upping the stitch count may help. my first pair i knit fingering on size three needles and those socks feel bumpy and weird, but with my second pair on, i knit at least 9 st/in. of course, my favorite designer, cookie, always has 8st/in and i am currently knitting pomatomus, and im worried about this very thing.
RHR, i hadn't thought of purling, so that the stockinette is on the inside for the bottom of the foot, but that's a pretty nifty idea. i might try it when i get to that point. thanks!