Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Happened to the Dance?

So after last week, I was very excited to get to take my first weekly class from Suhaila herself, after only having learned from her during a weeklong workshop. When I first took classes from the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance, I loved my instructors, but I wished that as students at the "mothership" we would get more of our mamma bear than a simple post card from whichever tour/workshop/world domination destination she was at next. Now, a year and a half later, I have become very accustomed to my instructors, and their absence while on the most recent world tour with Suhaila showed how much I really appreciated them. Not to say I didn't appreciate the sub-instructor who had taken over while all three were gone, but I have been so used to seeing one of the two every week.
Now on a forum, someone bursted my happy little ignorant bubble and expressed how "weird" things have been at the studio and that they need to stop leaving us in the dark and to tell us what is going on already. And here I was thinking that everyone was just on world tour and things would be back to normal shortly. The new studio isn't opening, when for MONTHS it has been hyped up and everyone has been talking about how excited they are. And then there is talk about the instructors, and Suhaila herself alluded to some changes. The one thing I know for fact is that one of the instrutors I have become so used to (who recently told me we should have a celebration when I get a few more inches down into my split) is moving on career wise, and is no longer going to be an instructor at the school.This was a bit of a shock to me, but I am sure it is exciting for her; to break off and advance herself in whatever ways she needs. But then there are rumors that the other instructor will be leaving too.
I have such a mix of emotions and feelings over this. First, I am excited to be taking weekly classes from mamma bear. That is super cool to not just be a student at her school, but to take the classes directly from HER. Selfishly, I have a little bit of anxiety and sadness that the instructors I have become so accustomed to are leaving the studio without letting any of us know, with no warning and as of yet, no explaination or official anything at all. Not so selfishly, I think it is great that these very talented women are going to be making their own marks in the belly dance world. This -whatever "this" is- will be excellent in excelling them into their futures.
And tonight I go to class. Not sure if anything will be said or if people will pretend things are "normal". Perhaps there will be an explaination at Montero's or at the poluck? Eesh.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

She Teaches

I have been going to my dance class on Thursdays lately since I like the fact that it is somewhat emptier than the Tuesday night classes. The class after mine on Tuesday is the Level 3 class (which I am nowhere near yet) and the one after level 2 on Thursdays is a Choreography class. The two instructors and the founder of the school have been on a "world domination" tour for about a month, so the choreography class has taken a break until they get back. This means that the girls who would show up for a level 2 warm up before their choreo class have been skipping the level2 on that night, however some of the level3's are still going to the Tuesday night level2 class prior to their class. (Are you confused yet?) Basically I am trying to describe why lately one night has been lighter than the other. this week however, I decided it was time for me to make an appearance at my Thursday knitnight and since both class and knitting is at 7pm in very different locations, I was going to move my dance class this week to the Tuesday night instead.
I did my usual getting to class, talking to some other girls, find my spot in the studio and do some light stretching. Kit, who had been teaching in the absence of our instructors was wandering in and out of the back room just before class started. Something was different, and I could feel it. At one point I looked up into the huge mirrors at the front of the studio and I see Suhaila Salimpour smiling and walking out. Looks like they're back from their tour! This was a special treat. I have been tlaking classes at her school since the end of 2005, and only once have had the pleasure of learning from her, and that was only because I shelled out for a week long workshop taught specifically by her. Maybe half of the students in the room had never seen her and didn't realize who she was. She made a joke about how when she would show up to teach a level1 class, they would look at her and say "So who's the new teatcher?"
She wove in and out of the students during warm ups, fixing some of their positions or talking to some she was familiar with. During drilling, she challenged us. She made us do a balancing drill that I had never done, solely to get us to think about where our weight is each time we do something as simple as shifting the location of our leg. When she came to correct us, it was always positive feed back. We were getting our asses kicked, but it didn't feel like it at the time because the class went so well.
It was very refreshing to get a chance to learn from her during a normal hour long class. I wonder if I'd have gotten this chance if I showed up to class tonight instead of Tuesday...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FO: Gatsby Girl Pullover

The Gatsby Girl Pullover is officially now an FO. It is 100% complete, and I don't need to thread/stitch/weave in/touch anything. Hooray! Now it can sit and wait for 4 months for it to get cold enough for me to wear it. Well, that part really sucks... But it being finished is really cool!! And since I have blabbed on enough about it in previous posts, I'll show some pictures.

So.... now what does this one project wonder knit next? Suggestions?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gatsby Girl: Done!

The Gatsby Girl Pullover is soooo close to being finished! Right now it is laying out, slightly damp, and pinned to blocking mats. The ends on the sleeves are all woven in, and the picot edging on the neck is sewn over, and the shoulders are seamed together. The only things I have left to do is to sew over the picot edging on the bottom of the body and the bottoms of the sleeves, as well as making the loops for the buttons on the left shoulder as well as attaching them. It's just finishing that I have to do! I am so excited. This is my first sweater, and it is almost complete! Hooray! And you know that the minute it is finished I will be posting pictures of it. I am even thinking about wearing it to work the first day it is done. How can I justify this? It's always cold in the lab and I have a sweater that lives there anyway...

Cats + Yarn = Argg!!!

Sometimes my cats drive me absolutely crazy. Thus far I have been able to keep them from attacking any of my yarn that I am using for the Gatsby Girl Pullover. Until today. I got home excited to work further on my second sleeve, which is sooo close to being finished. I open the door to see my sleeve on the floor next to half of the ball, and strings stretched half across the living room next to the other half of the ball. So instead of getting to relax and instantly start working on my sleeve, I had to spend an hour untangling the mass of yarn. Damn you, cats!!! ::shakes fist::

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vacation Pictures!!

While on vacation in Boston, Mr Kiwi's mom and I went to a knitting shop by her house, where we spent a long time looking at everything. That shop had been there for years, and she never knew it! She ended up buying me 2 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted. Mr Kiwi and I had also taken a 2 day trip to drive to Maine, where let me tell you, even the smallest town had at least 5 yarn shops (can I move to maine now?). I really wasn't expecting to go to so many yarn stores and farms, but it just sort of happened. I hadn't planned on getting more yarn than I could pack and take home with me, it just sort of... happened. So what does one do when they end up with not enough space to pack the things they accumulate on vacation? Why, you pack boxes and have the in-laws ship them once you're home, of course! Seeing as how Mr Kiwi wanted to take some things of his home from his old room, it's not like we were just shipping all yarn. On top of that, his sister bought us clothes at a rediculously marked down price since she works at the clothing store and gets discounts. (Can we talk about the awesome leather biker jacket she bought me?!)
I digress. The boxes showed up today! Mr Kiwi unpacked his things, and handed me two of my alapca skeins I bought. First thing I did was smoosh them to my cheeks, grin, and sigh. He wasn't quite fast enough with the camera to get it. Instead, he settled for throwing more skiens of yarn my way in attempts to get me to do it again. Of course, I did.

As I promised a long time ago (and never actually followed through) hrre are the pictures of the wonderful yarn that I bought on vacation.
I bought this baby alpaca in Booth Bay Harobor. Unfortunately, the shop was closing, but that meant that it was on sale for me. :o) The pictures shows it slightly grayer than it really is; it has a slightly richer purple to it.

I have two of these; one in the blue, and one in green. They have futures as hats.

This is the Claudia that Mom in law purchaed for me.

This lovely alpaca was purchased directly at the alpaca farm. So nice! I am still not quite sure what I am going to make with this.

Finally, this is from the Romney farm that we found only by the sign that called out "YARN" on the side of the road on the way to Booth Bay. Support your local farmers and spinners! That means all you people in the Maine area!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dance After Vacation

I knew when I went to my bellydance class last night that it was going to be pretty rough. I was expecting it. I had slowed down with my dance movements classes right before going on vacation, and then hadn't danced at all the entire vacation. No dancing in almost 2 weeks. Eek! Warm up was a little rough, since I wasn't stretching either, and it showed. My left leg was especially weak and would shake like mad screaming "what are you DOING to me?!?" We were working on hip locks this week. They weren't bad, although I think mine kept going to the sides when I walked. I felt pretty good about it, until she started us doing SuzyQ's. I have only fumbled around SuzyQ's (what is with the sudden fixation? It's been a boom of them lately) while standing in the middle of the room. I surprised myself. I decided to go ahead and try them around the room, and I could actually do it. I was giggling alot, so I'm sure I looked like such a great dancer. I could only do them however if I was actually looking at my feet; the second I looked up or tried adding the hiplocks, my feet screwed up. So I was content to be proud of my SuzyQ's. Then I suddenly realized when we turned to lead left that I could only do them to the right. My feet did not want to cooperate.

I was feeling really good about the class and how I was doing considering not having done anything useful for a while. And then it was the "routine" part of class. It encompases the last 5 minutes or so. I sucked. I couldn't do anything further than foot work, and was shoddy at that too. It's frustrating sometimes that I know what everything is supposed to looke like, and what I am supposed to do when, but then my body doesn't respond. So instead of looking like a gracceful and controlled dancer, I look like a flailing idiot. Eck. Oh well, I guess that is what practicing is for.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Okay! I decided to try on the Gatsby Girl Pullover to see how it fit, it its completely unfinished state. I used stitch markers to close the parts of the shoulders that need to be seamed, and slid it on. I am SO excited. This is my first sweater/top thing, and I am overjoyed with how it fits.

Please excuse the bright undergarnments shining through the lace. That will be fixed before wearing the top out in public, I swear.

I am into the beginning of sleeve one, and I sure hope it fits and works out as well as the rest of the sweater. Funny though, how cute it looks without the sleeves. I'm sure it would look better if it were actually finished properly, though.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Knitting Vacation

Whew! I am finally back from my vacation (and of course I came back with a cold...) and can finally sit down and write.

First of all, I would like to say THANK YOU to my secret pal Melissa for sppoiling me in Secret Pal 10. Over the course of the exchange, she gave me an entrelac washcloth, knitting note cards, jewelry for Tibet (!!!), and the last "package" sent was gift card to kpixie (which since I *just* got home I have not had a chance to take advantage of). Thank you so much!

As for the vacation, I visited Mr Kiwi's parents in Boston (as well as attended two of his friends' wedding) and we took a few side trips. Mr Kiwi's mom and I went to a near by yarn shop where we got into trouble and had fun. I spent some time teaching her how to knit toe-up socks, which she seemed to be getting quite a kcik out of. Mr Kiwi and I took some time for ourselves and drove up to Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, coincidentally on their annual Windjammers Days. We did some train things that he enjoys, and planned on making a stop to one yarn store at the Harbor for fun for me. We ended up seriously lucking out on that end. The shop we went to was closing because the owners wanted to retire. I got so much loot on sale! Lots of interesting yarn companies that I had never heard of before. I'll have to post pictures of *everything* when I am slightly more sane.
While we were sitting on the grass waiting to watch the parade just for us, I found an ad for Winters Gone Farm; an alpaca farm nearby. Jackpot! It was the coolest farm ever. There were alpacas everywhere, and two babies; so cute! There was also a store where we could buy alapca goods; clothes, girsts, random crap, and YARN. I felt it would be.. cheap buying a premade or random manufactured item instead of yarn, so I bought 2 skeins of yarn from one of the alapcas that lived on the farm.
But is that all? Absolutely not. Driving on the way to Maine, we saw a random sign on the highway that said "YARNS". I made Mr Kiwi follow the signs up to a private home, which of course had some sheep and a small farm. On the way up, it was closed, but on the way home we were sure to try again. It turned out to be the Romney Ridge Farm, and the woman who greeted us was very nice and friendly. She had so many yarns crammed into such a teeny little hutch that she was selling from, and they were all so incredible. If you're ever driving near Woolwich Maine, be sure to stop by the Romney Farm! While we were there we picked up a map of all the yarn shops in Maine, and holy jeeze!! Even the teeniest town would have 5! I think I found my new favorite state ;o)

Finally, my Gatsby Girl Pullover is going fantastically. I only have the sleeves left to do, blocking and then minimal seaming. Of course, those pictures will come when I am more settled.

Happy Knitting, and for those in the states, a preemptive Happy 4th of July!