Cat Bordhi for helping me change the way I knit socks. This woman is a genius! I first ran across references to her sock knitting on Ravelry. Then I found her website and then I found her Youtube videos. I bought her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One.
Let me back up a bit. I basically taught myself to knit socks by reading sock patterns. I used double pointed needles because that is what the pattern told me to do. I also learned to knit 2 socks at the same time on one really long circular needle and then learned how to knit 2 socks at the same time on 2 circular needles. All three of these techniques structure the sock the same way at the heel gusset. On one side, the gusset always had a string of eyelets after the first knit stitch. Trying different things to eliminate the eyelets has resulted in frustration. I was resigned to possibly adding the eyelets to the other side of the gusset as well. One good thing is that non-knitters don't even notice them, but I know they are there.
Back to Cat. I bought another of her books: Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles and my sock knitting life changed! Unlike knitting 2 at a time on two circulars, this is one sock on two circulars and the gussets are worked in profile! Those pesky decreases are nestled in the center of a batch of stitches! It turns out that my problem was caused by the combination of two things: the decreases landing at the end of a needle and that my knitting tends to be a bit looser at the end of a needle. With the decreases surrounded by more stitches the tension is kept even and the eyelets are history. Yay!
Thank you Cat Bordhi.