Simplest socks

Zaposa's standard sock pattern,

This is the standard sock pattern, and I've made a gazillion socks with it. It's toe-up, so you can stop knitting when you're bored or run out of yarn. The heel is an afterthought heel so that it is easy to replace (or make with a different color).  

I'm not concerned with counting stitches or listing how many rows to make.  This is a general pattern, intended for all size feet.    Actually, it's more like guidelines.  I assume the knitter knows how to knit stockinette and ribbing in the round, make paired decreases, and make invisible paired increases.

Simplest Sock pattern

Directions below are for Peace Fleece at std gauge, which is a bit less than 4sts/in on size 7 needles, or 4sts/in on size 8s.  Obviously, if you use a thinner yarn or knit at a different gauge, you should adjust the numbers of stitches and inches accordingly.

Make toe: CO 8 sts using figure-8 cast on. Put on 2 needles. After first and before last stitch of each needle, increase 1 using paired invisible increases. Increase every-other row until there are 40 sts. Make one more row, then transfer to 4 dpns or one magic loop.

Make foot: Make a tube of stockinette such that the sock-so-far is about 4" shorter than the intended foot. If you have access to the intended recipient's hands, you can have them try it on a hand. You are ready to start the heel increases when it's about as long as a mitten top (fingertips to thumb crack).

Make room for heel:

 At sides of sock, increase 1 st on each side, k 3 rows, then increase 1 st on each side. Repeat until sock measures to recipient's wrist. Knit 1/2 sts onto waste yarn, then decrease using the reverse of the increase pattern.

Make leg: Make a tube of stockinette. Increase 2 sts at center back when tube is 4", 6", and every inch thereafter.

Make top: Decrease to 36 sts, and knit 4" of k2p2 ribbing. BO.

Make heel: Pick out waste yarn and pick up sts. Put on 2 needles. Decrease at first and last st of each needle using paired decreases every other row. When 19 sts remain, graft together remaining sts.

Finishing instructions: Weave in ends.  I spit-splice as much as possible, so I only have 4 ends: one from each end of the sock, and one from each end of the heel.  Block if you want to, but I never do.