I get the appeal of socks knit from the toe up. No grafting of the toe, easy placement of full pattern repeats, they're a designer's dream. Or so I thought.
I'm going to need to knit several more of these before it becomes second nature. Now that I'm well ensconced in making them from the cuff down, turning heels from the toe up feels very strange. The available cast-ons for them are alien to me, too.
One of the reason I started designing my own patterns is because I'm not very trusting of other people's patterns. I chicken out when I can't picture it in my head. (Like doing these upside-down heels. You wouldn't believe the mess I made trying to learn to knit cables!) So why make the change?
Well, first off, it's not permanent. I'll be bouncing back and forth as I see fit while I design. It's a bit like going from DPNs to double circs - it's just another available option. I want to have this skill available to me. Many people prefer working their socks this way. (Or at least, there is a very persistent rumor to this affect.) It definitely makes me look at the anatomy of a sock differently, and therefore offers new design insight. In particular, shaping the gusset as you turn the heel offers a design window I had previously overlooked.