The basic sock pattern uses a French heel--a slip-stitch, honeycomb pattern that provides comfort, fit and durability. For the heel flap, you will be working with only 30 stitches and a 2.0 mm circular needle. The stitches are worked back and forth on the single needle for a total of 30 rows. A chain stitch selvage makes it easy to later see and pick up stitches for the gusset.
The tools that I use for projects are listed here. Knitting and crochet needles have their own separate blog entries. I will add to this basic list, as I reference tools in projects.
Stitch Markers: I use two types of split ring markers, one type (white in the photo) that I really like but haven't been able to find anymore. The small white, split-ring markers are very useful when knitting and marking fingering and sport weight yarns and when using small diameter needles. The green and orange markers locking stitch markers are better for larger diameter needles, when you want to hold a few stitches at a end of the row for completion later, to temporarily hold a dropped a stitch, or for marking increases and decreases. The green and orange markers are Clover Locking Stitch Markers (#353).
My knitting needles range in diameter from 1.2 mm to 12.0 mm, comprising straight needles (Aero, Redditch England) from 2.25 mm through 8 mm, double-pointed needles, DPNs (Aero, Knit Picks and Susan Bates), from 1.5 mm through 7.0 mm and circular needles from 1.2 mm up to size 8.0 mm (Knit Picks and HiyaHiya). (See related article, "My Needle Choices," if you are interested in how I select needles for specific tasks.)
From size 6.00 mm and larger, the Aero straight needles are made of stiff plastic. Most of my circular needles are nickel-plated from Knit Picks (fixed circular for the smaller diameters and interchangeable needle tips for the larger sizes). My very small, stainless steel circular needles (<= 1.75 mm) are from HiyaHiya. I use small, anodized aluminum DPNs (1.5 mm - 2.25 mm) from Susan Bates. These are conveniently colored to make it easy to distinguish among the small needles. Other than the small diameter needles, any DPNs I have purchased recently to satisfy a project need are nickel-plated needles from Knit Picks.
I inherited a set of long, straight, plastic needles in sizes up to 6.0 mm (unknown manufacturer) that I find too flexible (hence too slow) for most knitting purposes, other than for casting on or for holding stitches. These are not included in the attached cross-reference table.
Updated June 4, 2012
After I had knit my first pair of socks using two circular needles, I decided to develop alternate instructions to better suit my knitting style and improve clarity. I have to admit that I struggled with some of the instructions in the book that I used to learn knitting socks with 2 circular needles. The steps for the basic sock technique are explained here for a woman's medium sized sock. References are provided for other sizes.