Besides wasting time at youtube and pinterest (lots of free printables!), I managed to knit up another pair of vanilla socks in record time. I really like this sock yarn by Premier Yarns - Serenity Sock. The yarn is affordable, available at chain stores, and super comfortable. The socks can be machine washed but will shrink in the dryer. This colorway is called Saffron. I would love to get this yarn in solids.
I managed to match the stripes on the sock until the toes, where each sock went it's own way. I tried the Fish Lips Kiss Heel twice on sock number 1 and did not like it. I still managed to get holes at the end of the short rows. I know many people love this heel but I found the instructions were a turn off. I switched to my regular heel flap which turned out great.