Quick progress update... with notes that are probably meaningful only to me. I've completed the heels on both pirate socks. I'm not as wowed by the results as I'd planned to be, but I've come to accept them. At the top of the heels, the socks still fit the recipient, another fitting will be needed tonight.
To accommodate his slender foot and broad heel, I cast on and knitted up according to the midfoot measurement, 23 stitches per needle, 46 total. I started the increases early, which allowed me to increase to 74 stitches total, instead of the recommended 68. Before starting the heel, I adjusted the heel needle to 27 stitches, and then worked the heel for a target of 54 stitches around the ankle, 27 per needle. At that point, it still fit. Then I decided that to accommodate the ribbing pattern I want, I would change it to 52 stitches, so I did one more decrease in line with the heel decreases, and have knit about another inch. Tonight's fitting will determine if I can get away with 52. If so, I will continue with the 3x1 ribbing until it seems appropriate to start the colourwork again.