I realized last week that I never answered some of your questions about the Feather and Fan socks.
First, let me say that the yarn is beautiful. I love the colors, I just didn't like the tencel. The stickiness of the tencel and the "grabbiness" of the bamboo needles made for a very unpleasant knit. Metal needles were really like a miracle, and I doubt the socks would yet be finished if I hadn't switched.
I don't use metal needles for socks much anymore as they hurt my hands to knit with for long periods. However, their pointiness and "durablility" (I can't snap them as easily as I snap my bamboo needles) do make them a good choice for some knits.
As far as the "payoff" is concerned - I'm just not sure that you can see the lace pattern at all, which is OK (not many people look at my socks, after all), and for some reason I had a hard time keeping the correct number of stitches on the needles (ie: paying attention to the increases and decreases). I do like a nice pattern, as a change from my regular sock "recipe," and I think I may do feather and fan again sometime, but not soon. With most patterns, I find that I either don't want to have to pay attention at all (or very very little), or I want to give it my undivided attention. For whatever reason, this fell somewhere in between, and I resented it for that.
Anywho, thanks for your sweet words about these socks. I'll give a follow up report on how the tencel feels and wears whenever it is cool enough again for socks.
I'm looking forward to lots of knitting time this week, since I feel better, and I'm hoping to get some small projects off the needles. However, I feel that Theresa's disease may be catching. Anyone have a cure?