Just to tie off the loose ends, before I go into travelogue mode: the fates of the three First Socks mentioned back in April:
I can't be the first person to note how photographing your own feet is a pain in the patoot, can I?
These were my personal challenge-to-myself to knit a pair of socks on DPNs. They were also my plane knitting for the China trip: I figured that even tired TSA agents were unlikely to construe my 5", 2.25 mm bamboo toothpicks as a "weapon" and confiscate them. All I have left is grafting the last toe (and no, I'm not a miracle knitter - the first sock was complete before we left on our trip.)
And because I had only one sock left and the world would end if I ran out of knitting on the trip, the backup project:
Online Supersocke Tropic, color 928 I think - I lost the ballband - on almost-as-nonthreatening bamboo 2 mm/24" circs. (Tell me you don't pack extra projects! I don't even feel guilty about the extra extra skein I tucked in for extreme emergencies, like suddenly becoming able to knit a sock a week, on vacation, while touring in a bus 8 hours a day!)
The Monkey sock? Hated how it looked. (It actually looked OK on the needles, it just looked horrawful with the lace pattern all stretched out on my leg.) Hated knitting on it. Frogged it. Love the yarn. Pattern is nifty. Not together. Maybe in some huskier, less contrasty yarn someday.