Oh my gosh I love these! Unfortunately my only ever sock attempt came out sized for an elephant...Which is a lie really since I don't think elephants have ankles like people have ankles. But still they were huge.
DizMissLiz, that's how my first socks came out too! The pattern called for size US 3 needles, and they were huge. Now, I use size US 1 for the feet, and they come out perfectly. Being able to try the socks on as you go to ensure a perfect fit is one of the things that I like the most about working socks from the toe upward.
A gal on Rav asked me if she could use glow-in-the dark DK or worsted weight yarn instead of fingering to make these socks for her hubby, and I told her that she may be able to use the smaller chart since she'd be using thicker yarn. (I've got charts for 56, 60, and 74 stitches.) If she knits a 56 or 60 stitch tube and it fits him, then she can go for it!
So, once you get a needle/stitch count combo that works for you, you can apply any fair isle or lace pattern repeat that fits within your number of total stitches on to a sock. Well, that was probably more abstract sock theory than you asked for, but I hope that it helps you give socks a second chance!