My first pair of socks--completed with a great deal of help were successful enough that I could wear them, but not give them as a gift as intended. Turning the heel felt as momentous for me as rounding the Cape of Good Hope. So with all the zeal of an intrepid explorer, I started on another pair from the same wool (merino wool with possum fur from New Zealand) for my friend. My beginner's luck still held; I prevailed upon my friends to help me steer around the heel once again, and best of all--the socks fit and my friend liked them ---hooray all around.
OK, next socking adventure: socks from a lovely soft bamboo wool--yup the same thing our pandas eat but made into yarn rather than panda food. They knit up like a dream and fit like a charm--size wise. Bamboo is very soft and drapey--lovely for shawls and tops and --well, things unlike socks that need to be more socky. I still love them and wear them with my clogs.
So duly chastened with my exotic wool adventures, I started a pair in --sock wool (blue mostly wool self-patterning). Sometimes I am conventional, honest. I followed the ball band directions for needle size, checked my gauge and went to town. I even did a tension square and checked sizing as I went along. Turned the heel by myself and carried on into the toe, but the fabric was not satisfactory--loosely connected. I made a mid course correction and added another strand of very fine wool. Much nicer fabric--stiffish but more sock like but the sock when done was listless, at best. Having learned all I could from this little sock, I began ripping it out with none of the remorse usually associated with ripping out. The pretty blue tight knit fabric will make a lovely little purse in which I can keep, what else? sock needles.