So, I started a pair of socks last week using a pattern from Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on 2 circular needles." I didn't do a gauge swatch, but in her pattern using fingering weight yarn and size 1-3 needles, she cast on 54 stitches. So I cast on the 54 stitches using size 1 needles and fingering weight yarn. I finished the ribbed cuff and started the leg, but it looked a little small, so I tried it on and couldn't get it on over my heel at all.
So I ripped it out and swatched on size 2s and size 1s. I didn't like the looser fabric I got on the size 2s, so I decided to stick with the size 1s where I got about 9 sts per inch. I then switched to KathrynTs universal sock pattern and decided to go for the largest size (an 80 stitch cast on). The ribbing at this size was perfect, but after I got a couple inches into the leg, I noticed that it was looking pretty wide...I had decided to just do a plain stockinette leg instead of ribbing, so I figured that's why it looked so big (since the ribbing would normally pull the fabric in). I tried it on and it fit around my leg pretty comfortably, so I figured I'd keep going. Once I got about 6 inches of the leg done, I started the heel flap and that's when I realized this wasn't going to work...the heel flap was huuuuugely wide and the sock was going to bag at the ankles. I had to rip the whole stupid thing out. I want to make sure I do it right this time.
1. The ribbing was perfect with the 80 stitch cast on, so I am not sure if I want to decrease the cast on amount. Is there a reason why I can't cast on 80 stitches to do the ribbing, and then decrease down to 72 or 64 stitches for the leg?
2. If this will work, where would I put the decreases? I am knitting the socks on 2 circs, so if I want to decrease to 72 stitches could I k2tog the first 2 stitches of the leg on the first needle, the last 2 stitches on the first needle, the first 2 stitches on the second needle, and the last 2 on the second needle for the first 2 rounds of the leg? Or would that be too sudden?
3. How do I know which number I should decrease to? Decreasing from 80 stitches down to 72 doesn't seem like a huge amount, so I wonder if it would really make a big difference in the size of the heel flap...64 stitches seems like it would make the heel better, but I wonder if that would make the leg way too narrow? I know that a stockinette leg won't stretch as much as ribbing and I don't want it to cut off circulation or something, but I also know that socks are supposed to be somewhat snug fitting so they'll stay up...
Any advice anyone can give me would be really appreciated! I know this seems like it shouldn't be this complicated, but I really don't want to have to rip this out again!