I ended up ripping my first attempt in STR farmhouse. I had finished the instep, but the striping of the yarn really obscured the cables. I thought, 'if I'm gonna spend time on these cables, they might as well be seen,' right?! So, my second attempt is in Schoeller+Stahl. Not happy with the yarn itself at all, but I do like how the more subtle coloring shows off the pattern: Like many of you, I decided on the magic cast-on instead of the provisional. I think it makes the toe look much neater.
Next to my first attempt, this one looks kind of boring. But they're for my sister, and she prefers more pastel-y colorways, anyway. Happy Firestarter-knitting!