The ShadowBlock Socks are officially finished. I say "officially" because they were actually done several days ago, but we've had so much rain that I've only just now been able to duck outside in a brief interval of sunshine to take the required photo. No project can be considered done, of course, until the object has had its photo op. Here they are.
I am even more pleased with this pattern (Cross-Stitch Block from More Sensational Knitted Socks) than I had expected to be. Rather than fighting the stripedness of the yarn, it seems to work with it. The horizontal lines in the block pattern go along with the stripes, and the vertical lines cut across. And I'm absolutely nuts about the little X's that pop splotches of white, gray, or black at the intersections.
I was a bit concerned about casting on 64 stitches. That's a lot for my skinny ankles; usually I don't go any higher than 60 stitches, no matter the needle size. But I used 2.0mm (U.S. 0), and the pattern pulled the stitches in just enough to give a perfect fit.
I did an Eye of Partridge heel for the first time ever in my sock knitting career, but alas it doesn't show up very well. If you look really, really hard, you can see that I did a round toe, but that isn't particularly visible either.
This is only the third pair of socks I have done with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, and I have mixed feelings about the yarn. Both multicolors were dreadfully stripey. But I liked the solid -- I knit a variation on the Pomatomus pattern in Firefly and was really happy with the result. Nice tight gauge, terrific stitch definition, and I adore that mustard yellow color. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but it suits me. I'm also quite fond of puke green.
And I suppose I must mention (however painful it may be) that I did not make it to Stitches West. Nasty flu. Faugh! Do NOT want to talk about it. For a full report see Message in a Bottle. She had a great time.