Janne Schra in Roepaen

November 28, 2012

On a Sunday earlier this month I went to see Janne Schra in Roepaen, the same venue I saw Alela Diane back in July.
Roepaen used to be a monastery, but it's now used as a culteral venue. I think it's one of the most beautiful places to see artists perform. The atmosphere is amazing and though they did modernise the old building, they kept a lot of the characteristics of the old monastery, like the beautiful stained glass panels, solemn wooden benches the monks used to sit on, candles to light the chapel and the old staircases. This, the fact that they always seem to book artists that are right up my alley and my brother being prepared to come and pick me up every time makes me come back there.

That particular sunday Janne Schra was that artist. She is a Dutch artist, former singer of room eleven and Shradinova, and this January her first solo album will be released. Her music style is described as pop/soul gypsy folk. I got to know Janne's music through Kim, my brothers girlfriend. She is a long time fan of Janne, and has seen her perform live at least 8 times. She drew my attention to Janne's band "Schradinova" as she thought I might like it. Turns out she was right, her cd "India Lima Oscar Victor Echo You" has become an instant favourite over here. Thus I was very curious to see what her solo album would bring.

Janne's stage presence was great: She talked with the public not as if she was talking to whole bunch of stangers, but really as if she was just chatting to her best friend who came over for tea. Her stories definately struck a chord with the public, myself certainly included. Stories of how drinking coffee marks your transition to adulthood, or about how you can be over 30 years old but still wondering when you'll grow up, because people told you as a kid that 'you will understand everything when you grow up'.

Janne is rumoured to have said that Roepaen is her favourite venue. I don't know for a fact if that's true, but she at least seemed to beam on that stage, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What do you say? You want to know who Janne Schra is?
Well, here's two songs: First, Pencil Revolution, from her Schradinova album, and her cover of One Day, which she did for a Dutch radio-show.


All pictures by my brother.


Learn to knit love to knit - Anna Wilkinson

November 14, 2012


 Learn to knit, love to knit is a book by Anna Wilkinson, published by Quadrille only a few weeks ago. It's the book I wish I had when I just started knitting a couple of years ago (oh my, how time flies). The styling on the book is great! Both the patterns and styling invoke a bit of a modern retro, quirky feeling, which I really like. I love the use of colour in this book, clearly Anna is not afraid for the use of bold colours and colour combinations, which adds to her signature style. 

Cropped cardigan with cabled sleeves
The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a chapter explaining techniques and the basic set up you need to get started with knitting, I must admit I only skimmed these pages, as I don't really need an introduction to the craft, but it looks good to me. The second being "learn to knit" which introduces the techniques to get you started and ten designs increasing in difficulty. The third part "love to knit" includes ten designs which require some extra skills, which are all explained in the book.
Lace top with bow
 Some might argue that this book isn't marketed properly as it targets new knitters, and some of the project might be to difficult. I however disagree. This is exactly what I had needed when I just started knitting. I'm a firm believer in the power of enthousiasm: I think that it's good to challenge new knitters to progress to more complicated techniques after grasping the basics. It's no good to scare beginners away from projects they really want to do, like I was scared away from fair isle: Why make knitters afraid to try new thing by keeping it out of the beginner knitbooks?

Now for the patterns, the book contains 12 sweaters (cardigans, tops, vest), 2 collars, 2 hats, 2 pair of mitten/gloves 1 pair of socks, 1 scarf, 1 snood and 1 handbag. So for those who counted, this is indeed more than 20 patterns, this is because some patterns "belong" with eachother and are therefore listed as one, for example a scarf and mittens that form a pair. The book has included simple, plain projects, lace, fairisle, intarsia, cables, bobbles and embroidery. Anna has made a video for her book, this give you a good idea of what to expect from the book and the style it's written in.

Shawl collar cardigan
Unfortunately Anna is not an active ravelry member, so very little of her designs are registered there.  This really made me aware how much I rely on ravelry for information like what yarn is used for a project, needle size, tension etc. Anna does have a facebook and twitter so you can follow her there if you like.

For the real yarn freaks (of which I proudly regard myself to be one) there are some really great designs by Anna in the relatively new magazine Pom Pom Quarterly, which you can check out here.

That's it! I think I've deserved a nice evening of knitting, drinking tea, something watchable on tv and most importantly no uni work! 

Wild Things, dreams and dressing up (or I got an award)

November 05, 2012

Dear all,

About two weeks ago, my blog was given an award! Thus far I didn't had the time to make a proper post about it due to my exams. The award was given by Janneke, she makes costumes, LARPs and has written some great tutorials on costume making on her blog. She also knows a lot of people I know, but we have never actually met somehow. For this award, the idea is to answer some questions from the award giver on your blog. I had fun answering the questions, I hope you'll have fun reading them.

1. Halloween is coming! What would your costume look like?
As you can see I was suppose to answer this before Halloween...whoops! That's exam bussiness right there. Anyway luckily I love dressing up and making costumes so lets see, had halloween not been during my exams...
I would have loved to make an animal-human hybrid outfit. It may sound strange, but I've seen these outfits at a festival, and haven't stopped wishing I could make an outfit like that since then. Something like this, but then wolf-themed, maybe?

Castlefest 2011 - Tan Elleil
2. If you had the ability to time travel, would you go to the past or future? Why?

The past, regular readers will probably know I'm a history fanatic. I think every historic period has it's charms, and interesting bits. I spend a lot of my free time doing reading about various era's/ periods in time. Lately I've been dabbling into my own family history, family tree, old photo's & stories etc. Going back into the past to see, meet and experience all those things in reality is every (amateur) historics dream I think.

Periods I would definately visit are the 1930's & 1940's ( no surprise there), V-day, The edwardian era, The victorian era, my grandparents being born, the 16th century so I can meet Shakespeare to ask him wether he really wrote all those things (for once and for all, let's settle that debate!!) Ah well...if I had been given the gift of timetravel I'd probably be more in the past then I'd be here ;)

3. If you could meet any fictional character, who would you choose?
The Wild Things by Maurice Sendak

The BFG - The BFG
Mr Mole - the wind in the willows!!
Falkor - the NeverEnding Story
Catherine Morland - Northhanger Abbey
Samwise Gamgee - The Lord of the Rings
Ishmael - Moby-Dick
The Wild Things - Where the wild things are
Luna Lovegood - Harry Potter

Yeah...hum...I couldn't choose. Wait.... Pippi Longstockings isn't fictional, right? Else it'd be her, but since she's not fictional I can't narrow it down from the list above.

4. Which season of the year do you like most and why?

The knitter in me is now jumping up and down while shouting autumn & winter. The best patterns get published during the colder months, companies show new yarn lines they're going to try and most importantly: being able to wear my favourite handknits. I wear (some of them) during spring too...but it's just not the same, is it? ;)

There are more reasons though...the colouring of the leaves, layering clothing, halloween, snow, icescating, Christmas and at the end of the winter my birthday! It's no secret that I'm really just a big child!


5. What is one of the coolest things you still want to do in your life?

Uhum...I can think of several things...are you ready?

Visit Tibet, ever since I was a child I've been obsessed with this country. When I was young I used to drag home a lot of books from the liberary on this topic and make drawings in my notebooks of the things I saw. I probably still have them somewhere...

Design a piece of clothing, from scratch. I make and have made a lot of clothing over the years. It would be really cool to make something, from idea to finished piece myself. I already make lots of modifications, but nothing completely my own so far. We'll see if it ever happens.

Since I'm currently "sort-of" researching my own family history, it would be cool to somehow  finish that in a satisfactionary way. There are a lots of gaps in the things I know about my family. A lot was lost during the war and on my dads side, during an intercontinental move. When I do find new facts, or special heirlooms it warms my heart, like last summer I found out that some photo's in a old photoalbum from my Grandmother, were actually postcards from my gran's father send to her during the war when he was imprisoned in a labour-camp in Berlin. Those are once in a lifetime finds I think, really special and make the history puzzle a little more complete.

Graduate! Would be really cool! On this note I'd like to travel around the British Isles, doing this after I graduate would make it extra special I think. Like the crowning of everything I have done so far. Anyway...that's for the future ;)

Those were my questions! I think award post are nice, as you get to know the blogger behind the posts a bit better. So if there's anything you've always wanted to ask me, here is your chance ;)
I'm still thinking about who I'm going to give the award, but since I'm already two weeks late I wanted to make this post now. Don't be surprised if an awards nomination pops up in one of your blogs in the near future!

That's it for now,

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