Some thoughts. . .
First of all, when people say "sock yarn", they generally mean a yarn that will give between 7 - 9 sts per inch, or 28 - 36 sts per 4". The label will tell you what the expected gauge is. To get an idea, go to www.yarnmarket.com
, and in the big box, look for "yarn type" and in that section, click on "sock". On that page, click on any of the yarns listed and look at "product information". They will tell you the gauge. You will need small needles for that type of yarn, anywhere from US size 0 - 3.
For heavy winter socks, though, you will probably want to use something such as Lionbrand's Wool-ease: http://www.lionbrand.com/cgi-bin/yar...rnPage=1419766
As for flat/2-needle socks. Yes, there are patterns out there. Try looking here: http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory.php
. But you may want to consider dpns, that is, double pointed needles, and working in the round. Getting a set in metal from a company such as Susan Bates will not be very expensive. You can get a set of 5 of each size of 000, 00, 0 and 1, all in one package for less than $8: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.j...&source=search
. Or separate sets of size 1, 2 and 3, for less than $3 each here: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.j...&source=search
Now, for the no gussets/no heel bit-- remember, if you can cast on, cast off, knit and purl and make increases and decreases, you can make anything-- all knitting is just a combination of those technics. So you might be more ready than you think. But if not, here is a pattern. I have never tried it, so I don't know how successful it will be, or how comfortable (there's a reason for those heels and gussets!). Also, you may need to cast on more or fewer sts depending on the size of your legs and width of your feet. So I would consider the first one to be a total experiment. But for what it's worth--
Using worsted weight yarn and US size 7 needles, cast on 48 sts. Work in a K2, P2 rib until piece measures about 20". Cut yarn, leaving a good couple of yards in length. Draw the yarn through the sts, tightly, and make a knot to secure it, but don't cut the yarn. Use the tail to sew up the seam. Make 2.