So this stupid thing is making no sense to me, and I'm devising a way of my own to make a similar-looking short row sock. Currently swatching flat to see how it turns out, then I'll try doing it on an actual sock and see how THAT goes.
I'll keep you posted! And I'll post the pattern when it's done.
Edit: Did my swatch in the new pattern!
Looks just like the original, which is what I was going for!
And did the basic math for the sock pattern:
Gauge: 27 sts= 3.5 inches
Foot circumference: 10 inches
Sock circumference: 76 stitches, 9.8 inches
Cast on 38 stitches for short-row toe.