at first...but I think it worked out fine.

Phew I really wanted to post this sooner, but my grandmother had to go to the hospital unexpectedly (no fun) and I was at my parents´ for a few days (fun!) So blogging slipped to the back of my mind. But I did remember to take pictures of this jumper when I was at my parents! I had planned to finish Halla in the weekend, but at my parents I only knitted on a sweater my mother is knitting to help her finish it ;) I do hope to finish Halla soon tough, as I'm kinda bored with knitting on it. (Oops!)

See you soon! 

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