Well, I got an e-mail from my secret pal, and have to e-mail her back. She got specially dyed yarn for my socks, and is talking about casting on already.
I have been dithering because first, I wanted to find out some things about what my person would like. I am probably over-thinking this, because I have never been in a sock swap before and of course want to make the most marvelous socks EVER for this gal, the socks that will just make her swoon with delight. Now I don't particularly like eating my own cooking because I am always sure everyone else's is better, but even I will take socks knitted by me - any old pair, even the RHSS ones. So I am pretty sure this woman will like whatever nice pair of socks I send. If I just get variegated yarn and make one of the pretty patterns that other people have posted links to, and which they are probably using...But NO, I feel I ought to transcend all former socks and create - the socks of all socks! The socks de resistance! The mastersocks!!!
So, someone save me from myself. Is combining cables in a particularly meaningful Hogwarts shape, a panel of lace with a contrasting solid panel behind it, and some color work too much for one sock to take?
*wanders off muttering "must check stitch dictionary, must check stitch dictionary, must check...