This post has two parts:
First the yarn report that people asked for on the Crystal Palace Panda Cotton.
I don't know quite what I was expecting. I've seen this yarn compared to Cascade Fixation, but it's really quite different. It's a true fingering weight, for one thing - Fixation is closer to a sport weight. The bamboo content gives it a very smooth texture, whereas Fixation is highly textured. In both yarns, the elastic content makes it much easier on the hands than cotton is traditionally thought to be. Panda cotton has a very high sheen and is cool to the touch; I expect these to be wonderful summer socks.
The downside of this yarn is that it splits like the very dickens. It's more like knitting with four cobweb lace-weight yarns held together than one single fingering weight yarn. I expect there to be issues with the darned in ends. It's not horrible to knit with, though. You just have to pay attention - no automatic pilot knitting while reading or watching TV on this pair of socks! Suprisingly, stitch definition isn't an issue. Once the stitches are knitted off, they look very crisp.
And now the state of the sockapalooza sock
I like the yarn (see above), I like the modifications I made to the Dublin Bay pattern - moving the lace panels in toward the center front will let them continue down the front of the foot of the sock with the gusset stitches making a small border. And the re-charting of the second lace panel to mirror the first instead of repeat it worked out just fine.
BUT ----- LOOK!!! Unlike the swatch, with this width it's flashing and pooling!!! And the yarn has a LOT more yellow in it than it looked in the skein! I'm not loving this......
Solution - same yarn in a solid. My sock pal gave me two colorways - either sea colors or pinks (either light or bright). I really wanted to do the sea colors, but the solids in Panda Cotton are very bright colors in the blues and greens. So pink Panda may be in order.
I'm VERY lucky - my sock pal and I have the exact same size feet - width AND length. Which is making the decision to put this sock 'on hold' very easy. *I* will wear socks that flash - I don't LOVE them, but I'll wear them.