Friday, December 19, 2014



There you have a finished hand-sock with a perfectly grafted toe.  Not too shabby, if I say so myself.  I am relieved that I have finished with the dreaded Kitchener stitch yet again.

And there you have the tools of my downfall.  That's no innocent ball of yarn and that is definitely not an innocent set of size 1 double-pointed needles.  Those are the components of a terrible psychological condition called Second Sock Syndrome.

The Kitchener stitch always leaves me cranky.  My neck is sore and my eyes hurt, but I absolutely cannot finish the toe decrease without grafting it closed.  That would be even worse than Second Sock Syndrome, that's First Sock Sacrilege.  So it's done, and now I want to sit in bed, relax, eat a piece of chocolate, and read some more of my new Patricia Cornwell.  Knit so fast, buddy, you've got another sock to cast on first!

Oh crap.  Rule Number One, the Doctor always lies ... sorry, wrong Rule Number One.  Rule Number One of sock knitting is that upon finishing one sock, you have to immediately cast on the second sock, thus seriously reducing your chances of falling victim to Triple S.  It's not foolproof, but it helps.  So I gritted my teeth, so to speak, and cast on 64 ridiculously small stitches.

If I was really bound and determined to get this second sock underway, I would start the first row, which is a simple knit 2, purl 2 rib, and then move on to the second row, which would require me to divide the 64 stitches across 4 needles and then join them so I can knit in the round.  That's the part that brings out my clumsy side and makes the Kitchener stitch look like a walk in the park.  That's the part that's not getting done.  That's me, the rule-breaker.  The rebel.  The passive aggressive libertarian.  The rational anarchist.

Tomorrow is another day and anyway, I'm on vacation.  Which reminds me, we are underway again and headed to Curaçao.

Ahhhh, Curaçao - what an absolutely lovely island.  Our tour guide was even better than from yesterday's tour on Aruba, and he was pretty good.  I took a bunch of photos, a lot of them with my friend Chris A. (no relation to Cookie A) in mind.  She is crazy about Key West and the islands; deep blue water and white sand beaches make her smile.

Curacao is a beautiful island,  Most of the homes and properties are well-tended, and there is less visible poverty. I love how organized Curaçao is (at least according to our guide), and how the public schools require the study of at least 4 languages, including Dutch, English, Spanish, and the native language which is a composite language itself, with availability and encouragement to learn German and French.

I enjoyed learning more about the history of the Dutch presence in the islands.  And the Jewish presence as well; the oldest extant Sephardic congregation in the Western Hemisphere is on Curaçao.

My Dutch relatives, the Nathans (Natan?) arrived in the U.S. during the 1700's, way before my Sarif, Albert, Osherowitz, Teitelbaum or Galanter relatives made it here from Mother Russia.  Unfortunately, I have no information prior to their arrival in the States.  I don't know if they were Sephardic or Ashkenazic.

I do know that once I have access to the internet again, I am going to do some lengthy research on the family through Ancestry, on Dutch Jewry, the connection to the Inquisition, and most important, what kind of food did they eat?  Besides worstenbroodjes, I mean.  Sephardic Jewish cooking is quite different from what most Americans think of as traditional Jewish cooking, which follows Ashkenazic traditions.  Think Middle Eastern versus Eastern European.

And while you're thinking about that, I'm getting ready to do this thing - knitting that first row in the round (hereinafter, just round.  Although it should be called knitting in the square.)

Curacao in Curacao

Free tasting!

Knitting in the square: all you need is practice, young grasshopper.

The approach to the Curacao Museum.

Now crossing over the halfway point of the vacation, I am relaxed enough to admit I feel no guilt over leaving the office for an entire week.  It's the way the world should work - my colleagues are graciously covering for me, and I will (and always have) gladly return(ed) the favor at any time.  I really worked my tiny heiny off preparing each and every case.  I met with every case manager, took notes, asked questions, made suggestions.  I love working with social workers.  They never cease to amaze me with their level of devotion to the families they serve.

Looking through a doorway at the Curacao Museum

Early night.  Delicious sleep.

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