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Archive for April 6th, 2006

Trying to Slow Down

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

I always make a horrible mess pushing toward a deadline. I typically also don’t sleep properly when in the big push. So now my taxes are mailed and my house is screaming for attention, and I’m in need of a full night of sleep (or two or three). So what did I do after getting home from Rae’s on Thursday night?

Dancer in CairoMovies. You heard me right. Me, the “I don’t like movies and TV” person. A friend sent us a handful of very old MGM shorts in DVD form (I don’t have a VCR but our computers can handle DVD) and we watched them while eating dinner on the couch. I knitted and crocheted and fell asleep on the couch while Brian was still watching.

It was amazing stuff. Sort of Zigfield Girls/Vaudeville. A lot like the old Jackie Gleason Show, which I do remember watching in the late 1960’s. Preposterous skits, sort of melodramatic, seriously glamorous clothing (sometimes with huge feather fans, sometimes with furs or white gloves, etc.), extreme everything. There were some of the shorts that were more about moving people around (while they were singing) into formations. Lots of filming from the ceiling to see the movement.

It reminded me of marching band, synchronized swimming, the June Taylor Dancers (dancers in a circle on the floor moving legs and arms so that it looks like a kaleidoscope, I remember them from Jackie Gleason if I recall properly)or just plain “staging” for dance numbers on a stage. When I dance with the Habibi Dancers, some of our choreographers are quite good at creating good staging so that the audience does not get bored. (Less experienced groups will do a dance all standing in one place… even when the moves are executed well, it’s more interesting if there is some movement on stage between dancers.)

One of the MGM shorts was more about staging than dancing, it was all about airplanes and the dancers carried around airplanes and they swished them around in the air while walking around the stage bunched into a group the shape of an airplane. Campy and cool.

It’s true I don’t like movies or TV much. However, I do love dance. These shorts were more about dancing (at least the ones I enjoyed best were). I can watch figure skating and dance for a very long time without getting bored, though I mostly would just as soon not watch anything, I’m not much of a spectator.

Dancer in CairoWhile I was watching, I finished a pair of Turkish-Style Toe-Up socks for me, the final bits of the socks I started in the class that finished last week. I’m sort of excited, I haven’t been finishing pairs of socks as fast this year and I’ve never worn a pair of socks from this pattern though I’ve knit perhaps 4 socks in this design before this pair. I get to wear them! Woohoo! They are my finished pair 125. Maybe now that taxes are over I will download the photos from the last 10 days or so that are still on my camera and give you folks a peek, finally.

After I finished the socks, I went back to my crocheted bag. I’m starting to make fewer mistakes but I find it painfully slow. I count and count and count and count. The way my brain works, I lose focus somewhere before 50 stitches even when counting by 2’s and then I have to start counting again.

With knitting I can put markers between the stitches and know that, say, 20 stitches should be on either side of a marker. With crochet, each stitch is separate and once you place a marker, that marker is only good for that one round. Ugh. I’ve never been diagnosed as ADD but this particular quirk of my brain sure makes me wonder. It is really a problem with crochet and slows me down a lot.

Anyway the bag I’m making is called the Boho Bag from a Patons Classic Wool pattern booklet. It includes knitted and crocheted bags to shrink/felt/full and many of them include beads in the design. If you follow the link here, my bag is the third photo in the list. It’s shown in black, red, spring green, white, orange, dark green. I’m doing it in peacock colors: four versions of turquoise/teal/jade and two versions of purple. It is turning out really pretty.

But this bag may take me forever. My class is complete today, this is our 4th week and we’re doing some things in class that I have not done, so I won’t just be finishing the bag in class. And I have so many other classes (the ones I’m teaching myself) where I need to stay up with the class. I have two First-Time Toe-Up sock classes going right now, one at Little Red Schoolhouse and one at Rae’s. I started a new pair in both classes. At LRSH I’m on bulky Lamb’s Pride yarn for some practical slippers. However, at Rae’s I started some Opal in turquoise/cream/black specks, in fingering weight. I’ll love them, but I must confess I did not need to start another pair of socks in skinny yarn right now.

I can not TELL you how many pairs of socks I’ve knit on this week. All what I consider current projects. There are the 2 pair for classes, plus the pair I just finished. Then there is the pair for my brother which have both feet/gussets finished and just need cuffs. And the pair I did in my own handpainted fingering weight yarn, in the same pink/purple colorway as the Turkish pair (but lighter, different yarns take dye differently).

I have other pairs sitting languishing in the “current projects” UnFinished Objects (UFO) boxes. Yes, two boxes of UFOs. I so often start a project to demonstrate to a class, and then the class is one or two sessions and the project gets dropped for the next current class. Often it doesn’t bother me, because typically I do finish these things given some time. Right now it is starting to bother me. I think it’s because lately more of the projects are not socks and they need me to knit on them at home. And I almost never knit at home.

But in the scope of things, if two boxes of UFOs is my worst problem, I’m doing pretty well, don’t you think???

Photos: Dancer at Cairo Marriott Hotel, December 2004. I’m giving you you old news from my trip that was over a year ago. However, these photos haven’t been on the blog before (and at least the theme is right since Friday is dance night for me at Aladdin’s).

I’m still catching up on my current tasks including processing the photos currently on my camera (from the last week or so), but I’m guessing you’ll get more current photos soon.