It's a Christmas miracle!
I wasn't sure I was going to bounce back from the Argyle Sock Debacle of '09 but I gave it another go this year, and I'm happy to say the endeavor was a success this time. Given the classic nature of the argyle sock, it's surprising how few patterns exist for them. None were exactly what I wanted, but this one from Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book was good enough. The gauge is really too big for socks, but because I wasn't about to rewrite the color chart, I followed it for the legs. When I came to the heel, I switched to smaller needles and just didn't do as many decreases. I also held the yarn double for the heel in hopes that the reinforcement will prevent holes from forming anytime soon.
Pattern: Man's Classic Argyles by Shirley Paden
Needles: size 2.5 (3mm) and size 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage in black, grey, and red
The colorwork was incredibly fiddly, what with all the tangled bobbins. And the single stripes are really a pain - it's difficult to keep an even tension for those parts and then you have to weave in the ends along that stripe so it won't show through, but that screws up the tension even more. Some people use duplicate stitch for those stripes, but that sounds even more aggravating. Suffice it to say, I probably won't be knitting a lot of argyle in the future!