Thank for your comments about my husband's sock. I've already started the heel on the second one. Worsted-weight socks go quickly!
The yarn is an ancient one that's been in my yarn closet for a very long time. It's by Neveda and is a blend of 70% wool, 20% acrylic and 10% alpaca, with 90 yards per 50 grams. With a 12" size 6 (US) circular needle, I cast on 48 stitches and worked 8 rounds of 1x1 ribbing. I switched to a size 7 needle and knit 49 rounds (about 7 inches). Then I switched to a size 4 for the heel and foot. The larger needle for the leg portion means that part goes a little more quickly. The smaller needle for the heel and foot makes the fabric sturdier where it's needed.
I should finish the second sock today and then it's on to the rest of my list.
Some knitters don't care to knit with the short 12" circulars, but my hands are small and my fingers are short and they fit me very comfortably. I'd much rather use a circular than double-pointed needles although, of course, you have to switch to double-points when you get down to the toe. You can also use two longer circulars to work in the round. A Google search should turn up lots of sites with instructions.
I haven't been involved in online knitting groups in a while, so I really don't know if someone has come up with yet another way to knit socks. When I was involved, there were several methods: double-points, short circulars, two circulars and the Magic Loop. There was even a pattern floating around for knitting a sock within a sock, to eliminate the problem of second-sock syndrome (that's when you finish the first and can't bear to do another one just like it). I figure it's all knitting, and I love to knit, so what the heck. But I do think it's wise to cast on for the second sock (glove, slipper, mitten) immediately.
I walked outside yesterday for FIVE miles. I haven't done five since December 11, and my legs and calves were feeling it last night. I hope to repeat that walk today. We're having a bit of mist/freezing rain right now, but that's supposed to be gone by 9 a.m. We'll see if the weatherman is right.
Are you planning anything special for New Year's Eve? I'm from Ohio and it was our family's tradition to eat ribs and sauerkraut for luck in the new year. Now that I'm a southerner (well, southern West Virginia, anyway), I've discovered Hoppin' John, and this year I grew my own black-eyed peas to make it. I happen to love Hoppin' John, while my husband only tolerates it because I make him eat it. This link will take you to an interesting op-ed about black-eyed peas published in today's New York Times.
Another New Year's food tradition is that a serving of carrot "coins" will bring prosperity. Since the economy still sucks I think I'll put some of those on our plates as well. Other than that, we'll be watching football and more football. And I'll be knitting and knitting. And knitting. Heh.