I have conquered the second sock!! And this time I alternated rounds with yarn from each end of the ball. I also played around with a different needle size and sock size but both are top down.
Lefty (aka: Ugly Twin): #6 dpns and cast on 56 sts
Righty: #5 dpns and cast on 48 sts
So, lesson learned: with Hill Country Instant Gratification Sock yarn, you must alternate yarn strands every round or two to achieve a more visually pleasing sock. I just don't understand, the skien looked so perfect and beautiful in its natural state (see pic in my banner). Oh well, practice time over, time to get down to some sock business!
Anyway, I've made more progress on Orangina. I worked on it almost exclusively last weekend and I have a couple of inches of lace pattern left before starting the ribbing.