Faute de mieux, or indeed faute de anything, here are three pairs of blue socks I have made in the last three months.
These were Tom's birthday socks. I knitted them over several evenings watching telly, and when I gave them to him he was genuinely surprised, having been completely unaware of their coming-into-beingness, or becomingness, or whatever. He assures me this kind of obliviousness is the product of a concentrated form of mindfulness, or perhaps mindlessness, conscious forgetfulness, willed nothingness, that refuses to spoil surprises for me in the giving. They are quite a dark blue with dull brown stripes, and knitted from the top down, with a heel flap, in the old fashioned way.
The problem with this method of construction is that you must calculate the amount of wool required and that which thou hast, and decide on the length beforehand. Even with good digital kitchen scales and doing lots of sums, one will inevitably either run out of wool (being English, I still find the word 'yarn' difficult) or have an annoying amount left over. Starting from the toe, however, as long as your know you have enough to complete the foot above the heel, after that you can go on as long as you wish, to the ankle and beyond. But this requires a satisfactory method of casting on the toe, and of turning the heel, which until recently I didn't have. Now, though, I have mastered the figure of eight for the former, and, having paid the princely sum of $1 for the PDF, the fish lips kiss heel for the latter. The are both rather fun to execute, though I always seem to miscount somewhere on the heel on one sock and have to bodge it to adjust, but it doesn't seem to show too much.
These were the first, which I decided were too rough and faulty to give away and kept for myself. We always get to keep the mistake/first attempt things, they mostly get quite a lot of wear. These are comfortable.
The socks below are more recent, made for one of my nieces. They are also finished off with a super-stretchy cast-off which looks a bit frilly and weird but really does avoid constrictingly-tight-sock-top misery. One ball each of merino blend fingering and a bit of another colour for the very top, which I'm rather taken with doing lately.
Most of the toe-up socks I've done have tended to be a bit long in the foot, even using the cardboard template trick that comes with the heel pattern; you really have to start the heel sooner than you think. Also, the heel isn't reinforced, as it is with a classic top-down pattern, so maybe they wear out sooner if they're worn in shoes especially.
There we are, so who knew there was so much involved in socks, other than just nipping into M&S or Carrefour or wherever and just buying a pack. At least I can link this post into my Ravelry notes anyway.