Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Monkey Feet

I have been on vacation since Dec 22, so needless to say I haven't had much chance to knit a whole bunch, nor have I had much chance to write about the little bit of knitting I have been doing. I've still been working on Mr A's socks and have been trying them on my feet as well as his with every couple of rows. I have come to realize that making socks for myself is easier than making socks for him. I tell him he has monkey feet since they are bigger than mine and his big toe is probably the size of my pinky finger (yes, I have small fingers, but that is besides the point). Last time I tried the socks on myself I would be about to the point of turning the heel (toe up). When I shove the socks on his big feet, I still seem to have anywhere between 3-4 inches left before thinking about heels. Sigh!!! ;) Since I have been knitting these both at the smae time (and since the cats had decided a few weeks ago that it would be fun to drag them out of my knitting bag and play with them) I have been keeping the two balls of yarn in their own little ziplock baggies. It has actully been working out very well this way. I can take the little baggies and socks with me places and not worry about getting tangles. Especially as I am using more and more of the yarn and the balls are becoming looser and looser, I don't get so many tangles since it is all confined.
Before I left home, one of my friends was vrey kind to give me a gift certificate to Flying Fingers. In April of this year, I had bought a few balls of Karabella Breeze in Camel and of course didn't get quite enough for me to make anything with. So I held onto the yarn while I figured something out. With this gift certificate, I bought two additional balls of the yarn. I figured I would get two different dye lots and hoped that the colors weren't too far off. Lucky me, I ended up getting the same dye lot I had with the other balls. Much to my amazament. Maybe Karabella Breeze doesn't have many dye lots? I don't know how it works, I just know that I ended up very happy.
For Christmas, Mr A bought me the KnitPicks interchangable needle set. He bought me just the starter set, with no extra cords, tips, or circular needles. The cords are so cool! When I open them up, they actually stay straight and don't re-curl on themselves. I am really excited to try them, but I only have sock yarn with me and the tips only go down to US4, so I will just have to wait until I get home to start fidgeting with how they actually do while knitting things.
That is about all that has been going on knitting wise out here. I wanted to check out a knitting store in Palm Beach County, but I haven't even had time to stop in one. I've been too busy meeting up with all of my old friends who still live here. And needless to say, I haven't been dancing while out here. I haven't been stretching really, either and that is something I should be doing. Oh well.
Happy New Year, all!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Questions

My SP9 Hostess posted these questions to the people in her group since a number of gift giving holidays are approaching. I found the answers that my pal gave me were very amusing, and I wanted to find out from everyone who reads this (whether I know you or not) what your answers to these questions are. If there needs to be, give back stories! I'd love to find out the variety of responces, just leave your answers as a comment :o)

1) the oddest gift you have ever received (not asked for)
2) the oddest gift you ever asked for
3) the oddest gift you ever gave
4) the worse gift you ever got

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mr A's Socks

Just after finishing the Boise shawl, I had begun wokring on socks for Mr A out of some nice orange blends of Trekking sock yarn. I had maybe 2 inches of pattern done when I set them aside in favor of working on the two Christmas gifts (which are now completed). Last week some time, I came home and found an orange trail leading from my living room to my bedroom where a large bundle of yarn had ended up; wouldn't you believe it was the cats' favorite sitting spot. Hmm I wonder how it got there. They had done this a second time to another ball of yarn I had and was measuring for a future project. Sheesh! I hadn't knit anything since finishing the Daigonal Lace scarf on Thursday. I decided that tonight while I have some time and was not rushing to complete something travel related, that I would begin unraveling the mess the cats made. It took about an hour, but the yarn is unraveled and in knitable condition. I might need little containers to keep my yarn in while I knit so that cats can't run off with it so easily.
I did get a chance to knit a few rows as celebratory reward for fixing my problem, and it was very interesting to be using US1 needles instead of the US8 that I was using for both of the scarves. But I am very happy to be able to knit these socks again. Woo hoo! These will definitely be going on the plane with me to work on.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Finished: Diagonal Lace Scarf

Thursday night I plowed through the remainder of the Diagonal Lace Scarf for Mr A's mom. I made it out of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb. I blocked it that night and Friday morning when I checked the blocking preocess, it was finished! The yarn was so much softer and so nice. I almost want to keep it. :o)

Before blocking:

And the close up of the stitches.

And now that pictures have been taken, I can wrap it and send it off! Yai!

Unfortunately since finishing this scarf and the Danica scarf I have been slightly unmotivated to work on the socks for Mr A. This was not helped by my coming home one day last week to find the yarn stretched all the way from the bag in the living room to inside my bedroom. This resulted in me shoving long tangled strands of yarn back in the knitting bag. I am not looking forward to fixing that. But I do need to have something to knit while on the plane to Florida.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I owe pictures

So I was feeling lazy on taking pictures of the WIP scarf for Mr A's mom, and decided only to take the pictures of the Danica scarf. Mr A was kind enough to model for me to take some action shots of the scarf.

I stretched the scarf only slightly so that it would lay somewhat flat. I figured the stitches would pull and puff back up to a fraction of what it was pre-blocking, and I was right. While blocking, it smelled like wet animal (ew) but now it smells like a normal scarf should... ie, not like animal. It is also nice adn soft, and thinner than it was preblocking. Woo! I am done! I have no more ends to weave in!
Merry Christmas, Mr.D

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Danica FO!!

I realize I have been pretty bad lately about updating. I have finished the Danica scarf! It was difficult because I kept losing focus for it. In the beginning, it was interesting because something was always changing and it was fun to be learning a new skill. But once I was slightly over half finished, I realized that since I was changing colors VERY frequently it was going to be a pain to weave in all the ends. Being overwealmed by the end weaving, I had set it down for days at a time. Since this scarf is a gift, I had to force myself to pick it back up and finish it. I used some of my very tall friends to help guage what size it should be, since I am under 5'5", and it is intended for someone who is 6'3". The scarf is currently being locked off in another room blocking, behind closed doors so that the cats don't find it to be the perfect napping place. I'll post pictures once the blocking is complete, hopfully to be modeled by my slightly taller than I husband, Mr A. I am sure he will be thrilled ;)
I have already begun a scarf that I am making for Mr A's mom. She has been saying for a long time that she needs a scarf that will go well with her black coat, and I decided to make a Diagonal Lace Scarf for her out of Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb, mixed berries color. This scarf is going very quickly and looks fabulous. It too will have to be blocked before being sent, since as I knit it, it is curling into a tube. Pictures of the progress on this scarf will be posted with the Danica photos.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dance Update

It seems it's been a while since updating here. I danced on both Monday and Wednesday, and the fall/winter months seem to be more heavily taught by T, while it seems K gets a heavier load during the spring/summer months. So T taught both of the classes I took. Monday I took dance movements. I usually don't have a lot of problems in that class (unless I take off a few weeks, and that results in not even pointing my toes correctly) so I left that class feeling very worked and very good. We did a number of work out combinations that I hadn't done before, and sometimes the change is welcome. Monday was definitely one of those days; it was very refreshing.
Wednesday I took the belly dance level 2 class. Before the class, Jamila was in the back room; I am not used to seeing her there unless there is a workshop and certainly not at 8pm. I talked with her breifly; she is such an amazing person. I also talked with another dancer who I hadn't seen in months, and we gave each other updates on what's been going on. She has joined a belly dance troupe, and things seem to be going very well there. We also talked about level 3 and what we could expect when we venture our wway into that class. Apparently it is more choreogrpahy and layering than simple technique and endurance (level 2 is ALL about endurance) so I am really looking forward to when I feel comfortable attending those classes. Class went very well. We were working on downs. My problem with downs, it seems, is that I forget that to every contraction there needs to be a release in order to make the contraction again. So I get stuck. I had to take a lot of my time forcing myself to release, and practicing on a slower timing. We also did combinations of 3 quarters and singles. 3 quarters are specifically difficult for me since my body doesn't like to hold the last contraction on the third and 4th counts instead of making individual contractions on both. And my biggest problem? Balancing on the toes of one foot while drilling some movement. I need to work on balance and strength.
I am also a creature of habit and schedule. I have a more or less happy relationship with my schedule that mainly revolves around my dance schedule. Wednesday I found out that the dance class schedule is ::gasp:: changing. As of the start of next year, I am no longer going to have my Monday/Wednesday interchangable schedule (both days: 7-8 Dance Movements, 8-9:15 Belly Dance Level 2). It was and is very convenient for me to have the schedule outlined this way. Instead, there will be only one DM class: 8-9pm Mondays. BD2: Tuesdays 6:30-7:45 and Thursday 7-8:15pm. Selfishly, these times really suck for me. Thursdays are my knit night at MFA, and Tuesdays I hang out with the knitting group at work. I'll have to figure out how to manipulate myself to be able to still do everything I want to do. Oof. Oh well.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Danica WIP

At the very end of September I thought it would be a fabulous idea to buy the yarn to make a friend a scarf for Christmas. I knew the scarf pattern I wanted to use, and had the colors picked out. While at knit night at Marin Fiber Arts, I spent some time picking out yarns to use and choosing the exact colors I wanted. The scarf is the entrelac pattern, Danica from So I worked on the scarf once in Spetmeber (so much for getting those Christmas gifts done early) and maybe had 9 inches completed. At the time I was most focused on working on the Boise shawl, and my monogomy took over so the Boise had priority. Today I picked up the scarf again, and easily found my place in the work. I think in the time I spent today knitting, I had doubled the length previously completed.
I am really enjoying knitting this scarf because it is simple, so I can pay attention to other things at the same time, yet it is complicated enough that I don't get bored. There are always increases and decreases, picking up stitches, and breaking yarn. Definitely a scarf for the ADD of us :o) And of course, this is what it looks like as of 5 minutes ago.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mostly Dance Rant

Well, it seems as though I haven't posted since finishing the shawl. At that point I was so overloaded with the Boise obsession. I have been steadily (read: slowly) chugging along on the pair of socks that I am making for Mr A. I really like how both socks are being made at once and that I knwo whaen I am done, I will be *finished* with the pair. The only thing I really need to figure out is how to make the heels using the short row method that I really like. I'll...... figure it out when I get there, I guess.
That is the end of any useful (was that useful?) knitting talk. Onto the bellydance bitching.

I didn't go to class on Monday because that morning I had just gotten my braces on (yeah, yeah... I know.. why didn't I get them when I was a kid... and when I didn't have to pay for it!?!?!?) and I just wasn't in the mood to deal with the new feeling of crap in my mouth as well as the strain of a dance movements class. Today when I left work at 4pm, I was very excited to go to class. I was ready to dance and ready to use all of my odd muscles and to be a belly dancer. Unfortunately, class doesn't start for another 4 hours after that. I am not a night person. At 7, 8, 9pm on weekday evenings I don't want to be shaking and squeezing and flexing. I just want to be winding down and getting ready for the next day. But my dance classes start at 7pm on Mondays and 8pm on Wednesdays. Great. Add to this that T was teaching tonight. This is all sorts of a recipe for me leaving upset. I like T. She is a wonderful and amazing dancer, and makes everything complicated look simple and effortless. Yet it seems that only on the nights she teaches are the same nights I leave upset and ready to quit dancing altogether. I know I am not doing things perfectly. I know occasionally I need someone to correct my posture, my timing, my isolations, *something*. But when T teaches, I feel invisible. Like she gave up a long time ago on me ever looking beautiful when I dance. She walks around me, fixing every other girl around me, even the girls who are training in level3 and coming to level 2 for.... I don't know. She is fixing a level 3 girl, and not a level 1.5 girl? I can't contract my glutes as fast as we were supposed to be doing tonight, so I tried slowing it down and focusing on at least doing it to some extent. I kept losing my timing. But I was trying. I was doing something that I felt would help me. Negative negative negative. Feet on one timing, glutes on the timing I could only do slow, put them together and I (figuratively.. well... mybe literally..) fall on my face. So again, my own thing. Last thing. We walk flat foot, glutes are contracted, both going double time. I have a hard time going that fast, especially flat foot since it is harder than releve. I anted to get my double time, dammit, so I went into releve. And I could still only break full time. THIS is when T walks up to me and says "We're supposed to be flat foot." I tell her I can't do it flat foot and she tells me to walk flat foot. #@!%$%$%#^#%$^&^%*762445 No, don't talk about my posture, my arm placement, my glutes, my timing, but PLEASE P.L.E.A.S.E. comment on whether my feet are flat or in releve! I mean.. CLEARLY that is the most important thing all night for em to get right. Arrrgghhh!!!!!!!
Nights like these I leave frustrated. Ready to cry and quit and never dance again. It makes me wonder why I still show up week after week, class after class. It makes me wonder if I am ever going to get this shit and if I am ever going to be able to keep up with the big bad belly dancers. Nights like tonight make me ask myself why I am pretending to be a dancer, why I am trying and what this is all for. At least with knitting, I have friends who lend support when I want to eat my scarf/blanket/bag/whatever. With dancing, I don't have any "friends". I ahve the girls I "dance with" in class, but that is as far as we go. There is no support, no encouragement. And that is where it seems I need it most of all.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Boise FO!!!

Check it out! I over estimated when I would be completing this (I thought it would be Monday or Tuesday) but I just finished my Boise Shawl! I'm so happy! Towards the end it became a slight obsession :p It feels so nice to feel so accomplished. This was my first shawl, first real lacey pattern, and first knit along. And it is so soft. I am also very pleased that I have it done before it gets too cold here... well.. as cold as it gets in Northern California.
Looky Looky at the beautiful shawl!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Eeee!! So I picked up my mail after work tonight (yes, just now at 8:30pm), and woo hoo! I had a little wrapped white envelope that looked remarkably similar to those packets that Susan had recently sent out. I knew who it was from and I had a 33.33% chance of knowing what was inside. Susan did an excellent job of taping the envelope closed, so good in fact that I had to get scissors to cut the side. ;) And what is inside, but ChaCha! Not only was there ChaCha, but when I opened the packet this wonderful smell of... what is it?!?! I keep smushing the skein to my nose to smell it. It is something she washed the skein in? Is it a perfume? The smell is *almost* as rewarding as such a pretty yarn (which looks *exactly* like the picture). Eeee! I can't wait to play with it! Oh the possibilities with this one! Attached to the skein is a cute little green stitch marker, and a nice little card from my sooper-dooper Secret Pal!
It says (and I hope you don't mind me copying it up here!) "I saw this lovely handpainted yarn available only to SP9 participants and knew that you should have some! Something about it's being called ChaCha and you being a dancer that likes blues had me thinking you might like this colorway. I've been following along your knitting two socks on circs and applaud you. I tried it and after one second of mind wandering and I had a uni-sock, oh-no! I kept ditzing out and knitting both socks together on the row. I ultimately had to slip off one sock and knit each sock separately using magic loop. I'd been knitting the Icarus Shawl but have put it aside to concentrate on sock knitting. After you complete your shawl and get back to sock knitting, I hope you enjoy this skein."
Thank you sooooooo much! When I started the two socks, I cast them on independently on their own needles. Once I had the short row toes finished, I slid them evenly onto both needles. I had it right the first time, thought it was wrong and proceeded to take one off and ..undo the rightness. It took more futzing to get them back on the proper way, and since they both looked exactly alike, it was hard to tell when I was knitting what. It really did take me ALL DAY to get into one pattern row on each sock so don't give up!! And you can do magic loop, so that will make it less confusing... as opposed to having to figure out which of the 4 needle ends is the correct one to use next :p I have also seen 2 completed Icarus shawls, and they are BEAUTIFUL. I am highly impressed that you are working on that shawl :o) I would love to see progress (or by the time I am able to find out who you are, the FO), because I am sure it is quite lovely.
Thank you so much for the e-card the other day, and this pretty (and excellent smelling!!) skein. What is that smell?!?! Hooray! ...Now I need to find a box for the things I have for my pal.....


Yesterday I received an ecard from my secret pal. I love ecards! It had lots of bouncey smiley faces and fun little "boing" sounds at the end. It was very cute! Thank you, Secret Pal! :o)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cats + Boise = ??

I was happily knitting on my couch next to one of my cats when I decided I wanted a slice of cheese. In the time it took me to go to the kitchen, find the cheese I wanted, slice some, and get back to the couch, the other cat was happily curled up in my spot giving herself as well as the Boise shawl a bath. I had looked at her just in time to see her eyes squinty and pleased as she took a nice long lick on the section closest to her.
At least she wasn't eating it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What crafts?!

Ok. This needs to be discussed. WHY would someone think this is a good idea?! And WHY would anyone make those earrings with RED on the bottom half of the heart? No, not solid red, but... well.. look:

What were you thinking?!?!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Back to Dance

Monday night was my first night going back to dance since Wednesday, October 4. The week after that I was too tired both Mon and Wed to go (Monday night I feel asleep at 8pm!!) and that Thursday was the fun funness of surgery so last week I was still focusing on trying to stand without the room spinning, so dancing was out of the question. We did some warm up drills that I had only done a few times; just when you're getting used to the drills they switch to something else so that your body doesn't get locked into one thing. So that was nice and complicated. We were working on arabesques (standing on one leg with the other extended straight behind a few inches off the floor, with the hips both still even and facing forward), which is something so easy in concept, but I am particularly bad at them because my big glutes are still pretty weak. I was also slow to get into first position and poiting my toes was hardly happening. I haven't felt this uncoordinated in dance since I first started. I felt all floppy and lacking grace. We also did dragging turns where the left leg is slightly bent and the right is dragging on the floor to the side while you turn. We were *supposed* to use our arms for momentum to get around, but for me, again with the no grace night I couldn't get around myself. It was aggravating, but oh well. It's what happens when you don't dance for alomst a month. The one thing that did go right, and quite to my surprise, was that I can almost do complete splits. During every class, we have a mmoment or two to work on splits, and I try (although I have to support myself on my hands) and on Monday, I was so close to being all the way down. I am going to be super excited when I don't have to use my hands and will be able to stretch on top of my split. Now if only my straddle split was going as well ;)
I am going to try to go through one more 10 week rotation of dance movements and then start going to the Fusion course where I have a fusion of middle eastern dance, western styles and finger cymbols! During the week of the workshop, I stayed one night to watch one of my new friends take the class, and it looked really cool. Only 3 people were taking the class, which is good adn bad I guess, but the things they were doing looked awesome and fun.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I have broken my monogomy on Saturday (for a moment, it's only really going to be a short affair, I swear!) and cast on socks. I decided that I wanted instant gratification.. as instant as it can be when knitting, that is, and didn't want to have the potential for second sock syndrome, so I decided to try knitting two socks at once on two circular needles. It took a couple of tries to slip the socks on the needles facing the right directions, but I got it! I have them facing the same way, and knit one whole round with pattern in it for both socks. Right now I get a little lost when knitting them, because both socks look *exactly* the same and the neeldes are exactly the same, so I initially couldn't tell if I was knitting the same sock over and over or if I was actually switching socks. I put a teeny piece of orange tape on both ends of one of the needles so that I could have some sort of visual cue.
Success! I am very proud of my new ability, and Mr. A will not have mateless socks when I am finished. Now that I have completed the first pattern row (again, just to make sure that it was actually working) I am leaving it alone until I finish the shawl, which is going awesomely!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Today's Lesson

Today I learned that it is very hard to think of gifts for someone that I don't know and have limited information on. I decided that I would make an attempt at searching for things for my Secret Pal, and I am not sure how successful I was. I did get a few things which I really hope she likes. I bought some things that she didn't specifically say she liked, but I hope that with what I was reading from her blog that she will really like the items. I am also discovering how hard it is to spend only $60 and not blow it all on one or two things. I am excited to be sending things out and to be participating in this swap, and really can't wait to see what my pal thinks of the things I am giving her. :o)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October post!

Okay, so it seems as though I haven't had a "real" update in a while. So this is it! In all of it's October glory. Last weekend.. as in the last weekend that I was concious (note: October 12-16 2006 does not exist in my life since I was not here for it) Mr A and I went out to find a pumpkin patch and to do the search for Pumpkins, play, and poke at cute little farm animals thing. It was a huge success. We found pumpkins, two of which I made into a pie ALL from scratch, including the crust. Mm! The first image is clearly the pie mush going into the crust, and the second is the first slices after coming out of the oven.

You can kinda see how there was more filling than space in the crust buuuuut I made it fit. :o) Mr A is spoiled for only having ever had my homemade pumpkin pies that he is scared to try store bought pies. I love the fall season specificall for the fact that I can make yummi warm foods such as these. Oh, and this year's pie came out slightly better than last year since previously we did not have a blender. Yeah, go ahead and contemplate that scenario.

I have also been knitting up a storm on my Boise shawl. The photo is what it looked like about this time last week. I was nearing the end of my second ball. Now, I am about the same place in my third ball. I was making good time and really chugging forward, aside from GIANT mishaps yesterday. I spent about 4 hours trying to figure out where I made a mistake and how to get back to it to fix it. But the problem is now solved! So the only way to go from here is up! Or forward.. And I must say that with my last week (that one that didn't exist, remember?) one of the things keeping me sane was knitting. While I was inable to move and barely able to stay awake for longer than 1.5 hours at a time, it made me feel really good to feel like I was accomplishing something and making progress somewhere. Knitting, you are my best medicine.
Happy October, everyone :o)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Knitting questions

A little contest that I just became aware of via my hostess's blog. I figured it could be fun since I am still in recoup time.

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
There can be two answers to this question; the physical spot and the mental spot. My favorite physical knitting spot has to be (like most people) on the couch in front of the tv. This gives me the best place in the house to be, first of all. I can see everything, I am in the middle of everything, and I have have my knitting on my lap. What's better than that? My favorite metal knitting spot can really be anywhere physical, as long as it is more or less comfortable. I like to be relaxed, enjoying myself and all over getting that feeling of accomplishment.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
Since I have so many things I love to do, this is (fortunately?) an easy question. I would play my guitar, paint, draw and dance. If the question were instead worded "if your fingers fell off and you could never have the dexterity again that you do now" then I think my only option would be to dance. Luckily, it is something I love to do.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
Anywhere? I think I would have to go back to Fiji. It was so welcoming, so beautiful and in the midst of the lack of technology (where we were on the Island at least) it felt so much like home that I had missed for too long. I could have stayed there forever never even thinking of picking up a computer again and still have been the happiest in my life.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
Who says I grew up? Who says I'm not little? Who says that I can't go do something else if I decide I don't like what I am doing right now. Oh boy, I have plans. One day I am going to cullinary school to be a chef. I am going to be a dancer too. I am also going to cure the world of diseases, one at a time.

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Right now I really just want the basic strawberry flavor. Icecreams have too much packed into them now with the flavories, swirlies and other goop. What happened to the most basic and satisfying single flavor. Mm strawberry.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Well, this is supposed to be my crafty blog where I only talk about my knitting and dancing, but this has beena big deal to me for the past 2 days so I figured I should talk about it. Fair warning: GRAPHIC.
Yesterday was my wonderful appointment to get my 8 teeth out. I was given a sleeping pill to take 1 hour before getting to the appointment. It's a good thing I told Mr A how to get to the office as we were leaving the apartment, because I must have started nodding off even before we got on the bridge. All I remember was waking up to see him taking the wrong exit to which I screamed "Not this exit! The one after Rowland!" and plopping back out. I remember parking the car and trying to sit in the waiting room. They took my right into the back room and told me to lie down on the chair. Two women were in the room, and one of them handed me a little blue stress ball and told me to keep squeezing. I thought I needed to squeeze it to puff up my vein so that they could give me my IV. I remember closing my eyes, listening to the TV that was on and thinking "I need a break. I can't squeeze" The same woman told me to keep squeezing, and at some point a mask went over my nose. I stopped squeezing again. After the third time, I began crying because I couldn't squeeze any more. I remember the Dr coming in and talking and someone wiping my face. That was it.
I don't remember waking up. I don't remember having to pee (Mr A asked if I remembered peeing and I asked if I managed to make it to the bathroom... luckily I was auditory so i was escorted) and I don't even remember making it up the three flights of stairs to my home. I do remember going to the bathroom to pull gause out of my mouth and not knowing the difference between numb lip and wet gause. Red spilled all down the front of my shirt. I took a nap with ice on my cheeks. Mr A brought me chocolate pudding and a vicodin. I was only able to eat one spoon full. At some point I tried having a smoothy. Apparently trying to ingest anything did not work well. I also tried taking vicodin, my antibiotics and my antiinflammatory, all of which have the side effect of upset stomach and nausea. I couldn't keep anything down. I was so hopped up that I didn't care at all about the work they were doing on my roof. I slept through it. Yesterday was very hard. Last night was very restless and I didn't sleep the whole night through. I kept tryig to get comfortable while not touching my cheeks.
Today went a little better. My left cheek is bruised and my face is puffy. I've been eating better even though it is mostly jello, pudding and a bowl of mac n cheese. Ice has been a very close friend of mine. I'll be looking forward to the weekend being over and being over this fun time.
The only crafy thing I have to say is that I have finally commited to memory the boise shawl pattern. I am proud of that. :o)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Remember the Blanket?

Yeah, that thing that I spent 3 weeks chugging out as quickly as possible to send to my old friend who's baby came 3 months early and I was caught off guard by his early arrival? Well, I heard from my friend today that his wife *loved* the blanket, the detail and the color. She announced that it would be the blanket Brandon would be wrapped in when he receives his blessing at church in November. Guess who's beaming!! Yeah, that would be me and my baby blanket making skills. ...Okay, it was basic K, YO, and K2tog.. But non-knitters don't know that! It made me very proud and with a week like I am having this week, it really made my week.
(Why the bad week? In brief: yesterday was an ultrasound for ovarian cysts, Thursday I am getting 4 wisdom + 4 other non impacted teeth pulled and during the weekend while I am recovering they have decided to do roof work on my apartment building o_O ..I'm gonna be a happy camper!! Maybe I'll get a bit of knitting done those 4 days. Oh, anyone have good mushy food suggestions? Jell-o, pudding, creamed spinach, icecream... what else?)
Hooray for knitting!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Boise Update

I know I haven't posted anything recent on the boise shawl. I am crawling along. It is really nice and soft to work with and really glides for the most part. I am maybe a row away from the end of ball one, and have just finished my 8th 12 row repeat. However, it feels like the shawl has been this length forever. Anyway! I show picture now.

One of the pictures is with the flash on, the other with the flash off. Show slightly different textures. I can't wait to actually be able to wear this thing. Especially since it is getting colder. Mmmmm how I'd love to wear it right now :o)


I was emailed my spoilee's information today. Hooray! I'm excited :o)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questions

There has been a lot more belly dance talk here than normal, and so much more than knitting lately. I am participating in Secret Pal for the first time, and they just put out their survey. So here goes:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I really like everything. I have grown out of my Lion Brand phase when I was first learning and it was lots of yarn for not so lots of money. I think that is the only thing I would scrunch my nose at. I am very open to all sorts of yarns. Except fun fur. No fun fur.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a case dedicated to circs, one for straights, one for long straights, and one for hooks that (even though it is made from the same company) is too small to fit any of them in, diameter-wise. Sometimes the needles actually make it into the cases, and sometimes not so much. Those cases? Usually on the floor somewhere.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
History: I learned to crochet by teaching myself single chains 8 years ago. I was frustrated that I could never find good crochet patterns and everything was knit, so I decided I had to learn how to knit to make all the cool stuff. I tried teaching myself from a book 5 years ago, and that failed when I couldn't figure out how to cast on. Almost 2 years ago a group at school got together and learned to knit. I've been doing it since. I would consider myself intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, I can't keep track of things like that and I know if I had one, it would make me spend way more money than I need on random useless things.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Oh, goodness... Just about anything. I love scents. Vanilla especially, jasmine, plumeria. I absolutely *love* Indian spices.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Those little chocolate things that look like flattened out kisses with the white candy dots on them. And chocolate stars. Mmm. Chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin. Too poor to get that hard core. I paint though, but not as regularly as knitting. I also draw and color, I cross stitch, and I love love love cooking. Just about anything crafty is on my to-do list.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I love all types of music... seriously. I am big right now on anything I can dance to. I am also ashamed of my very small Arabian music collection. Shakira, Jurassic5, Gorillaz, Gnarles Barkley, D.Mode, John Mayer, and Corrine Bailey Rae are some of my tops right now. The one person I can't stand? Dave Matthews. And yes, I can play mp3s

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love cool colors; blue, purple, green. Pink is the only color I can do without.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married and have 2 kitties. They are my babies and are so spoiled... yes, I knit a kittypi for them... the cats that is.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I have made myself more scarves than I can count, but surprizingly only one hat. Hmm.. I have never caught onto the poncho phase and am still unclear how I feel about them. I do love accessories, though so I'd probably welcome them all.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I've caught the sock bug lately. Soon I am going to be starting my first sweater, scarves are always easy and most of my gifts to friend tend to be scarves. I'm working on a Karabella shawl right now. Favorite items? I love everything!!

13. What are you knitting right now?
Karabella Boise shawl. I am crawling along and it seems like it has been at the same length forever. But it is so cozy to knit!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
They are the best! It shows thought and care. :o)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I'm really feeling circulars right now. I love bamboo, although for socks I've been using addi turbos. I'm very curious about the knit picks regular circs and the interchangables. I am also a fan of addi turbos and Naturas. I'm also trying to get my hands on some longer circs so I can learn to do the magic loop.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Lucky me, I own both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I am monogomous. If there is a UFO in my stash, it is because I have decided that yarn is hideous and I will never finish it out of disgust (read back to growing out of the lion brand phase). Actually.. I think a few months ago I threw it out. It is possible for someone to have no UFOs and only one WIP! :o)

18. What is your favorite holiday?
I love Christmas. I don't know. Not necessarily the gifts, but things just feel different around that time. The winter atmosphere. And the massive amounts of food and cooking. Aww comfort foods.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I used to collect model horses (Breyer) but at $30+ a pop, it's not something I can keep up with, especially if they are just going to sit there and be looked at. I am a packrat. I collect everything I get. Things that smell good, yarn, I love anything by Amy Brown, candles, potpourri, little scented tarts that you can put in a burner and let fill the house with yummy smells for hours. Also, anything belly dance related.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Hmm. Well, I have a subscription to Interweave knits, and am letting my subscription to Creative knitting expire (I like IK better). I'm intrigued by Vogue knitting and Rowan. I have a few knitting books: Sensational Socks, Fabulous felted bags, Vogue Stitchionary, Vogue Knitting on the Edge, SnB Handbook and Happy Hooker. I am always welcoming new books.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I ususally don't know I want to learn a technique until I have to use it in a pattern I am working from. The one thing I do want to learn is how to knit 2 items at the same time using the magic loop. What is stopping me? I don't have long enough circs and I need a project for it. (socks, gloves, leg warmers... hmm there are 3 ideas) Maybe knitting backwards?

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I love sock knitting! I've made one! ..single sock. A knit along distracted me and my monogomous self from finishing the seacond one. I think I am going to have to start cheating soon. Circumference: 8 1/4" Heel to Toe: 8" Toe: 1 1/4" Heel Height: 2 1/4" Calf: 11"

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

End Workshop

Well, yesterday was the last day of the Week long workshop. It was an exciting and intimidating day. I was daunted by the amount of things we still seemingly had to do. We had not drilled exterior hip circles, vertical or horizontal figure eights, or upper body work. It was pretty scarey. We ended up only focusing on the figure eights. At one point we had to try a very level 3 layering; horizontal figure eights back to front at the same time as vertical figure eights up to down. My body didn't really want to do that combo and for some reason thought that an 8 down to up would have gone better back to front, or an 8 up to down would have gone with a front to back. I don't think I managed a single one the way I was supposed to, but it was cool to try such an interesting layer. Lunch was provided, and it was all ethnic food. Hummus, grape leaf wrapped rice, and other yummi goodies. Again, Jamila was there to show us movies and to talk with us. I loved having her there. It made lunch time so relaxing and enjoyable. It was also very educational. One of the first days (I don;t remember) one of the girls asked Jamila for an autograph in her zills book. Her responce was "You want an autograph? Awww... that's so corny!" She signed with one of her zills patterns. When this story was relayed to Suhaila, she said "Ha! That is so my mom. But you know... she *loves* it." It was adorable. Watching the way the two of them interacted was amusing. Truely loving.
After lunch we finished the choreography. My feet were hurting so bad at this point that I just wanted it to be done. I couldn't spin at the end as fast as I should have been. And I lacked enthusiasm. I feel so accomplished knowing the whole choreography, but I also felt bad for not being able to put my whole into it like I should have (and most of the other girls did). When we were all dancing the choreogrpahy for the last time, one girl asked if she would join us. "You are trying to get me to perform for you" and wagged her finger. K responded "No, I want you to dance *with* us." Suhaila grin and said "Ahh.. now THAT I will do." She told us that if you know how to present things properly, she'll do anything. For instance the difference between dancing with us and for us was what got her to actually do it. I think it was Thursday Suhaila split the room in two, half one would dance and then half two would dance. I thought I was in the second half and while half 1 was about to go I got water and walked around to sit with the others. Suhaila pointed at me and asked me if I was on side one. *deer in headlights* I studdered something about thinking I was in group 2 and well, now I'm not sure, and after a bit of going back and forth I offered "Would you like me to be in side 1?" She grinned and said "Ha! That I like. You have a future" Apparently with Suhaila everything rides on the way you say things and how you respond. It really didn't matter to me which side I was on, so if she had wanted me in the first group I would have gone. I was amused that my responce had such an impact on her.
Having the last day of the workshop was a relief and kinda sad at the same time. I have really enjoyed spending all this time with these wonderful dancers, but I was still very ready to get a break. I really met some great people, and they inspired me. I knew I was not ready to test to be certified for level 2, so I was not stressed at all. Two of the girls did test. I hope they did well. I feel that I learned more in this workshop than I have in the whole last rotation. I have so much that I can take from this experience and apply to my weekly classes. I have a better understanding of what I need to be a better dancer; the things I need to strive for, how to apply myself during classes, and what to focus on. I lvoed every painful moment of this week. It was awesome.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Day 3.

Wednesday was most denfinitely hump day. Going back to the workshop on Tuesday was okay. The balls of my feet hurt a little because they aren't used to supporting all of my weight at once, but when I got up Wednesday morning I nearly fell over. The balls of my feet were still sore, my calves hurt and my quads were weak. And I had an hour before I was to undure more working. During the warm up (where we do stretches and various crunches, working out, and other painful activities) I could feel my calf muscles as though they were separate entities from my legs. I could feel the muscle fibers pulling and rubbing against each other as I would contract, and I could feel them push as I released. It was weird. It was like I had a hard ball sitting next to my leg and when I could move I could feel it press against the back of my leg. And that was just the beginning of my day. I can only hold home position for a short while before my knees start to burn. Something is wrong in the way I am standing. My knees don't align with my toes so holding a bent knee position like that starts to hurt. I need to work on pushing my knees out while my feet are straight so that everything ends up in the same direction. But then my problem became that I was overcompensating. I need to figure out where the comfortable balance is. By lunch time, I couldn't feel 2 of my toes on my left foot. I didn't end up feeling them until about 7pm last night.
Before we started working on choreography, Suhaila talked to us about our "issues" of the day. Apparently in every week long workshop, Wednesday is when all the personal issues surface. Every time we dance adn try, we have the 2 little voices. One saying that we can do it, and the other telling us we can't (both of my voices have spoken here) and Wednesday is when the can't-voice screams louder than the can. It's hump day. During our moment, things became very emotional. One woman started crying. One woman equated how in the warm up when we are doing our 10 minutes of presses (a very painful thing that when she feels like she can't do it, her can't voice tells her that she's never going to get a job like this. How is she going to succeed at anything if she can't even do the presses? There are some things that when we do them, we get very emotional and for some reason (maybe pain?) we get a scrunched look on our face and any minute we will cry. I was kind of shocked to see so many other seasoned dancers struggling with the same things I am, and near tears at the same places I am. I originally thought this workshop would bring dancers that are even more advanced that the ones I am dancing with in class, but really, some are better, and some are on my exact level. We are the full spectrum of level 2 dancers. In class, there are level 2.5 and some who are in level 3. I keep forgetting that those girls are at the school all the time, where as the workshop girls fly in specifically for this opportunity.
That was hump day. Today is day 4 for us. I am looking forward to being past my breaking point and having a day very reminiscent of day 1 or 2. My toes are numb again, and the balls of my feet feel like there are really balls stuck to the bottom of my feet (this feeling I am sure is what is making my toes numb), and my calf muscles are sore, but I am sure today will go excellently. Oh, and for a smidge of knitting post, I brought my boise to the workshop and finished 4 rows before the start and at lunch. I'm still knitting!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day 1.

Yesterday (as you all know by now) was day one of my week long belly dance workshop. I was scared and Sunday night I could not get to sleep. I showed up to the studio and had to fill out waivers and sign in, then I got a goodie bag. It contained lots of bath salts, lotion, and one of those lotion sock thingies that you wear on your feet over night. By the end of the day, I needed it. When we were about to start, she had us all gather in a circle (it reminded me of story telling time in kindergarten) and we talked about our goals, why were here, how this helps us grow, and in general about the dance. It was an excellent way to start class, because it made us feel lifted and excited. We started out like a normal class: breathing, stretching, pushups.. 100 bicycle sit ups!! (she made us count out loud) At one point when she was walking around the room helping people, Suhaila stopped next to me and (as I continued to do my plie-ing and grand plie-ing) she straightened my tangled tank strap. I was very amused. We also watched as 5 cops were standing around right in front of our door arresting some guy. Suhails said "What, they can't move to the left 10 feet in front of the business that is closed?! They have to do it here? Men!! And tey think they are going to save the world this way!" Back to class, we did tendues like we would in the dance movements class, plies, battements, and the like. Then we went into glutes and doing singles. We did drills around the room and by lunch time, I was ready to eat and sit. My feet were beginning to get sore. Suhaila's mom, Jamila had come just before lunch and asked if we wanted to watch a movie of Suhaila from 1992 (I think). She was happy to show us. Then we watched a documentary on gypsies. Suhaila tried calling us back to class, but Jamila said "2 more minutes! It's right there!! Just 2 more minutes!" "No, Mom. Your 2 minutes are.. 2 Arab minutes! They last forever!"
The second half of the day I spent fairly frustrated. I wanted to try to moves and practice and do everything, but my feet were killing me. I tried barefoot, with jazz shoes, and wearing the foot undies. The shoes hurt them more and the undies only helped slightly. I have never experienced this before. Not in class. I usually tire out because my whole body doesn't want to work. But here, my body wanted to work but my damn feet were quitting! All I could do was walk in line with the others and do the painful foot steps and visualize the hip squares we were doing. It takes a lot of concentration when your feet hurt that badly. After yesterday ended, I sat and thought about what we were doing and what all of this is. Basically, the level 2 workshop takes the whole format, the whole 10 week rotation schedule, and we pretty much learning it and go through it in 5 days. So what we would take 2 weeks to learn if I was just going to my hour long class, we leaned in just yesterday. 10 weeks is getting smushed into 5 days. It is also in level 2 and in this workshop that we learn to become good students. Level 2 is where we really begin to understand what we need to learn and how to learn it. I am so glad I signed up for this. The worrying was unneccessary, but this workshop is awesome.
When I came home, the first thing I did was make a hot hot bubble bath and just soak. It felt very good. After cooking dinner I had to go to BigRock to check on my cells and gather up data so I could get something accomplished this week. I also didn't want to be driving back and forth to work every day after I was exhausted from class, when all I have to do right now is data analysis and that can be done at home.
This morning, how do I feel after yesterday's workout and 4 more consecutive ones to follow? My feet feel a little better (let's see how long that lasts) but my calves are beginning to feel some burn. By Friday I am probably going to be so burnt. Heh.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

5 days!

That's right. 5 days until my belly dance workshop of DOOM!! Or something. First, I would like to intro this post with something that one of the girls who is going to be in this workshop showed me. It is a comic to those who don't know any better, and so much an ironic truth to those of us who do. This, I imagine is what I will look like every. single. day. next week. I am so excited and feeling almost not prepared enough. Luckily, I have this weekend to jsut sit down and think about the power bars I need to get, the towel and deodorant I need to bring, the gatorades and lunches I need to plan. And then how to relax and just dance! That's what this is about, right? Dancing all week for one week. Intense dancing. Lots of it. But dancing!!
So what could top that comic? Envisioning me dragging myself up 3 flights of stairs to the cushy bed that will be calling my name. Well, it has been too long since the last time I bought dance shoes. They are too small and my cats chewed one of the laces so it ties.. oddly. Every time I put them on I think "Dammit.. I need new shoes". So today I stopped at the dance store (Actually, it was a costume store and along with dance stuff they had a whole inventory for Halloween..) and tried on various shoes. I found a pair that fit! And needs major breaking in. But they fit. (Can I break in a pair of shoes in one weekend?) I go to pay and they have these little bad sock/shoe thingies. Image included if my description wasn't good enough. The brand name is "footUndeez". Why? Well.. look at them. They look like granny panties. And (I wish I could google an image) when they are NOT on a cute little model's foot, they look even more like the Undeez. They are comfortable (I bought a pair) but it makes me giggle just thinking about the conversation I had with the cashier: "I thought they were little panties people would put on their keychains! It seemed wierd to me, but they are really popular!" Heh.
Those are my thoughts for the day. I must eat something before going to (guess?) dance. And I'll wear my new foot paraphernalia :o)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ending one, Beginning one

The blanket is finished. And that makes me happy. Mr. A told me last night when I held it up to show him that "it looks like a normal people blanket because it's so big!" Aren't I glad I only used 3 of the 6 balls I had bought? Haha. Here is the picture as promised in the last post. I couldn't find the pen I kept using as a size guage, but I think the couch gives a good indication of size.

Thursday night was the second Boise night. At least for me anyway. Everyone who was working on the shawl had such beautiful progress. It was very exciting to see everyone's work and all the pretty colors that this shawl was chosen to be made into. I wasn't quite as far as the others though. At the cast on last week, I ripped out my first cast on in order to do one I preferred better. Then I dropped a stitch and didn't realize that my mysterious missing stitch was a dropped one until Friday. It was fixed. I had finished the purl row after my second pattern row, and since my fingers were occupied on another project, I didn't touch it until this Thursday. It was then that I realized that instead of moving forward in my pattern, I had just knit the first row again and my second pattern row. Read: I wasn't getting anywhere. So before starting I opted to rip back instead of tinking. Yep. Had to cast on again. I got into the first pattern row and at the end of it, I realized I had one too many stitches. Arg. Rip. After this cast on, I was still in the garter stitch border when it looked like a YO next to the cast on row, but there was no way to get rid of the ugly little hole. And yes.. something that small would drive me nuts. For those of you counting, this is rip #4. By the time I left knit night, I had a greand total of 2 garter stitch rows. It was a little frustrating, but I guess some nights are just not meant to be spent knitting. Even though it takes me all night to make that realization. I did not try to work on it at home, instead I just crawled in bed to try to sleep my headache away.

Last night I decided was a perfect night for knitting. Wonderful Ms. J sent me the chart she made for the pattern. I have never read a chart before, but I decided trying to decipher "\ . ./././. /" is easier than trying to read "blah blah blah, [blah (ee!!!)x3 blah blah] x3 blah blah (blah) x3 blah blah blah." It is very nice that I can look at my work and look at the chart and see the same image on my fabric as there are symbols on the chart. Thank you Ms. J for introducing me to this wonderful world of easy pattern reading! (And to the Queen for offering her version as well) The peg board that Maya Papaya let me borrow is also helping very much to keep track of exactly where I am. By the time I set down the Boise shawl last night, I had finished the first 11 row repeat. Hooray!! Now that I have that one set finished, I really understand the pattern. This is going to fly. I showed Mr. A what I had done so far and he poked at it saying "Wow! It's like.. you're first real pattern!" o.O Hey! My sock wasn't a real pattern? The blanket wasn't a real pattern?! The FROG BAG??? "I mean... your first complicated pattern.. with like... the little holes in it and the stuff and this [pointing to some stitch repeat in the shawl]" Thanks, hun! I corrected him in that this was not my first pattern or my first complicated pattern, but probably my first lace pattern. :p Since I was in a picture taking mood, I also took pictures of the first repeat. Hooray!!
The image on the left is the overall image. Silly circs make it curl.

The image on the right (or bottom) is a close up of the patterning.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I finished the baby blanket at midnight last night. I was working on it is the evening and by the time I started the border of 12 garter stitches, I thought "I am not going to sleep until this is completed!" I ended up using only half the yarn I thought I was going to need. It is so big and soft and stretchy. And I am very proud of it. All I have to do on it is weave in the ends. I'll be posting pictures .... later when I am looking more awake.
Now I only have my boise shawl! Hello monogomy :o) I feel so much better when I only have one project, especially when that project is something that I am really excited about and want to put all of my focus into. Hooray!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

1 week, 4 days!

Until the Suhaila workshop, that is. And how am I feeling? A little nervous. A little scared. And a lot unprepared. I can't believe it is already September, and the MIDDLE of September at that. I've hit a plateau and it is making it hard on me. I know mentally what my body should be doing, when it should be doing it and how to do it. But my body is half assedly relpying. I am thinking too hard on getting it right. Maybe that is my problem. Monday I felt like a duck again, and things didn't look right. At least to my super critical eye. I wonder if I was a little to overzealous in signing up for this workshop and if maybe I should have waited a few months to a year. I hope this helps me grow and gives my body at least a better understanding of how to go about dancing.
I think I am too stressed out about things. The baby blanket that needs to be finished. The boise shawl that I am itching to work on. The sweater that I can't wait to start. The 4 teeth that I are going to be extracted in less than a month. Too much is going on. I am getting a little overwhealmed. Eek. I am also trying to figure out how I am going to pull off going to this workshop all week 9am-3:30pm and then battle traffic to get to work to at least do something. Sigh.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blanket Part 2

I have spent almost all day today working on the baby blanket, some of yesterday, and a few hours Friday night. I am currently on the third skein of yarn and at the rate I am going I may finish sooner than expected. It is actually growing larger than expected with the yardage already knit up.

I am really excited to almost being finished with a project and only having just begun the Boise. At least I can claim I am mostly project monogomous! :o)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh boy, oh Boise!

Tonight was the cast on for the boise shawl. Hooray! I had brought the baby blanket to work on until we officially cast on. We had red velvet cupcakes ala Snark, and wine brought in by Lisa. Perfect cast on party treats. It was great fun; the group was our usual boisterous selves during the cast on and the first 4 rows of garter stitch. But there was a large silence where it was obvious that we were all concentrating very hard on the first row of actual stuff.. the 3 repeats in the section to be repeated 3 times, followed by something very similar that overall lasts for 94 stitches. Once most of us had that first row down it was gabby time for the purl row until the stuff row happened again. I managed to end my second row with 4 too many stitches and spent the last 10 minutes of knit night undoing that row to within 10 stitches of the beginning, and redoing it. The second time it came out exact. Hooray!

The yarn is very nice and fun to knit with. It is all soft and speedy. And speedy does mean it knits fast and it slips.. a lot. But it is soft, so it's all okay. This is my and the group as a unit's first knit along, and I am super thrilled. :o) I can't wait until we are all mid knit with the same shawl in varying lengths and colors all with our own personal touches. Mmmm KAL's.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I had a little bit of time, so I thought I would show what I had done on the baby blanket. This is the amount after a week and a half of knitting. Note, I don't have a huge amount of time to knit what with 8 hours of work and a number of hours of dancing each week. But by these estimations, I should be done in 3 more weeks? Maybe? Why didn't someone tell me to make an itty bitty sweater? :p I also added a close up picture of the corner to show the stitch detail. Yai blanket. And two days until Boise!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006


The Boise knit along starts this week! Can I be any more excited? My mother in law came out this week, half on business and half to visit us. They were supposed to get in about 5pm Thursday night, and my plan was to take her to knit night while Mr. A found something for his dad to do. Of course, the train got in 7 hours late, so that didn't happen. Instead, before all of the rush of everything we had planned to do this weekend, I took her to Marin Fiber Arts on Saturday morning. She noticed the main difference between a California shop and a New England shop: here we have light yarns to make a variety of light things while there, they have very heavy wools for making afghans and thick sweaters. She was amazed at all of the yarns and the different types Warren has. We seemed to do a pretty good job of distracting Warren and Maya from rearranging the shop to actually get some yarn on shelves. We both ended up getting the Rowan Classic Style book 16, because there were so many cute things in there! She also bought some yarn to do one of the vests in said book along with 2 balls of the very Tapestry I have been eyeing since it first surfaced in the shop. Since it was recently my birthday, she was going to let me spend some money on yarn. After some debate, I ended up going with the turquiose (525 Kingfisher apparently) color. I have commited to the 2 person knit along that will commence once the shawl is completed! :o) Maya and I have both fallen for a certain sweater top pattern in the most recent Interweave Knits, and since there was so much talk about knit alongs being thrown around what with the addictive shawl, we decided to have a mini one as well. Hooray!
We came back to the apartment and Deb had some hanks that she wanted spun; she doesn't have a swift in Boston (why there are knitters out there who don't is beyond me. It is your best friend!!). She has been working on a sweater for me and had just finished the back. We measured it to make sure it would fit. One of the hanks we spun was the yarn for this. I didn't recognize it since it was almost a year since I picked out the yarn and commented how pretty it was as I was setting it up. At least it's nice to know that I still like it! It is a wool blend with.. something (refer back to that year thing.. and I was hurrying a little so I didn't look at the tag) and is very soft when loose in the hank. However, when knit it became a little rougher. It is still very nice in the sweater, it is just going to need to have a little cami under it when I wear it. Yai! Someone is knitting me something! I think this may be my first knitted gift FROM someone. Heh.
There was a good deal of driving the past 2 days, and at every chance I could (when not getting car sick) I would knit a row on the baby blanket. One ball down....5 to go? At the rate I seem to be going It may taken me a month to finish it. But the knit alongs will hinder progress that quickly. Oh well. Speaking of which.. I should make some progress...

Friday, August 25, 2006

I need 40 hour days...

Only two weeks until the Boise knit along. Every day I come into my "yarn room" (yes, in my teeny apartment I have a yarn room.. also a guitar room, a sewing room, a train room... it's all the same room, but it's there!) and I stare at my bag of beautiful yarn. I can't wait to start it, and it is going to be so cool that a whole group of other people are going to be knitting it with me. Going to this knitting group has brought me a lot of firsts. I made my first felted bag (first larger felted object), I am going to be doing my first knit along, and last night, I finished my first sock!!! So exciting! I'll post pictures in my next entry, I don't have quite enough time to do it now. But it felt so good! The sock is very cute. I made it an ankle sock since I don't like for them to be too tall on my leg. I think it is just barely too big and that I should have started the heel almost half and inch before I did. But oh well. It still fits reasonably well, and it was a learning experience. These are going to be socks for wearing at home when my feet are cold. Well, when I finish the nexst sock.
Before starting the sock, I had to struggle to think of something to do.. before I eventually decided on braving sock making. Now, I have so many projects lined up that I am going to have to work on multiple items at once. Don had a baby on Monday. It wasn't due until October, so I thought I had plenty of time to waste before diving into the baby item for him. Brandon is only about 4.5lbs, and I have to work quick! I am making a baby blanket and will send it out to them as quickly as I can. Oh yeah, did I mention I have this knit along? And the knit along after that? Or how about the mate to my first sock? Yep. Looks like I am going to have plenty of things to keep me busy.
And if I didn't have enough knitting to do, dancing has become very intense. On Monday I am taking 2 hours of class, Wednesday I am taking another hour of class, and on Saturday I am taking a choreography class. Because of the choreogrpahy, I need to practice the dance a good amount of time so that when I go into class I don't look like the only fool who doesn't know what they are doing. I think I get too stressed out before classes. Outside of class I think all these happy things about dancing and how fun it is, and how much I love belly dancing. But at the same time, I look at all these girls who are dancing with me and I think how will I ever become as good as them? Will I always be tripping over my own feet and never be able to do a horizontal figure 8 front to back while my feet are doing a pas de bourettee? It also didn't help that I talked to a girl before class on Wednesday and she told me about a journal she follows of one of the girls who is taking the currently on going Level3 Workshop (note: in a few weeks, I am going to be taking the level 2 Workshop). Apparently in the journal, the girl says that in the survivor bag that Suhaila gives everyone, one fo the items is a box if tissues. And that on the first day she had the whole group in tears. o_O She also said everything was double time... I can just barely do full time and get lost when I have to even think about double time. When I told the girl that I am going to the level2 workshop, she said she wasn't because she didn't have the endurance... This girl dances better than I do. She has better buscle control and can have her feet do one thing while her hips/abs/objiques are doing something else. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I am beginning to doubt that I should have signed up for this. I think that talking about all of these things made me stress out before dancing. Eesh!

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's Official

The knit along is on! Last week at knit night we saw the demo of the Karabella Boise Lace Wrap, which was absolutely devine. It was in Warren's store made with the rose color (64 on the website). It was decided that we should have a knit along and we would cast on as a group on the first Thursday of September. I was bouncing between a few possible colors to make mine out of. There was a purple (65), a soft blue (67.. however it looks grey on my computer screen), and a soft green (68). I ultimately decided on the green since I am fond of the color and already have a blue shawl. The purple was also a little too striking although it is my favorite color. Maybe if it had been softer. In any case, I bought my yarn! Three of us did, actually and it seemed to make Warren's night. :o) I am very excited to start this and can't wait for September! We are decidedly having a party when the last person (most likely me.. I knit slow) finishes the wrap.
At the same time, Papaya and I decided to make the same top from the last issue of IK. Once the first knit along is completed, we are going to begin our own little knit along. Hooray!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yarn Swap

Yesterday the Berkeley SnB had a yarn swap where a bunch of people could get together and share their stashes of yarn in exchange for whatever else anyone wanted. I figured I'd bring a bunch of the yarns I have laying around that wasn't already tagged for some project and whatever I couldn't exchange for something I would have donated to the local women's shelter. One of the women bought 4 skeins from me, and I traded one skein with another woman for 2 small skeins of her yarn. I ended up leaving most of my yarn there for being donated, and the fact that I left with my Stitches bag almost completely empty made me feel like the day was quite successful.
One of the girls there wore her freshly completed Mesilla from knitty. I *think* she used knitpick's Shine yarn, and it came out really pretty. It kinda fit better than the one of the website. Another woman brought her foster kittens. They were so cute and were very curious! 3 week old kittens! I wanted to trade yarn for one of them although I don't think someone would have forgiven me if I had. Mr. A would have gotten over it because it's a small cute fuzzy thing, but Ms. CoraTess on the other hand.. She wasn't too happy a year ago when I brought our second cat home. Oh well, they were fun to pet.
I also got some time to work on my sock. There were two other socks in progress by various people. Hooray for socks! In all, it was a very nice time with other knitters. AND I made some room in my bureau for more yarns! Hooray! Oh, and everyone commented on my frog purse. Yai for fun knitting!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Commence Belly Dance Boot Camp

Wednesday night was my weekly Belly Dance Level 2 class from 8-9:15pm. For some reason there were only 4 of us there as opposed to the usual 10+. This didn't bother me since it was also the reason why I liked dancing in the middle of the day on Thursday, not to mention I am a morning person and after getting up at 7am all week, dancing until 9pm is a little hard. It was a good class. We were doing exterior hip circles with varying foot work. And I was actually getting it! I could (even if it was only for a few counts) do a 3 beat foot work like paus de bourette with the 4 beat hip circles layered ontop of that. I'm finally coming out of my plateau, and it feels great. The only problem was I would get a little screwed up and miss miss a foot step which would then switch my feet.. So, while everyone was stepping on their left foot, I would be stepping on my right. But it was okay, because I realized what was making me do that.

At the end of class, Kendra told me that I was going to need to start working on my stamina. She knows I don't like taking Dance Movements and Belly Dance 2 back to back, but that I am going to have to start doing so in order to be able to survive the week long workshop in September. Oof. I hadn't even thought of that. If I had, I would have been doing this whole 10-week rotation with the classes back to back... and I would be complaining about it more here. I have 7 weeks until the workshop as of this coming Monday. Eee!! That means from 9:30am-3:30pm Monday-Friday of the last week in September, I am going to be dancing my tush off while being pushed by Suhaila herself. And apparently she's not going to let me get away with some of the lazy things I do in Kendra and Tiffany's classes. 0:) So to ease myself in, on Monday's I am going to start doing both classes, and still show up to level 2 on Wednesdays. I am hoping to do that for maybe 2 or 3 weeks before taking both classes both nights. Ee! I am either going to come out of this more exhausted than I have ever been in my life, or I am going to be crazy energized from it. Kendra also told me that the pain my muscles are going to feel after the workshops is going to be the kind where I am going to need a salt soak in the bath every night when I get home... someone please tell em what I have gotten myself into. I'm so looking forward to it though! But I can't believe it is coming up so quickly!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My name is Kiwi... and I have a problem...

Tonight I walked into MFA with a completed felted frog bag (that I am testing out to make sure it works before sending it out... we don't want it falling apart while I am not available to fix it!!) ;o) as well as the desire to start my first pair of socks. I wanted to go all out with this pair; knit two at once on the magic loop! I can start big! I've never knit socks before, but who cares?! I have my book on knitting socks and my 2 print outs on how to do the magic loop. I didn't quite get off to such a booming start as I had hoped. With Warren's help, I started slightly slower by getting myself 2 US1 Addi Turbo needles so that I could knit one sock on two needles. Ehh. Two socks on one needle, one sock on two needles.. who's counting? Warren showed me an excellent cast on using a crochet hook (which also reminded me how long it has been since I have crocheted anything) and once I got the hang of using such small needles, things went very well.

Socks are addictive. I haven't even finished my first TOE and I know *why* socks are addictive. They flow so nicely, everything moves smoothly, it is truely relaxing. And with my half finished toe at 9pm I decided it would be more than appropriate to join the sockanon club. Because it may be a little early to tell, but I think I am going to be addicted. Socks are going to become my default projects. I can see it now. Once I get my first pair done, I am going to move onto the magic loop (I'm on a mission with this thing.. there's no stopping me) and just pump these critters out as quickly as my little fingers can get them. The most recent knitty was dedicated to socks and I can't wait to try them. No sock will be left unknit. Guess what everyone I know is getting for Christmas this year. So yes, I think joining sockanon was a good idea. Plus, I'll be able to get more tips from Warren on how to do special sock-knitting techniques. (he couldn't show me te toe up cast on he was working on at the time since it is scheduled to be shown at the next meeting and a riot would have ensued by at least two of the members had I learned said CO early and as a non-member, no less) But I am very excited!

I also got a chance to have a turn at "looky what I did!" with the frog bag. Everyone watched as it was a large green pile of stockinette and now it came back as a teeny, put together, felted bag. :o) The only problem I have discovered during my test drive is that the flap doesn't stay down. ::sighs dreamily:: If only I could find a button in the shape of a bug so that it wouldn't look odd coming out of frog's tongue. :gasp:: What's this? Warren has buttons? In the shapes of LADY BUGS?! I bought the purple and green one, and before too long it will forever be perched precariously on the tip of the frog's tongue. Hooray for knitting.

Oh, and it is a sad day in the knitting community. The authors of "You Knit What??" have decided to hang it up. The comments and hilarity in regards to the never ending fug that people seem to be drawn to create and knit will never be the same without this site. Here's to hoping someone takes it over and continues making fun of the fun fur, unidentifiable creations, and other odd knittings.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

PIctures of the Frog

This morning I felted the frog bag for my mom. This pattern came from Nicky Epstein's book "Fabulous Felted Bags". It did a little better on the first cycle than I thought it would, and it also managed to wriggle its way out of the laundry bag I had stuffed it in which caused it to lose one eye in the felting process. No worries! I had extra yarn and easily sewed it back on.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Item is done!!!

Before leaving for work yesterday, I searched all over the house for something I would never find there. I had a ball of light green Cascade 220 left over from part of *item* and I was thinking of using scraps of it for the last two little pieces I had left. I eventually gave up looking for it at home, and when I arrived at the shop Warren told me I had left it there last week. Oops! I guess I was just so excited seaming last week that the idea of where my yarn was was out of my mind. Papaya also found lots of scraps for me to attempt to use for the negligable yards that I needed. I decided to use her purpley/pink color.

I didn't realize this until I got home and was stuffing the little bits, but the book has a typo! It told me to start with color A and switch to color D to make the bits, but when I was stuffing and holding them up to the rest of the project, something didn't look quite right. Boo. So I had to undo one to get the purpley/pink yarn out and used the very last little bit of dark green I had. And boy am I glad I had more than what the pattern required. With the "opps" that used a total of 4 rows of yarn (maybe a whole yard and a half) I had exactly enough to make both the bits. I was stressing at the end hoping that it would stretch to my needs, but then I was proud when I only had about 6 inches left, thinking "Ha! Take that, yarn."

This weekend I am going to felt it. I am so excited. This thing was very nice to knit and there was only one boring part, so I could definitely have knit forever, but I am also so excited to see it completed. Don't worry, pictures will be up within the next week or so. :o)

ANd now what shall my next project be??

Friday, July 21, 2006

Schedules of fun

On Monday I was not feeling spectacular enough to endure a class of hard core fendues with Tif, so I opted to stay home and relax instead. This meant that Wednesday was going to be very hard. Then I got the bright idea to only take Dance Movements Wednseday night and then slip out of work in the middle of the day to go to Belly Dance 2 on Thursday. Great plan. Wednesday was quite the workout. As much as it is painful at the time, I really like when Tif teaches because at the end it is very refreshing. Thursday I got into work a little early so that I could afford to take a few hours out of the middle of the day and still be able to get off in time for knitting that night. (yes, I know I have my priorities in line) There were only four of us in the midday class as opposed to the usual 10 or so. It made it very nice. We were also all hoovering around the same levels of ability, so that made it better. Because there were so few of us, we had more individual attention and could get better grasps on what we were doing. This week was interior hip squares, which are surprisingly complicated. I was actually able to do them even though I took it half as fast as I was supposed to. It felt so good to be dancing 12-1:15 instead of the typical 8-9:15pm. It was easier because I was more awake. I am almost considering making that my usual time because I enjoyed it so much. The only problem was a few hours later while I was running up and down stairs, running my assays I was starting to feel it in my calves. I was used to dancing and instantly passing out, not dancing then working even harder.
At knit night, I finished knitting the front of *item* and pieced it all togther. There are only two teeny tiny itty little pieces I have left to do, but that has to wait until I can get the scraps of the last color to make them. It's almost done! I'm so excited! Knit kight was relatively quiet last night, with only a select few of us in attendance. Aside from the preview of Hair, it was quiet for the most part outside as well.
Last night I was also informed that it is hard to follow my schedule and time of events. And I admit, looking at all of these posts I bounce from knitting to dancing to cross stitching to plants. So pretty much, I dance on Monday and Wednesday nights and go to knit night on Thursday nights. Thursday may also soon be home to midday dancing. And I also have that job thing during the day, more or less a 9-5. I have too many hobbies and interests. Or maybe I suffer from some serious ADD of sorts. But anyone who knew me would tell you that's obvious. ;)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Moving On

I finished one whole color tonight at knit night! The most tedious part of *item* is done! Hooray! Now it is onto smaller parts. I am so excited! I'm moving onto a new color! Before long, it will start to look like wha it is supposed to be. :o)

That is all..

What I've Learned

Dance this week has been quite a learning experience, so I have compiled a slight list for amusement.

When we are at the bar doing a particularly difficult set, when Tif asks "What are you guys thinking about" she doesn't want to hear "I'm hungry", she wants to hear that we are thinking about our turn out, where our toes are, pointing, square hips and chest lifted. Oops.

While doing the 10 minute sets of crunches, no matter how painful it is do not stop and close your eyes on the yoga mat. This results in sleep, and it's a lot harder to pull off falling asleep in a dance class than in your typical Calculus 2 course.

Part of learning how to belly dance is getting over the fact that the first 2 years you dance, you will feel like a duck. It's natural. The only way to overcome looking like a duck is being comfortable with the fact that at some times, you might look ducky. Once you have that established, the duck feeling magically goes away. ...I haven't accepted it yet.

If all else fails, describe the format creator when she was teaching these same movements while pregnant. For instance, hip triangles and hip V's: "So, when you do the triangle you pull your lower abs in and think about Suhaila when she was pregnant.. Her stomach would go to the sides and POOM POOM. So that's the visual you want to go for, where you're just pulling in your belly button." Then see how many of us can actually do it instead of standing there laughing.

As hard as Tif's classes are, they are much easier when you take one on one day and the other on the next scheduled day instead of unknowingly doing both classes back to back. 1 hour of her class leaves you feeling light and energized the next day. 2.5 hours of her class makes you not be able to walk normally for 4 days.

Part of not having a/c in the studio means that the front door must remain open if you don't want to suffocate. Part of leaving the door open means creepy guys walking down the street will see girls in skimpy tight dance gear and will hang around to get their jollies off of it. Part of creepy guys hanging around the school means the front doors need to be closed during the hottest part of the work out. Don't depend on the outside breeze, expect to sweat, and bring water.

Finally, everything is mental. You can't think about it too much or your body won't respond. And our bodies are more like belly dancers than we realize. "What?! You want me to do what?!?! Well you haven't paid attention to me, so I am going to go over here and do my own thing and NOT what you want me to do. Ha!!"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

BD2 and Birthday!!

With dance this week, I decided that on the off chance Tif was teaching Dance Movements as well as Belly Dance 2 I was going to be sure to go to class both Monday and Wednesday night instead of doubling up and being in pain until Saturday as was the case last week. Of course, when I think of these things K was back to teaching. Oh well. Dance Movements has become a lot easier than it was when I first started. I remember being frustrated at the end of every class not understanding why I couldn't do paus de bourrets, why I nearly fell over attempting to do something as "easy" as grande plie, and why my feet never looked right when I would go into releve. I now understand the answer to all these question, and can now actually *do* them. I am also learning with each class how to further improve what I am getting better at. I think the consept of the singular calf-thigh-quad-glute-lower ab muscle recently sunk in, and the idea that you keep that one large muscle contracted during everything. I am also learning that home position for belly dancing is *very* different than for jazz/ballet. And sometimes they get confused. This was the second week in the 10 week rotation. Tendues in Jazz/ballet and downs in Belly dancing. I feel stuck in belly dacing. I know what I am supposed to be doing. I know my glutes are supposed to contract at one timing as I walk in another timing. I conciously know what my body is supposed to do and what it is supposed to look like. But did my glutes want to do anything? Nope. They wanted to be lazy and let my obliques take over. It was very frustrating that all I could do was walk. They were not listening to me. I can do them beautifully just standing or in straddle split, but add travelling to that, and they freak out because suddenly something has changed. Gahh. I need to practice at home more. I have set up a schedule and I am so behind. I practiced once when I was supposed to. Very bad. Must. Work. This weekend.

Knitting! I have finished the first part of *item* (see previous post). Hooray! Now it is 60" of stockinette stitch! ...hooray. When I went into the store tonight, Papaya instantly gave me a job. Yai! String together letter spelling out "Happy Birthday Warren", when of course as I got the last few letters together, he walks in. We strung the letters across the walls of the store, of course the "string" was yarn.. since it is a yarn shop and all. I was up on the ladder trying to hold a half taped end to the wall while reaching unsuccessfully for a piece of tape only inches from my fingers. That's when the camera came out. Quickly followed by pointy party hats which were promptly handed out. Snarky made a Coca-Cola cake (so good and SO southern!!!) which turned out excellent. If you didn't know, Southerners will put coke on or in everything and it turns out very yummi. The chocolate goo was awesome. Papaya was the first to say a speech about us helping out which was followed by Warren's speech about the knitting group being special. Hooray for knit night! It was major show and tell night. Everyone had a cami/yarn/something to show and be proud of. :o) Fun times.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crafty ADD

Well, it's definitely been a while. So much has been going on lately that i haven't have a chance to sit down and think about it all. I took a brief break from knitting to begin yet another crafty obsession: counted cross stiching. Oh my, it is tedious. This is an old picture of what I am working on, where old is what it looked like on June 20th.

It looks a lot more complete now and has more colors, but I am too lazy to pull out my camera, take a picture, upload it to the computer and then to the web site. So.. old picture it is! Even though I did get quite a bit farther in the 9 days since the picture was taken, for the past few days things have been a little too hectic for me to really make much more progress. So what do I do? Become inspired to start new knitting projects. I think my hobby is to start and never finish anything. I like beginning things and imagine what they will possibly (never) become. :o) So this time it is the kitty pi for the cats since they like to sleep on my clothes, bed, knitting, sewing.. pretty much anything soft that smells like me. I am hoping that when I make this and throw it on the floor they will instantly find it a more than perfect place to sleep/shed. ie, not my bed. I cast on for that at knit night after having a felting discussion with Papaya to make sure my chosen yarn will have a high tendancy to felt instead of... not. Hooray!
I also chose a substitute yarn for what was called for in a pattern for an item that I am making my mom. I *finally* found one I can succeed in even beginning!! And since she has decided that she wants it to be a surprise, the gift is now being referred to as "item". I bought Cascade 220 as the substitute yarn; I figured W wouldn't carry the yarn that the pattern called for, but was more looking for advice on what to use as a substitute; another something that would felt well. As soon as I finish and yes, I will finish!!) Kitty Pi, I can begin item. It doesn't look too complicated, and felting fixes everything, so I am confident in this one. I emailed mom to ask if she wanted to know what it was I was making for her, saying " And this is something that even if I didn't make it (because anything I make even if it is ass ugly you will like) you'd still get a kick out of and like. Do you want to know what it is, or do you want to just find out when you get it?" Her response (cut to the amusing part, of course) "The buttass-uglier, the more I'll love it. Of course, if it's breathtakingly beautiful I'll love it every bit as much." Awesome. Ass-ugly gift, here I come!

In other crafty-ish hobbiness, I managed to get myself quite sunburned this weekend despite my attempts to avoid such a fate. Bahh. Oh well. I had planned on going to dance as I usually do on Monday evenings, but seeing as how I had to wear a strapless bra to work all day because my shoulders couldn't handle thin straps with pressure, I decided that wearing normal dancing garb + fast movements and lots of crunches would not be too favorable that night. This is the beginning of the 10 week rotation schedule, so in Dance Movements we were scheduled to work on plies and in Belly Dance we were going to be working on Singles. Easy stuff, right? So I thought it would be a good idea to take it slow on Monday night and resorted to drilling by myself for about 30 minutes on Tuesday eveing, while doubling up on classes on Wednesday night. So, Dance Movements 7-8pm and Belly Dance 8-9:15pm. I can handle it! It's the easy stuff! ....except not when Tif teaches. And she taught both classes. Holy bajeesus! I have never been to the point of so much pain and strain and trying so hard that I was laughing and crying at the same time while trying not to do either. We had to do a set of passe, degage (or battement) front, back to passe while plieing and then back into ballet first position. Then doing the same thing while degageing to the side, then back, then the set of three repeats until Tif decided our torture session had been complete.

*Note: for those not familiar with the evil dance terms, we were supposed to stand with our heels touching, toes turned out. Then bring our right foot up, toes pointed so that the knee was bent and the heel was touching the side of left knee. Then we keep proper turn out in our leg while bringing the foot front (or left or back behind us) and about 6 inches or more off the floor, still keeping the toes pointed. Then we bring our foot back to touching our knee, turned out (the turn out is what makes it painful) while we are plieing (plee-ay) or.. bending our knees. Finally, we could bring out foot back down next to the left one before we started the whoel thing over. Sound fun?*

So, yes. While doing the last of many sets I was in such pain that I couldn't stop giggling. I was forcing my turn out with my hands, my foot was beginning to refuse to touch my knee, my degage was turning into a slighly elevated tendue, and tears were beginning to pour. This happened both with the right and left foot, but a little worse so on the left. Yep... supposed to be easy week. Ha! It was quite a work out, and it was only the first of the two classes! Belly dancing went decently. I didn't feel like a duck! I am debating on how much I have improved since entering level 2 .. 20 weeks ago. I am using my glutes better and am actually starting to see it visually. I am however still not as flexible as I would like to be and still can't flex and release at double time. I finally got a good handle on full time, and have *just* gotten 3/4 time as long as I slow it down to .. 3/4 of half time instead of 3/4 of full time, if that makes sense.
Today was planning on drilling again, but since it still hurts to even walk down stairs, I think I may save the drills for tomorrow.. or Saturday. It's a long weekend. I am planning on dedicating 2 hours on Tuesday for drills. Oof! And so begins my training in order to be good enough to take the Level 2 workshop where I'll actually be in a class with Suhaila!