The yarn for the socks arrived last night. I cast on immediately, and here is the result of 3 hours of knitting:
Every time these socks are mentioned, people seem to say "definitely a long time commitment". However, they go really quickly! It helps that the yarn is DK yarn, and the pattern asks for size 2s (I am using 3s and the size looks right). There are only 60 rows before the heel, and the color work makes them go really fast. It was so difficult to put the socks down, because it's a lot of fun to see the pattern emerge.
Also, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' instructions are flawless. She explains everything very carefully, row-by-row for the first 20something rows; there are pictures for the middle-eastern cast on, as well as left and right-leaning increases (or rather, "make one"s). The color pattern on the sole is actually very easy to memorize, and the way she deals with the yellow strand on the foot is pure genius. The Knitpicks Merino Style yarn is soft and squishy and very pleasant to work with. I've never had so much fun knitting something!