And believe me, it is so much better now! I'd like to be on schedule with the knit-along, so I am going to start again with a solid colour.
About the current sock, as I've told you, I tried the tubular cast on. Maybe because it was my first time, I found it a bit wonky but I would be happy with how it is:
I first tried Montse Stanley's "two-strand tubular cast-on" in Knitter's Handbook but found it a bit complicated to me. Then I tried Nancie Wiseman's method in The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, but still didn't get it too well. But I did find Wiseman's "Chained Cast On" easy to master. Therefore, I went back to Stanley's book for a different method ... "Yarn-over tubular cast-on" and combined it with Wiseman's "Chained Cast On". This time it worked well for me. However, at the first try, there was a really big gap at the joining point. At the second try, I moved the first stitch from needle #1 to needle #4 after joining and knit for several rows before moving it back to needle #1. This seemed to help narrowing the gap. However, I had problems with Stanley's number of stitches to cast on.
I need 70 stitches, so I cast on 35 ... but at the end I only got 69! So, I went to Kathy's post on tubular cast on and found the site to solve the problem. What I should do is to cast on half the required number of stitches plus 1. So, instead of 35, I should cast on 36.
My conclusion? Knitters are pretty hard-working people! LOL ...