It's been a long story (see part 1 and part 2), but I finally have a pair of finished socks. (The photos are pre-blocking.)
And, despite my protestations, the ribbing does fit my big calves. But I sized them for my daughter, so they are too short for my big feet, which means I can't accidently keep them for myself.
When I read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules! (see review), I struggled with the chapter on socks because I had not knit any yet. Tonight I reread that chapter, and now it makes sense. Especially the part about sock knitting being addictive: I am halfway through sock #2 of my SO's Magic Stripes socks and I can't wait to start on a pair for myself.