I took the sock to knitting group last night and asked for expert opinions- their expert conclusion- I'm nutty. It looked fine. Maybe even good. Okay, so I might be slanting their comments a bit, but they said it was nice and they couldn't see any of the errors other than loose stitches.
Note to self- Petticoat sock ribbing hides errors nicely.
There are some loose stitches I'll have to distribute out but they think I should go onward. So. Onward I go. Just, next time I make these socks- a) the 52 stitch repeat is TINY. I'm told a thicker yarn would have been better, like sportweight. 60+ stitches cast on is much more normal. => b) Would probably use 3mm needles for the current yarn- Louet Gems Merino.
So chalk it all up to experience! I was too ignorant to know better.
Now, how do I shrink this sock? It is superwash so will it still shrink a bit if I wet it down and toss it into the dryer on high for a few minutes?