The yarn is self striping - the pattern got a bit lost in the ribbing, but it still looks good. They were based primarily on measurements and patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks - which is the book to have if you want to knit socks. It has charts to make socks in any size depending on your gauge plus patterns to try. It has instructions for top down, toe up, as well as short row heels and flap heels in both directions. I prefer short row heels, although I still struggle with them. I find it hard to concentrate and so I'm constantly losing my place. I liked the book's explanation, but I tried another way, the Lifestyle Toe Up, that I found on the web; there's even a video demonstration. It doesn't use wraps and instead has you knit an extra stitch. It was easy to follow and came out reasonably well. Any troubles were user error.
I love magic loop two at a time. I can't imagine making socks one at a time in part because I'm sure I'd lose count of the rows and because it's too easy to not make the second one. If you haven't tried it, it's not as hard as it looks.