You can see in the picture how much the stitch pattern draws the stitches in. If you look at the foot section, there are the same number of stitches in the instep (knit in the stitch pattern) as there are in the sole (knit in plain stockinette). This stitch pattern pulls the stitches in, but it's like a rib - it stretches back out really nicely and will stretch farther than plain stockinette. It's going to be a very comfortable sock to wear and I definitely want to make myself a pair (in anything but black). What you have to watch on a stitch pattern like this though, is when you put it on the foot and it expands around the foot, you lose some length. That's why I'm trying them on Mickael - I don't want to make them too short to wear comfortably. Fortunately, Mickael is used to me putting knitwear in progress on him and as long as I don't stand in front of the TV while he's playing video games, he doesn't even complain about it anymore. Of course, having a nice collection of manly, hand knit socks probably helps too - he loves his handknit socks.