Purl

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The view from my room’s balcony.

I’ve just come back from vacation. I spent a week in Cancún, frolicking in the ocean blue waves of the Caribbean, with my sister and nephews. We had a grand time of it, enjoying the last days of summer before the boys head back to school and my older nephew starts his freshman year of college. This was a week I won’t soon forget!

As the boy’s crazy uncle, it was fitting that I should bring my knitting needles and yarn along so I could embarrass them at every turn. Teen boys are so caught up in their Instagram image, that they’d rather keep 200 feet away from anything or anyone that would make them lose followers. I was surprised, however, that the boys took my new craft in stride, didn’t mind seeing me knitting by the pool or at the airport terminal, and – in fact – began requesting scarves and mitts once I felt comfortable enough to start working with patterns and larger projects. I was glad by their reaction and promised them something to take with them for Christmas, now that I know the stitching basics and was able to learn ribbing to finish a project.

Cancún was fun. It’s been a few years since my last visit, but the beach resort is as busy as ever. We stayed at my favorite hotel, and enjoyed perfect weather. The ocean was fresh and clean; the rooms comfy and cool; the food like in no other place. I’m sure I gained a few pounds while indulging in tacos, quesadillas, and fresh fruits — all of which beat anything I could eat in Miami. The best part of the fun was watching my nephews enjoying themselves, asking me to join them in their adventures, and suggesting I go along with them to strip clubs where they could drink and have a good time. I declined on the last one – straight strip clubs not being my “thing.”

Chichen Itza

El Castillo, Temple of Kukulcan, Chichén Itzá

One day, we hopped in the car and traveled to the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá to walk around the archeological site and wonder at the marvels of Mayan architecture. It was a hot, humid day; we didn’t think we’d enjoy the tour of the ruins. But not twenty minutes into our visit, Chaahk, the Mayan god of rain, struck his lightning axe against the clouds and poured a refreshing rain shower over the park, soaking us, blessing us with a cool breeze and a much cooler afternoon. Our tour guide informed us that rain was precious to the Mayans, and given that we were in a sacred site, the rain could be thought of as a blessing. The boys, oblivious to the gods, ran out into the field, got themselves soaked, and posted pictures to their feeds with thoroughly soaked Ts clinging to their bodies for likes on Instagram. I rolled my eyes at them.

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I could knit here all day.

The visit to Cancún wasn’t all fun in the sun. Continuing my knitting classes, I tried my hand at ribbing. This was trickier for me than I anticipated. Switching from knit to purl, and making sure my yarn was in the right position took time and rows to learn. Eventually, I fell into they rhythm of moving my yarn back and front, alternating knits and purls, and pointing the needle in the right direction to get a few ribs done and enough rows to tell the difference. I was proud of my efforts, though I need to focus and concentrate while I do the stitches correctly. Also, it turns out I have been half-purling, as my purl stitch only had a one sided V when doing the stockinette pattern. Apparently, moving the yard to the front is not the same as moving the needle and yarn to the front as the instructor told me. I had to look at several videos on YouTube to finally get the full V done correctly. Now my test fabric looks better and is more elegant than my previous practice stitches.

There’s not much to tell, other than this was one of the best vacation trips I had in a long time. Spending time with both my nephews made all the difference. Each memory of our trip is knitted into my infinity practice piece that I’ll keep adding to until I can’t any longer.