This summer, I joined my first sock yarn club. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept: you pay a yarn company some set price up front, and for a certain span of time at regular intervals they will send you yarn and a pattern. The Unique Sheep company created such a club, the "Ram Club," specifically for men's socks; the skeins are bigger than most so there will be enough for men's larger feet, and the colorways are designed more-or-less for men's tastes.
I've really liked the first two shipments of yarn. The first contained two different, thin yarns with instructions to hold them together. The pattern was a toe-up design, but I only followed a portion of it -- the gusset and heel construction, using my own preferred toe method. I also didn't follow the stitch pattern, recognizing that these yarns would look good in a garter rib pattern.
I was initially disappointed in the second shipment because the color was so similar to the first. But I quickly fell in love with the texture of the tightly spun, sport weight merino in the second sock. Again, I glanced at and abandoned the accompanying pattern, deciding to try a popular sock pattern called Francie. I had tried Francie before, but I disliked both the yarn I used and the ribbing pattern on the cuff, so I abandoned it. Plus, Francie is made top down, and by now you know how I feel about that.
Still, in the Ram Club yarn with a more sedate and reliable 2x2 ribbing, a churned out a sock that I like very much.
Here's a shot of the bottom of the sock, which give you an idea how the ribbing flows around the foot.
I'm pretty happy with this, but I know it could be a better sock if it were constructed toe-up. I decided to try knitting the second sock backwards, seeing if I can make an identical sock with the stitches running the opposite way.