Greetings and Dear Cynthia,
I give you exhibit A, which resulted after a few days of wondering, "Hmmmm, am I going to run out of yarn":
This is the yarn remaining after I finally finished my Traveling Companion socks. These are socks knit from the top down, and TEDIOUS, and if I had run out of yarn, I swear I would have just left the second toe un-knit before I would have ripped them back all the way to start over with shorter leg parts. (Well, once I got over the shock, I would have probably purchased additional yarn, but really, the best option is not running out of yarn in the first place, so a big PHEW!) In any case, this summer I'm going to try several methods for knitting socks toe-up... I really like the idea of not having to worry about running out of yarn after guessing wrong about the leg length on the top-down variety... Can you stand the excitement?
And so, I finished the first toe-up sock knit from Wendy's pattern. (This next picture might be a little bit blurry, but I had to quickly take the sock off and put my camera down, because as I was sitting on the front porch getting these photos, a strange man rode his bike into our driveway, and I had to at least give this visitor the appearance that I am sane. This strange man happened to be a friend of mine from college (ahem, 20 years ago), and he was on his way home from work. You know how you wonder sometimes whatever happened to friends from your past? Yes, well, now this particular friend can say, "Laura, yeah, um, I ran into her the other day, and she was sitting on a bench in front of her house taking pictures of her feet.") I thought Wendy's directions were pretty straightforward, and I'm really very happy with the results, and it was a quick knit. I did end up picking up two extra stitches on each side of the heel to close the gaps there, and then kept those stitches all the way up the leg so that the leg part would be a little bit wider. I also switched to larger needles about halfway up the leg part to allow for the widening of the calf. For the bind-off, I did what I've seen referred to as a "lace bind-off", in which you *purl two stitches together, place the newly formed stitch back onto the left needle loosely*, then repeat between *, and I LOVED it.
Very stretchy -- exactly what I needed for this sock.
Anyway, back to sock knitting...but before that, a "thank you" to Arianne and Debi for your hints regarding toe-up socks. I'm eager to learn more about this topic, and I'm so glad for your thoughts and information! I'm going to try out your suggestions, and ultimately develop my own "favorite" toe-up pattern incorporating my favorite techniques, so I'm glad to have additional things to try which YOU have found useful!