The intrinsic reward of giving something handmade is apparently great enough to convince me to knit man socks ;). Using a pattern from the book Getting Started Knitting Socks (my go-to sock bible that taught the very basic steps in sock knitting, and walked me through my very first pair a few years ago), I measured his feet so they'd be custom fit and jumped right into the Right Twist Cable Rib Socks, aka Mock Cable Man Socks on Ravelry.
11 inches of foot length translates into many, many hours of knitting and luckily I enjoyed this pattern. Big socks aren't easy to do, and this pattern was the right choice for the project-- easy to memorize, simple to set aside and pick up again. The yarn is Spud & Chloe Fine, an 80% superwash wool and 20% silk blend. The socks felt somewhat rough during the knitting process but after washing and blocking they've softened right up. Speaking of which, this yarn is the way to go for someone who doesn't want to be committed to hand-washing socks or fears ruining them in a forgetful fit of laundry laziness. Wash and tumble dry!