I made three attempts to get gauge for the Monkey socks. My conclusion is...the designer used No. 1.5 needles and so should I. Unfortunately I don't own any and there were no yarn stores open Sunday evening when I bowed to the inevitable (I've since been to several yarn stores and not found any. So I'm glad I wasn't counting on finding them.) I frogged and cast on for a basic toe up sock, knit a toe, and increased until it was the right size...and found that I had 68 stitches, which, since 68 factors to 2 x 2 x 17, isn't the most useful stitch count. I considered things like ribbing, and various 4-stitch patterns, without finding anything I really liked and finally started the foot with the lacy rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. (It's a 5-stitch pattern, but I figured I could do five repetitions centered across the instep and pick up two more stitches at the top of the heel to get to 70 stitches for the leg.)
Unfortunately, I hated it. I'm sure it's charming in some yarns, but not in this one. This stripes just enough horizontally that vertical patterns just don't look good...something I remembered from an early attempt to do Diamond Lace from the same book in this same yarn, but should have taken more seriously.
I contemplated the yarn. Considered changing yarn...but I really wanted to use this yarn for these socks...it's beautifully soft and quite pretty all by itself. Then I ripped out all the ribbing (I really hadn't gotten that far) and just knit the foot plain. When I got to the leg, I added four stitches (getting me to a total of 72, a nicely factorable number) and changed over to an old standby for self-striping yarns, feather and fan. It's looking quite charming.
The sock and I have now reached a truce, wherein it shall be knit, in a size that fits the recipient and a pattern that suits the yarn and it is giving me no more trouble. And so long as that continues to be true, no one will have to do anything hasty involving...scissors.