Dallas Wrap-Up and Socks, Socks, Socks

I'm home from visiting family and friends in Dallas.  I flew into New York on Monday in a driving rain storm, and was reminded again that I always think of New York City in black-and-white.  And gray.  (Gray, by the way, is REALLY fun to land in while on an airplane, you betcha.)

We had a tiny Dallas meet-up before I left.  It was VERY tiny--literally--since it was just Tiny Tyrant and me.  I'm sorry for the last minute plan.  (My social secretary is truly inept --I would fire her but she's...um...family.) I heard from a bunch of people who just couldn't swing it this time, but who are interested in meeting the next time.  Here's your head's up: I'll be back in town during the second week in April.  Maybe we can plan something fun?

Here we are.  She rained yarn down upon me, which, you know, was just icing on the cake after she turned out to be warm and funny and a non-biological sister.  It was good.

It was a great visit with my parents, who indulged me by eating TexMex with me every single night for dinner. Aren't they nice?  It was also nice to visit Texas in January, where the footwear of choice doesn't change much, regardless of the season.
Pay no attention to the pasty white skin.  It's useful in signaling aircraft and in the event of surrender. 
Meanwhile, back on Long Island, only one other member of the Cooper clan was ecstatic over the weather.

I was a little sad to miss the only snow so far this winter.  It was all but gone by the time I got home.

When I got home, there was a package waiting for me.  It was stuffed with yarn.

It turns out that having WiFi on an airplane is dangerous.  You can fall down and accidentally empty your wallet without ever leaving your seat!

Speaking of yarn and knitting, I'm on a huge sock binge at the moment.  I haven't written about knitting much lately, because I'm still knitting socks and more socks and I only knit three variations of socks so the only thing interesting about any of that are the yarns I use.  Recently, I've been on something of a Madelinetosh binge, especially in the sport weight, because these knit up fast and I have over-promised a lot of socks lately.

Also, it's yummy.

I knitted socks for my beloved yoga instructor for his birthday:

I knitted socks for my friend Shirley for her birthday, and then, on a whim, I knitted socks for my new yoga instructor Yvonne.  She GETS the whole hand-knitted sock thing, you know? For some people, they're just warm socks.  But for others, there's this sort of subtle transformation that happens. They put on the socks, and this...LOOK flashes across their faces and you know you've just made a convert.  Yvonne said to me one day, "I consider these among my most precious possessions. I have a hard time taking them off to wash them." And she had that look in her eye.

I know that look. It's that look that says that a pair of socks has changed forever the way a person thinks about socks.  I don't make the rules--it either happens or it doesn't.  But now I want to knit her some more socks because that look?  Is like getting a present (to this knitter, anyway.)

The ironic thing about all of this sock knitting is that I am entirely without a pair of hand-knitted socks myself.  Last winter was such a hard winter and so cold, I managed to put holes in every single sock I had ever knitted for me.  I didn't have that many, because I like to knit for other people more than I like to knit for myself.

Also?  It appears that when I'm knitting for myself, I come down with the worst case of "Second Sock Syndrome" (SSS) you've ever heard of (and I know you've heard of a lot, haven't you?) (Hello?) (Oh, hush.  Just...hush.) 

(Okay, I was looking for a link that has a good definition of the phrase but I couldn't really find one.  It seems that, while many knitters suffer from this affliction, few can define it. Basically, it's when you knit a perfectly good first sock and then, you just can't bring yourself to knit the second, for a variety of reasons, most of them featuring the word "boredom" in them prominently.)  

AT ANY RATE, I have a lot of first socks:
Actually, the one on the far right is Jane's, and, since she doesn't wear matched socks EVER, it's not REALLY a product of the SSS curse. (Except that I always knit her matched pairs, so maybe it is.)
While I was in Dallas, I added another one to this growing pile because I fell in love with this gorgeous yarn and had to cheat on the sock I was knitting for my friend Noreen's birthday in order to knit it up.

(I turned the heel during the latest episode of Downton Abbey, thus proving that I live in a fairy tale where all good things come together. I am thisclose to having animated birds chirping about my head and making me ball gowns.
Why yes, this is a parenthetical picture.  Because I am the Queen of the Tangental Universe.
Anyway, add this one to my shameful pile:
The yarn is Zitron Unisono, which is just like knitterly CRACK.  I could NOT stop knitting it.  Even after my friend Heather told me that the skein wouldn't be enough for two socks, I wasn't disenchanted.  That's some good yarn right there.  (But if you buy it, buy two skeins.) (Try not to think about how expensive it makes the socks.)
In addition to a new sock and some tortillas, I brought home my old violin.  My older daughter, Ana (almost 14) (excusemewhileIbreatheintoabag) is interested in taking lessons and learning to play.  This violin has been in my family for at least 100 years and needs a little work, but isn't it beautiful?
I played it myself for eight (excruciating) years.  It left me with a great ear for music --just, you know, zero talent for the violin.  I'll be interested in seeing what Ana does with it once it comes back from the violin shop.

I was a little tired and still dealing with a cough (my acupuncturist says I have "insufficient lung chi."  I did NOT say, "No chi(t)" but I THOUGHT it loudly.) so I lay on the couch for a nap. Immediately, out of nowhere, a pride of orange tabbies materialized and pinned me down.
It's good to be home.

{EDITED TO ADD: Oh. My. gosh.  I can't believe I missed a chance to name this blog post "Socks and Violins." I mean, how often does the Universe hand you a chance like THAT??  Am pouting now.}


Unknown said…
Ferguson does the snow roll every time he goes outside, allll winter. crazy dawg. And I love how Scout just stands there looking at it like "what the..."
sagie133 said…
I am on a sock binge myself, as well as down to a single pair in my drawer. ( Three pair transfered themselves to my mother when I was home last. Keeping her warm is important.

And there is an orange cat sitting on me at the moment.
Barb Matijevich said…
Oh. My. Gosh.

I cannot believe that I just missed a chance to entitle this post "Socks and Violins."

Clearly, I am under-caffeinated.
smalltownme said…
You can always re-title the post. The socks and the violin and case are so color-coordinated. It's beautiful.
tanita✿davis said…
Socks & Violence...

Lovely gorgeous violin; we have one that's apparently hundreds of years old - Tech Boy was taking lessons on it when he was a kid. And, someday I'm going to learn to turn a heel...
Lisa said…
I think you've created a new thing called "Socks of Love" I still wear my table runner/scarf and get lots of compliments! love, lisa
Lomagirl said…
Now I want some hand knitted socks!
Susan said…
"Socks & Violins" so funny! I don't knit but I found myself lingering in the yarn aisle at the craft store the other day - there are some yummy colors and textures.