For no apparent reason, I felt a faint sense of guilt about the cast-on I used for my endpaper mitts. The pattern suggests you use Italian tubular cast on, as it gives a neater edge for 1x1 ribbing. However, when I came to start the mitts I was on a ferry to Ireland, and didn't have access to any nice friendly internet resources which might entice me to try this (such as this page). Faced with either sitting watching the waves for several hours, or starting the mitts with my standard long-tail cast on, I decided to sack off the fancy cast-on and start mittening. So when I started these monkeys I felt I should really cast-on in the Italian tubular style as a sort of apology to the now completed mittens. Was this a good idea? Well, i heard that it wasn't recommended to do this for socks, because 'it gets fiddly'. This to me sounded like a challenge! One which the socks very nearly won. Illustrated is a few evenings worth of knitting... what the picture doesn't show is the swearing and frogging that was involved in getting thus far. In the end, I did 2 rows of slipping alternate stitches then pulled out the guide yarn. Then breathed a sigh of great relief as i was finally able to actually start the sock. The cast on looks quite neat but if I could rewind a few days and start again, I would probably use that time to read War and Peace and do long tail cast on instead. The yarn is Stroud Supersock semi-solid in a soothing autumnal chestnut shade. I think my retinas needed something a bit less eye-searingly bright after the aforementioned mitts.