I haven't just been stash buying. I have also been using some up. Actually both pairs of socks were knitted with the last of my stash before I bought more. The yarn is by Regia and is called Hand-Dye Effect. Not my favourite yarn to knit with but I have used it before and I do like the end result. The blue and the purple are my favourite colours from the range. If you do use it be warned that it splits very easily. I also recommend re-winding it as it has a tendency to tangle too because of the way it has been wound in the first place.
Both pairs were knitted for friends. The blue pair was a birthday present and the purple was a surprise. I think I had promised them both socks a while back so may have been a surprise to them both finally getting them. They look a little long in the foot (and probably are) but I wanted to get to the end of the diamond patter before finishing the sock.
You can see a close up of the diamond pattern above. It's a lace pattern and is honestly easier to knit than it looks. I've knitted this a few times and have never had problems with it once I got into a rhythm.
The pattern is called New England and is from one of my favourite sock knitting books, Knitting On The Road by Nancy Bush. I say one of my favourites but I have only ever knitted this one pattern. I have good intentions of trying on of the others but I love this one so much I can't help it. I did consider a different one with the purple but the yarn just didn't work with that pattern.
I love this book because there are so many different patterns to choose from. Each one is inspired by a different area and with an explanation as to why. The pattern itself has a page of easy to follow instructions and then the chart is over a double page. Making it very easy to read. I know not everyone likes charts but I prefer them. Plus because it's spiral bound it lies flat making it easier to work from. The images of the socks are fantastic too so that you can see the pattern in detail. There is also a pattern for every taste; colour work, lace, cables and some with only a small amount of detail. I don't think it's for the first time sock knitter but good if you want to branch out from the basic sock pattern.