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)