For a lot of spinners the Big Challenge is spinning enough yarn to knit a sweater. I think spinning for a pair of socks is almost as scary.
I tried to talk myself out of this strange fear by reading The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel.
The Workbook starts with a good discussion on color theory, dye stock solutions, and mixing colors, including several different methods for dyeing fiber (even drink mix methods).
Vogel then proceeds to intimidate me to death by talking about spinning sock yarn...on a spindle.
I mean, really, some people are just overachievers.
Maybe I won't feel that way in a year, but right now I'm kind of frightened.
Even with my terror, I loved reading Vogel's information on combining colors through plying. A lot can change based on how colors are combined, depending on their relative hues, values, and brightness levels. There are several well-photographed examples in the book showing how slight variations can create completely different and unique yarns.
There are also basic patterns for socks, and some interesting variations on common themes. Several different bind offs, cast ons, heels and toes are all clearly explained and photographed. They would allow any knitter to knit socks with confidence, including an unusual construction of a sock that is mostly knit flat.
Overall, an interesting book to either conquer or heighten your terror of spinning, combining colors, or knitting socks.