Well, I'm now on the second sock of my first-ever pair! This one started out so much faster, though it has slowed down a lot because I'm super busy with other things, and have little time to knit this week)! I was just amazed at how--dare I say--natural all those pokey needles now felt! Wow! The ribbing zipped along nicely, as did they leg. the stitches are much nicer looking that on the first pair, though the sock is a bit smaller/snugger due to tighter stitches.
Then, perhaps I got a bit cocky (or just too lazy to get up off the couch), and I proceeded on to the heel without checking my tutorial. I did the entire heel flap, and was dismayed that it looked very different from the heel on the first one. After checking the tutorial, I realized that I had alternated slips and purls across the entire "wrong side" as well as on the right side. So I ripped it all out and fixed it.
I turned the heel, though again I had a heck of a time finding the correct slipped stitches to pick up (and this time I even marked the first and last one on each side). I always seem to have several more than required. Not sure why.
The gusset: here, I stopped paying attention again, and did the first 3-4 rows with a decrease on EACH row, rather than every other row. Does this matter? I didn't want to rip it out, so I just left it, and continued in the correct way. Is the purpose of the alternating rows simply to make the gusset big enough to fit your foot?
So, now I'm trying to find time to do the foot!
All in all, this has been really fun to learn. Well, ok, after the initial frustration of figuring out how in the heck to hold those needles. Neither of the tutorials I am using spend any time really going into details about EXACTLY how to position the needles and fingers. But I finally found a way that works well for me.