A confession. I've never believed until now that a small change in needle size could make a noticeable difference to the finished garment size.
One of the reasons I'm so slow at knitting anything is that I try and fit too much into my life. Another is that I make stupid mistakes.
The first thing I did wrong was not knitting a swatch. By the time I'd started knitting the foot, it was obviously way too big.
The pattern says 2.5mm needles, I used 2.75mm because they were the closest I had. I would have said that if anything I have too much tension. 1/4 mm sounds like nothing to me, but the socks (which should have come out at a ladies' size 5) would have fitted a yeti.
Thinking about it, 1/4mm is nothing, but when multiplied by 60 stitches, that makes 15mm, which is something.
I could have started again with the right size needles, but instead just pulled back into the increases and started the foot with fewer stitches. I decided that I could adjust the pattern as I went along for my new number of stitches.
What I have now is the right size, but also a right mess. The pattern's too complicated to 'lose' 8 stitches on every round and I've got into a muddle with that. I also find that I've unwittingly lost two stitches somewhere. This sock is going nowhere.
On a positive note, I've found that knitting with singles is a joy. No noticeable bias. It's a bit less consistent than plied yarn would be, but I'm sure you'll agree it looks fine when knitted. In fact I'm really chuffed with the way the whole thing looks. That thought will keep me going as I buy a set of smaller needles and knit that swatch!