Gather around the fireside, my children, and listen to a sad tale of many mistakes, that you may learn from them, and not do what Count Sockula did.
Or do the mistakes anyway. ;p
This effort was dubbed the Easter Sock, partly because I started it before Easter, partly because of its candy colors. I might have called it the Hurricane Irene sock, since it was finished during that two-day power outage.
As I recall, it was done toe-up, in Caron Simply Soft, on 32 stitches with size 7 needles (first Bryspun double-points, then those plastic Comfort needles, finally with Prym circulars. Yes, I switched needles. A lot.).
I also wanted to try a closed-toe cast-on, and I think this is my favorite kind. I dubbed it the Easter Toe, but it's also called the Bosnian, and couldn't be simpler: cast on 8, 10, or 12 stitches according to the weight of your yarn, and just knit a square, either in stockinette or garter stitch (garter used here). Then pick up stitches all around the square until you have four needles with 8, 10, or 12 stitches each. And start knitting your sock. Increase as needed. Adjust stitches on needles if you want the toe to lie square, or not, if you want it to lie as a diamond.
This was also my first attempt at a garter stitch heel, and I messed up the first one completely (though you might not even be able to tell from the photo). This was because I was trying to do pick-method, rather than real garter stitch method. I've learned better since, and my favorite GS tutorial is right here.
You can use this heel with either toe-up or cuff-down sockage.
This sock was taken up and put down more times than I care to remember. It's also been my most challenging yarn - a splitty and completely ugly colorway in cotton from Araucania. But it was a bargain! And I'm stubborn.
This had the Easter Toe, and garter heel (one of which I messed up for a different reason, having lost count). I used 40 stitches on #4 needles, pretty much Comfort all the way, though at one point I was doing Magic Loop with a lonnnnng Bryspun.
I don't think you can see the heel mess-up here, either.
But then we come to the Mystery Sock, which also took a vewy long time to complete.
I bought a skein of this at a LYS from a bargain bin (yes, that again), but without a ball band. Don't know the maker, don't know the fiber, don't know nothin' apart from ooooo! Colors prettyyyy!!!! This was probably wool, judging by the burn test, and a joy to knit, as opposed to the evil cotton sock. It was done on 40 stitches and some ancient plastic circs in size 5. But only having one ball of the stuff, I used an afterthought heel (and that link displays the best aftertought tutorial ever). For the second sock I threw caution to the winds and did the old garter stitch heel. It worked.
Ehh. Jury's out on the afterthought. It's good if you're not sure of enough yarn, or if you deliberately want a contrast color. It's got its own problems, like all that picking out of stitches from the waste yarn, and having to Kitchener the heel. Basically, it's a standard cuff-down toe, only knit as a heel. Come to think of it, you can use some heel types for toes, and vice-versa.
Thus proving the world of socks is both upside down and backward. More heels and toes to come. And plenty more mistakes.