I am knitting these out of Smiley's cashmere, using a pattern I've cobbled together myself. I am using Judy's magic cast-on, wiseneedle's proportions and heel, and a mistake rib pattern on the top of the instep and aound the leg.Here's a close-up of the cast-on:
This is my first pair of toe-up socks, and I chose this cast-on because, I have to admit, I have a block against provisional cast-ons. They seem fussy to me, for some reason. Anyway, this is gloriously simple, and produces, with little or no effort, a totally seamless toe. Since I hate seaming and grafting, I love the idea of totally seamless socks!
The heel I am less happy with:
You can't really see it here, but it looks crummy. I don't like having to pick up two wraps on the same stitch. Sometime I could only get one. This is definitely too fussy and annoying for me. I am debating whether to switch to a Sherman heel on the second sock, or do this one again for the sake of making them identical.
I love the mistake rib--it's pretty, but not too feminine since I am making these for my sweetie. I like the strong vertical lines, and also the 3-D aspect--the ridges stick out nicely. On the top of the instep, I used 27 stitches in order to have both edges of the pattern match; one I got the leg, I added a stitch so that the leg is 56 stitches around. I knit the stockingnette sole on 6s and the mistake rib on 4s because the rib comes in a wider stitch gauge. But it also comes in at a shorter row gauge, so I had to throw in a couple makeup rows. On the leg, I'm on 4s the whole way around, but I am thinking of gradually increasing my needle size as I go up to incorporate some easy leg shaping. We'll see!
We'll also see if I can repeat all of this improvisation on the second sock...because I'm not taking notes :-).