Shannon’s last ballet class

My ballet teacher Shannon’s last class one on Monday. She’s moving to Georgia for chiropractor school, which is awesome, but I’m going to miss her ballet class.   Her classes were challenging and made me think and learn, instead of some classes which I feel like are for people who were former dancers and merely want to go through the motions.  For instance, she handed out sheets with ballet positions and told us to memorize them as homework.  I felt a little resentful at first because I was taking this class for fun, how dare she expect that I spend my free time going over positions, etc.  But learning the positions has actually helped me a lot and I find that I enjoy ballet more when I can differentiate the difference between croise, efface, and ecarte.


Not dance related, but his is Gigi, a lovely senior Siamese at the shelter where I volunteer. She got adopted this week! (Growing up, I always wanted a Siamese)

Shannon always watched our technique and gave suggestions about form, timing, distribution of weight, etc.  I’m sure some people found the critiques disturbing, but I found then pleasant and useful because I am still learning and growing (even though I do wish I didn’t need them, but I’ve been more open to critiques as I get older.)  Her combinations were always fun and I tried to remember her last class so I can try them on my own.

Also, this post is delayed because I tried posting on my phone and WordPress didn’t save the text. Even when I published it. Yep.

Across the floor combination:

Sous sous to corner, balance back around
Sous sous to back corner, balance back around
Waltz turn x 2
Step, developpe front (opposite arm), chasse.
Step, developpe front (opposite arm), chasse.
Tombe, pas de bourre, pirouette.

Jump exercise: Tombe to side in plie, use foot only to Push off floor. Use feet to push off floor, not legs. Changement: cross thighs in air, create a picture. Same with assemble.

Saute, (fall through) glissade, saut de chat, sautee, (fall through) glissade, Grande jete

Always remember: don’t let the shoulders creep up, keep them down. Push chest through shoulders (like male ballerinas), neck long. Be conscious of where your weight is (usually should be ball of foot onto standing leg). Hold the position to create the picture line, not just bouncing back and forth.

Center (croise):
Raise front arm to 5th, raise back arm to 5th,
Tombe forward, lower arms as dressing back leg in
Developpe front, developpe side and hold
Fouette to derriere, promenade around
Fall through(windmill arms), back leg ronde de jambe to front in pliers, straighten

Center (croise): with big arms
Tendu front right croise x2, tendu back left croise x2, tendu side right ecarte x2 and hold out on second
Fouette to derrier front, pull leg to back, close.

(Can do reverse too)

“No matter what happens during the middle of the combination, if you stick the landing with enthusiasm, I’ll be like ‘YES! Great!'” ~ Shannon (ending with a glissade into a passe with flair)


No more making things for other people**


Fthagh ry’len eahd chagh… (Well, during Independent Bookstore Day)

Memorial day heralds my annual ” I’m tired of making things for other people!!!” meltdown.  I have usually been creating things for other people since thanksgiving:  Christmas presents, then presents for my sisters’ birthdays, then dad’s birthday, then costumes for convention season (80% for other people).  Not to mention all the baking I do for people’s birthdays, appreciation parties, and various holidays.

I’ve forgone the costuming for other people, but this year replaced it with being ill for a month and making scarves for a friend’s friend’s trade show booth.  I volunteered because “it’s just rectangles/sewing in a straight line, it’ll take no time at all.” Fast forward to two nights before she takes off for New York and ten sewing hours later…. I usually work with cotton, the scarves were a floaty polyester crepe de chine that shifted like crazy and that my sewing machine hated, plus ironing all the seams slowly so I didn’t melt the fabric.


See the scarves that these lovely people are wearing? Yeah, those ones. Two of the six I sewed together.  Scarves look nice though. (ganked from my friend’s facebook.)

I usually just make a mental note about this time of year, but thought it would be helpful to have a written reminder.  So in celebration of my start of selfish sewing/knitting season, I thought I’d post a showcase of all the things I made for other people in the last 6 months.  Woo.


That’s right, kitty, I’m having a breakdown

** for now.  Barring the sheath dress for my sister that’s been in my queue for years and the wool sweater for Art’s grandfather.  His grandparents have supported him a lot over the years.


This was “Year of DNA gloves.” Seriously, these pairs all went to separate lab friends and I have another in the blue not shown and another pair I made for myself below.

Actually, it was the year of fingerless mitts in particular.  (Well, the grey DNA ones are for me…)


Let’s break up the knitting with some sewing!  I made a laptop case for my labmate since she got a new $2000 lab laptop, but no case.  And it was getting scratched in her bag. Eeeeeeeeeee…… o_o


And I made a “Grad School Interview Survival Kit” bag for our interviewing undergrad, complete with plane reading. (She had never read Harry Potter before)

And I think that’s it for the sewing.  I really need to get back to that, I have a pile of fabric waiting for the several patterns in my queue.  Most pressing are Deer&Doe’s Zephyr dress (one in yellow, one black), Colette Patterns’ Wren in Rinoa blue, Deer&Doe’s Bleuet in Night Circus colors, Seamster’s leggings, my sister’s sheath dress (oh yeah…), and a few knitting project bags for my sisters.  And Rey’s vest because I’m going to Orlando this summer for a conference, which also means Disney World’s Star Wars corner.  And Harry Potter world.  One of my postdoc friends described Harry Potter land as a themed shopping mall that you pay $100 to get into.  He’s…not wrong… but I’m totally going to both.  Star Wars is more my bag, baby.

Ok, back to knitting.  Did I ever mention that I made wool blankets for my cats?  Because Alistair really loves wool.  And then we figured out that Morrigan liked wool too, but Alistar kept kicking her off…because he’s kind of a jerk to her.  He even does a Lemongrab impression when he plays with her toys.


Alistair’s blanket


Rebel Alliance Blanket. Because why not.


Morrigan on her blanket.

I also made one of my friends not one, but TWO pastel rainbow cowls last year.  The first one was knitted for her birthday since I didn’t buy enough yarn and the yarn striping would have looked psychadelic had it been crocheted in the round.  The second time I custom ordered more yarn, but in separate color balls so I could do a chunky crocheted version.  She wears both almost constantly.

One of the ladies in my Irish dancing class gave me one of her old pairs of hard shoes to practice with before I bought my own.   I made her this Celtic headband since it looks like her wedding ring.  And mine. We’re apparently wedding ring siblings!


I also knitted two cunning Jayne hats: one for Art’s cousin and one for my friend’s sister’s baby since they are all Browncoats.  For the record, Berocco Comfort acrylic yarn is a delight to work with.

Oh, and the friend above is rooming with me at the Orlando conference and Hogwarts.  We got talking about stuff to bring and she mentioned that she had been thinking about buying a Ravenclaw scarf at Emerald City Comicon.  I was too disorganized to meet up with her at ECCC, but loom-knitted her a book!Ravenclaw scarf.  I’m very snobby about scarves, especially Hogwarts ones and will make them for friends.  I already had the blue Cascade 128 merino superwash in my stash for ages, so I just picked up a “Pumpkin spice” skein.  Bronze is really hard color to do correctly, so this was the closest I could interpret.

I also made a really cute lamb toy for my friend’s daughter.  This is the guy who pimped out the C. elegans costume at the International Worm Meeting, so I wanted to do something in appreciation and offered to make his daughter a toy.  He wanted a sheep since that’s her Chinese zodiace sign…and I liked the design and texture of this toy.  And it’s my first amigurumi!  Now I’m eyeing this T-rex pattern and a Hobbes pattern….

Are we done yet?  …actually, I think so.  *phew*

*throws hands in the air* No more things for other people!  I feel like Persephone, except instead of the pomegranate seeds meaning months with Hades, I’m instead stuck in gift purgatory.  Not to say that I didn’t make some things for myself, but this is definitely over my 2:1 gift-to-me project ratio.


Aside from the grey DNA gloves and Zoe’s outfit, this cowl was the only other thing I made for myself during gift purgatory.  Yeah…. I did wear it a lot though!