Now, here's the thing. I should probably redo the first one. I knit the second sock reversing the hand in which each color was held. In other words, for the first sock, I had the brown yarn in my left hand, and knit it continental. The cream was in the right hand (more or less) and was thus knit English. For the second, I reversed that.
What that means is that the yarns cross over each other in the back differently; they have to cross over to keep the fabric together, but the direction of the cross influences the way the front side looks. It is apparently something called "yarn dominance." In the way that I'm knitting, the yarn that is held in the right hand (which ends up crossing over the other yarn on the back) is less visible on the front... or less crisply clear, perhaps. The yarn in the left hand (which ends up under the other yarn in the back) is dominant on the front.
In this picture, that effect is less apparent because the flash made all the cream look brighter. But even in this picture I think you can see that the little crosses, especially, look brighter and clearer on one sock.
I'm also finding that this effect is not explained in some books I have, even if it seems like it should be. In Knitting in the Old Way Priscilla Gibson-Roberts doesn't seem to mention it; in fact, she suggests that beginners at stranded knitting hold the more used yarn in their dominant hand (i.e., if they knit continental in the left, as I did) and the highlight in the other. I'm not sure that that's actually good advice, because if you're normally a continental knitter, like me, that makes the highlighted design, er, lowlighted.
In other knitting news, I frogged what I'd started of the Jolie cardigan. That was the beginnings of the back, seen here, and also about 10-12 inches of one of the front sides, basically all of which I knit while in New York. I decided two things. First, I tried doing the called-for butt flap. Holding it up to my butt in front of the mirror yesterday, I decided that that was going to prove to be one of the most unflattering things I could do to myself. Second, although I still quite like the low-front cardigan idea, and I like the diamond pattern (sort of visible here), I'm going to have to rethink this yarn and this gauge. Basically, this yarn on this size needles makes a too-floppy fabric, I think. To my mind, the sweater's going to need more heft to it in order not to look sloppy. So, I'll either have to do this on smaller needles, or, as I tried swatching last night, doubled on larger needles. The question is whether I have enough yarn for the latter option. I kind of think I do, but I'll have to play around with it a bit before I decide.
What does this mean? The only thing I currently have on needles is the Orenburg shawl, on which I've barely worked in the last month. But last night I did two more rows, and I think I'm going to concentrate on that for a while, until I make it to half-way through. At that point I'm going to put it on thread to see how big it's really going to be.
I did also wind some yarn last night for a couple more things. I wound one of the Koigu skeins to start a sock, and also the pale green cotton to think about a tank of some sort. For that one, I started a swatch of the Milanese stitch from Barbara Walker's second stitch dictionary. It'll be a lacy tank, but the yarn is quite fine, so I think that's going to have to happen, no matter what. Doing a stockinette tank in this yarn would drive me bonkers, as it'd be incredibly, utterly boring.