First off, thanks all your comments about trusting the pattern (and reassurance about the meanies). No single person has really written an email quite that obnoxious (but they've been close), although one woman really did say that she'd had other knitters review what she'd done and they all came up with the same wrong numbers she did. Which isn't that surprising, actually--it's hard to interpret directions for yourself when you have one possible interpretation sitting in front of you (but there's still no reason to be rude).
So, I'm knitting yet another pair of socks, with Scheafer Heather...
As an aside, the tag says to hand wash, but I have a theory that it could be carefully machine washed... especially by someone who would not be heartbroken to trade longest possible sock life for convenience)... I will report back after I wash a swatch (I am not crazy--I'm willing to lose some time off the end of my socks' life, not ruin them immediately).
Anyway, new socks. I started on bamboo needles but it turns out that Heather, this stitch pattern, and I are happier working with metal needles. I used a regular figure-eight cast on, like I usually do for toe ups. (Toe-ups? Apparently, hyphens should not be used unless the would-be hyphenated phrase/word is modifying a noun. Is that true? I would love to follow a rule, rather than hyphenating at random!)
Anyway again, regular figure-eight cast on. I've tried Judy's magic cast on, but I'm not as comfortable doing it as the regular F-8 CO (but that would come with time). More significantly, I don't prefer the appearance of one over the other, so I just go back to the F-8.
But now I'm confused. I was re-reading Judy's article, and I noticed again that one of the things she was trying to avoid was the blank space she gets between the first two purl rows with a F-8 CO. I don't get a blank space, although I do go back to tighten up that first row once I get going (I think this part is kind of fun, but maybe that's just me). See?
And here's the outside. Purty yarn!