Pattern: Hat Heel Sock (using this modification) and (this bind off) and a basic top down mitten toe.
Basic Lessons Learned: Always arrange your stitches so a knit stitch is at both ends of your needle when knitting in the round. If your having problems with laddering in magic loop, every few rows move a stitch or two over to the other needle and then work a few rounds and then move it back. Spin all yarn in one batch to avoid funky thick and thin issues.
I followed the hack mentioned above to avoid pick up stitches and gussets all together, which easily makes this the most user friendly sock pattern I've ever knit, hands down! You knit the little hat heel and then divide half of the stitches off onto a keeping thread and then provincial cast on the same number to make the top of your foot. The real treat here, aside from the obvious technical ease, is that you can knit a top down toe but still have the benefit of a toe up style leg which is a real gift when your using special yarn like handspun.
Another area with room for improvement is the lack of ease at the provincial cast on/pick up round (see what I did there with the pun?). The reason this is a fiddly problem is the widest part of his foot is at the top of the heel but the thinnest section of his leg is RIGHT above it at the ankle, soooo I'm not sure how I can keep the sock able to go over his heel with plenty of ease but also stay snug around his ankles. #knittingwifeproblems, eh?
And finally I think I will knit the leg smooth until the final quarter where I will switch to a 1x1 ribbing. Or maybe a 3x1 all the way up and then switch to a 1x1?