So the Leaf and Tendril sock is a smashing success thus far. I was going to replace the heel called for in the pattern with something else, but I thought I would give this a try before ruling it out. The verdict is that I would definitely do it again this way.
I have completely turned the heel and am on my way up the leg. It looks fabulous (i.e. no holes) and it actually fits on the first try. I did get a bit confused when I was reading some of the directions, but I eventually figured out the right way to do it by the process of elimination.
I'm amazed at how well the leaves pop out. This is Wildfoot and is absolutely perfect for the pattern. So okay, I take it back. Not all toe-up socks with gusset increases are evil.
In other news, I have started the arm steeks for this:
I have about 10 more inches to knit, but the good news is that 14 inches are done, and that the rounds only get smaller as they go up the neckline. I had a mild steek panic attack the other day (that involved me thinking, "Oh my God! What if the stitches run and the steek doesn't hold?") but I think I'm over it. I don't have to cut for awhile, so I will see how I really feel about this once I finish the project.