June 16, 2008

I'M OKAY WITH CROCHET

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In Nihon Vogue class, our current assignment is to crochet a vest. I'm feeling okay with crochet --

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which is a good thing, because this project is feeling more like working on a blanket. What you see in the photo is the back, which is 9 rows short of being crocheted up to the underarms . . . and then I can start the front . . . and let us hope I get it all done by the time class meets again, this coming Saturday.

Our teacher Jean had encouraged us to use a fingering weight or lighter yarn. And I am just a sucker for those fine gauges, so I chose Panda Silk. Originally I was going to put a stitch pattern into it, and make it lacier, like a vest to wear over a camisole. So I swatched a stitch pattern. Panda Silk is a very drapey yarn, and after swatching I thought it was too drapey to do the stitch pattern justice. And I decided I was martyring myself enough, with a fine yarn and a 3.25mm crochet hook without needing to strain my brain by following a stitch pattern, so I am going with plain ol' double crochet

I've been able to squeeze in some crocheting time while watching and waiting through Allegra's rehearsals for her dance recital. The show this year is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Allegra is the center ballerina in this shot, and Charlie is the character in the short pants at left. This is Allegra's ballet solo -- and yes, she is in a small group with five other girls, but the dance school calls it a solo nonetheless and we are happy to go along with that. The ballerinas are Cardinals, who help poor Charlie to find a Wonka bar that's been left behind by the other children. (And of course this Wonka bar contains the golden ticket so that Charlie can meet Willie Wonka.)

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Scott and I were at rehearsal taking photos when we heard the director come over the microphone and utter the famous line: "Dance around the candy bar, Allegra." We cracked up. Since she shares my family's sweet tooth, Allegra has never had any problems finding the candy bars here at home, no matter how I try to hide them. That is the candy bar there on the floor just to the left of her feet that she is, indeed, dancing around.

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Her modern class plays the Chocolate River. The girls dance, passing these scarves from one to another -- it all happens so quickly and fluidly that at first you think that every girl has her own scarf. But then you realize that there are only four scarves, total, and the kids have perfect timing in this beautiful piece of choreography. (This photo is admittedly blurry, but I include it to give you a flavor of the dance piece. It was really hard to get a good photograph due to the dim lighting and the dancers' quick movements.)

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The upper level tap classes are Candy Rappers. That's my girl, at the furthest right in this photo, looking tough and wearing a do rag. The tap number incorporates lots of hip-hop movement. It is a very impressive piece of choreography -- each upper level class has a similar outfit but of a different color, and you very much have the sense that they are challenging each other -- the red gang versus the black gang versus the gold gang. Every year I am just so impressed with how the teachers come up with these parts and the dances to go along with them.

Posted by Karen at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2008

BACK IN BUSINESS

After about 48 hours of downtime, the Two Swans site has been restored. It sucks to have been down for that long, and especially on a weekend (when I tend to get more business), but I am relieved to have it back online.

Posted by Karen at 01:07 PM

REMEMBER TO BACK UP YOUR FILES

If you're wondering where the Two Swans site is, it is off-line temporarily, due to a fire in the building where the server is.

(No persons were injured in the fire. "My" server is in Houston, so the fire was not near me. All the yarn is safe here in Kent, WA.)

I do hope "my" server was not damaged and comes back up soon.

Posted by Karen at 02:47 AM | Comments (2)