Dear Fellow Sock Knitters - I feel like a very slow learner. While I see other knitters turning out socks with lace or cables, I am stuck in the search for the "best" basic sock. Since June 2005 I have knit at least 10 pairs, but not one has been entirely satisfying. Sometimes the wool had been the issue, but usually it is the pattern--loose in the ankle, pointy in the toe, tight at the cuff bind-off. The sock in progress incorporates improvements on each of these issues, and I've gotten advice from so many sources. I use the figure 8 cast on, a short-row heel from the Interweave Knits Sock page (members only), and the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind-off. There are 64 stitches knit on 5 #1 dps (Brittany Birch 5") and the cuff, which starts 12 rows above the heel, is 1x1 ribbing. After 3" of ribbing I switch to #1 1/2 needles to complete the cuff. These are husband socks; for myself I use #0 needles and adjust the foot length. The wool is Austermann Step, which you really should try. It is treated with Aloe and Jojoba, and feels so good to knit. It could come in better colors, especially in guy colors, though.
I went to San Diego last week and got a lot of knitting done on the flights and at the hotel. I also visited a yarn shop but was disappointed by the selection; it was predominantly upscale novelty yarns. There were beautiful ribbons and metallics but those are not what I am interested in right now. They are also so expensive! I'd like to see more patterns combining a little of the glitzy stuff with "normal" yarn.
The other picture is the first Da Capo sleeve. I've been looking ahead on the instructions and it seems to get complicated; it probably calls for good lighting and no alcohol!