For most designs, there's a main color and one or more contrasting colors... cast on with the main color as you would normally. For the first row of the Fair Isle design, bring in the contrasting color(s) as you would if you were joining a new ball.
Ditto on the Magic Stripes. I used it ("Lumber Jack Black") for a pair of ankle socks, and they've worn really well. If you're in the mood for something with a higher wool content, check out Patons Kroy Socks.
Thanks! I was just about to take your advice when I realized that the bottom half of a gallon jug is not a great place to keep my needles... so I gave into temptation and started sewing a needle case. Once it's finished (later today) I'll start one of the new socks. Now... should it be the dark purple, or the turquoise-yellow-magenta?
I have a bunch of options, and after bouncing back and forth with no decision made, I'm turning it over to you. Y'all get to decide what I work on. Here are the options:
1. I'm about 2/3 of the way through a cabled shrug. It's getting boring, but if I work on it for two or three days, I can get it done.
2. I finished one knee-high, toe-up, fitted-leg stocking for my RenFaire garb a month or two ago, and I'd like to get the second one started. Once I turn the heel, though, it gets really boring... you don't realize how long your calves are until you make knee-high stockings. If I treat it as a full-time job for a week, it can be finished.
3. I have two pairs of socks I want to cast on. They're ankle-length, so I can finish a pair in a few days. Because they'll go quickly, I won't get bored, and they'll give me a break from my other stuff.
So what say you? Shrug? Stocking #2? New socks? What should I work on? Your will is my command!