But last night, I put a couple of Stephen-Fry-reading-Harry-Potter CDs in the stereo, sat down, sucked it up, and did the graft. And you know what? The sock actually fits pretty well. Even around the top of the leg.
And the grafting? It wasn't so bad. In fact, doing a graft that long forced me to get into a rhythm with it and I actually discovered a better technique which allowed me to keep the tension more even.
Even the under-toe graft doesn't look too bad.
It's a little bit rough to look at, but it's on the underside of the foot, it's smooth enough to wear and foot weight will flatten it out completely.
I still have one concern - the decreases. To shape both the heel and the toe, you work paired decreases or paired increases on every row. My increases worked fine - a tiny bit puckered, but they'll flatten out.
But the decreases have a tendency to ladder even though I was pulling the yarn as tight as I dared. You can see it on the heel...
and also on the toe...
I have a theory on how to fix this which I might try out on the second sock. If I include a single stitch to separate the decreases, then the ladder might disappear.