It's fixed, and without ripping everything back.
L. Bottom of sock where ladders were. R. Top of sock
You can see some uneven stitches (mostly two-yarn stitches, in the widest schoolbus-yellow stripebut also that it's still snugly together. I had to stuff it with an old mitten my mother had made me to get the relevant area flat enough to stay in focus.
When I looked again, both at it and at the pictures, I realized that the problem existed only in that one small area, and that it looked, despite the correct stitch count on the needles, exactly like a stitch had taken off for the South Pole. What if, I said to myself, I could just drop a few stitches off one needle, let them run down that far, and then rebuild vertically? Surely it's worth a try, I said to myself, instead of frogging the whole yellow stripe and the white below it. So I did. And in violation of all reason, given the right number of stitches on the needles, there was a nub of a stitch...and by working some stitches back up, and grabbing not only every obvious ladder but anything that looked remotely loose, including the sides of oversized stitches, things came back in line (mostly) on their own. Connected again, and somewhat whonky looking, but not BAD. Mostly, it ws the stitches knit with two yarns where stripes began and ended, which are always large anyway. So I knit another row of the yellow to firm things up and see.
There was still some slack somewhere and I could not see it (you really don't want to hear about the peculiarities of my vision as the result of age, astigmatism, myopia, a new lens in one eye and a cataract in the other...but there, you just did) so I turned savage, made another stitch out of something only slightly too long, and then knit that together with the stitch next to it. Had to do that again two rows later, but now...now there's some "scar tissue" of the fixup, followed by nice smooth knitting, including two stripe transitions that behaved perfectly. From other striped socks where other things went awry, I know that after a few wearings wonky bits on the bottom of the sock felt up, flatten out, and look good, so now that there's no structural weakness, I'm happy with it. I added the pictures Friday morning, when the light was better. No pics of the inside, because I'm not at a good place for turning the whole sock inside out.
These will be cheerful socks when done. I may also be a cheerful-er knitter.