After knitting what seems like a gazillion pairs of socks since the start of 2016, I have distilled my basic recipe into this pattern. Use it to knit your first (or tenth or hundredth) pair of vanilla socks, or do as I do and use as a base for combining with other patterns.
Click here to download a PDF of the pattern for standard sock stitch counts (56, 64, and 72)
Click here to download a PDF of the pattern that will work for any stitch count you like (Note, this version is meant for someone who has already knit a sock before and doesn't need exact numbers for each step but instead a general recipe for in-between sizes.)
Or, click here to get a super duper condensed version of the standard stitch count pattern that will fit on one piece of paper if printed double-sided.
The pattern has been test-knit, but if you find any mistakes please let me know.
Some tutorials that might be helpful for beginners: