So I'm doing this right. In order to plan this project, I need to do my swatch. I've chosen a needle size, and after a couple rows, I can see it is too loose. Then I used a smaller needle, and it's much better. I want a firm fabric for socks to wear well, so this will do just fine.
I did find, though, that the smaller needle size was harder to work with. I can feel the extra strain on my hands. So this will be a little tougher to do, but I will manage.
I used 4.0 mm and 3.25 mm needles. I have some nice bamboo needles that I really quite like, but not enough for both socks at the same time. I don't like doing one and then the other -- I always forget what I had done on the first! No, I don't follow a pattern! These will be knit toe-up, and I make up the design as I go along. I haven't yet determined how I will do the gusset or the heels. I do want the toe and heel to be in white, the rest in grey, but I don't like short-row heels, but am not sure how the flap will look in white. Shall see when I get there, I suppose! Why worry about it before I need to?
I do want a simple rib on the instep and around the leg, so tried out a 3/1 rib on the swatch, with both needles. Yes, the smaller works better. One thing I noticed, which I should have known, is how much the fabric pulls in with the smaller needles! You can see in my swatch, in the stocking stitch area, and in the ribbing, how much they have pulled in, even with these few stitches. This is compounded when you are doing a sock, or even a sleeve! Something to keep in mind.
Here is the swatch, with the needles placed next to their corresponding section.
Now, to cast on.