Distracted Sock Knitting

Today I am working on something ordinary that is special.  I know that is contradictory.  It is the first sock in a pair of very ordinary socks.  I’m making a ribbed cuff, a traditional heel flap, and a slightly wider forefoot.  Ordinary.  But I’m using Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace, 59% bamboo, 25% cotton, and 16% elastic nylon, in an undyed white.  This choice is calculated to be gentle on the skin of someone who is highly allergic.  I hunted a while for the yarn, because I couldn’t use any animal fiber or acrylic.  It really feels nice and knits easily.  I just happened to order two skeins of a patterned, colored Panda Cotton at the same time, and I look forward to working a pair for me.  First, however, the pair for my sister. 


We are funny about gift-giving.  There is no set rule-sometimes we give birthday gifts to each other, sometimes not.  The same with Christmas.  Several years ago, we instituted a special gift-giving for the 60th birthday, and everyone hunts for gifts all year and participates in that one.  Odd habits have developed, however, and I’ve come to look for them every year.  One sister chooses one thing that she thinks every one of us should have, and buys us all that same thing for Christmas.  The items have varied wildly, the most recent being the Neti pot.  (You know, pour the warm salt water into your nose…)  Another designs very personal, beautifully written, hand-made notes and cards-only sometimes she forgets to mail them.  This year I was treated to one that had languished for almost ten years.  Sometimes we make alliances to get things that we might not be able to afford, when we know it would suit the recipient “to a T”.  I know what they say about me and acknowledgements of special days.  I am the sister who is chronically late, to the point that sometimes I will forestall it by getting everybody something at once (early, late or on time).  There are four birthdays between September and November.  I figure if I get everyone (including Miss January) something at the end of the summer, I’ve got it covered.  Uh-oh.  My sisters are exhibiting their psychic tendencies.  One just called to tell me that the Color Wonder coloring book I got for her last birthday is serving her well at work.  (No, I’m not kidding.)   


I am distracted by tomato daydreams.  In a few days, my heirloom tomato plants will arrive, and I will start my gardening adventures for the summer.  Today one of my guys came over to empty the old pots, salvage the ones from last year that could be used.  I’m stocked up on compost (ours) and organic potting soil.  I can’t wait for my baby plants to arrive from California.  I selected varieties that should grow well in pots on my deck, in the hot Tennessee sun; drought-tolerant plants.  When I got the bill from the seller, I wondered for a minute if I had gone too far, but one smell of a sun-ripe, homegrown tomato will dispel that thought.  I purchased four coleus plants on the way into the grocery store today.  They were lovely variegated colors and reminded me of my mother’s gardening when she was younger.  Coleus was the only non-flowering plant she would fool with, because it was so beautiful.   


I am also distracted by thinking about friends today.  Yesterday I cancelled a lunch date because I’m having trouble putting weight on one foot.  The friend I would have gone to meet immediately picked up the phone and called me.  I was so happy to hear her voice and have the opportunity to chat and catch up.  I’ve also had interesting conversations on line with people who have given real thought to my recent remarks.  To complete the circle, I had an hour-long conversation with a friend today that explored some of our memories and really brought some things together for me.  We were wondering out loud about losing close family ties.  When I think about it, I don’t think that will leave us feeling stranded.  We have this cushion of friendships, this other comfort place that we can go when the birth-family fails us or leaves us. 


Why am I still here talking?  Hillary Swan is coming on in Catch and Release.  She’s a favorite.  Gotta go.



*Saturday addendum:  I really was distracted.  I confused Jennifer Garner for Hillary Swank.  My bad.


One Response

  1. Interesting yarn and deep family philosophy. What a combination!

    I’ll be interested in hearing how you like the Panda yarn to wear. I love my bamboo/wool blend socks, but then I don’t have a problem with wool.

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