(are all the non-knitters totally bored/confused now? I won't be offended if you've stopped reading. really.)
I've made notes on my pattern as to the extremely simple change, and those notes will also go on my Rav project notes so perhaps others can benefit from my frustrations. It's clear that the designer hadn't actually worked both socks, at the same time, using the magic loop method, when the pattern was written. Normally, that wouldn't bother me. I'm used to having to interpret patterns so that I can use my preferred method of sock construction, and I'm getting pretty good at it, I think. But this particular pattern states that it is written using the magic loop method.
Perhaps it was written with that method in mind, but worked only one sock at a time? But again, why, when it's easily avoided, would you want to shift the stitches at all?
Okay, rant over. You can now carry on with your day.