A New Way of Looking at a Year of Socks

2012 is winding to a close and I have come nowhere even close to meeting my sock goal for the year (I have finished 7/17 pairs and it is not likely I’ll finish another before the end of the year). Not meeting my yearly goals is typical for me, though I didn’t miss by quite this much the last time I set a sock goal.

I don’t mind this at all. As knitting is not how I make my living, setting knitting goals is arbitrary and entirely without serious consequences. The worst that can happen is that someone gets a gift a little late or that I end a certain period of time with fewer sweaters or pairs of socks than I had hoped for. Still, it is fun to set goals. To make up arbitrary rules and try to stick to them. To come up with ways to rationalize (possibly) utterly irrational ideas. To collect, especially to collect a complete set.

I sat down to write today with sock goals, complete sets and (possibly) utterly irrational ideas in mind. Go read this post over at When Did I Become a Knitter and you’ll see why. Is it that unrealistic, do you think? And even if it is, just imagine how much fun it would be to have a sock drawer you could dip into every single day for a whole entire year before you ever picked the same pair twice. Imagine how big that drawer would be! You could practically swim in that drawer.

Well, if you’re going to set a new goal you should first know where you’re starting from so that you will know how far you have to go. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I have 12 complete, wearable pairs of socks (going by my Ravelry projects page, since I couldn’t manage to hunt them all down for the photo). I have 4 complete pairs that need repairs (3 need darning and 1 toe-up pair needs the cast-off redone). I have 2 single socks that need mates, 7/8 of a sock on the needles, and enough yarn for 12 more pairs.

So, setting aside the completed pairs and those that need repairing, that’s 349 pairs to go. Let’s say that I only ever knit plain stockinette-and-rib dealies in fingering weight yarn and I continued to knit them at my current typical pace, which is around 2-2.5 weeks for a pair. That’s 872.5 weeks, or 16.77 years. Now, of course you need to factor in that I won’t always want to knit just plain stockinette and that will add to the knitting time (hell, I still haven’t started on that Daughter of the Regiment kit, which alone could probably account for 8 of those 16+ years). But you should also factor in that I would advocate all kinds of cheating to attain a goal like this – worsted weight and thicker socks, slipper socks, felted socks, yoga socks, ankle socks – and that would certainly cut down on the knitting time. I say if I really applied myself to the cheating I could do it in 10 years (assuming funds and sock storage solutions made themselves available to me, but I don’t want to hear talk like that right now, OK?)

This is sounding more doable all the time. Maybe this year I’ll set a sock goal for the decade rather than the year. What do you think – sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it?

5 thoughts on “A New Way of Looking at a Year of Socks

    1. Realizing that I’m already halfway to a month’s worth and that I have enough yarn to finish out the month was quite encouraging. This is sounding better and better the longer it sits in my brain.

  1. I haven’t come anywhere near my goals for the year. BUT, I do feel like I’ve grown a lot and expanded within my own creative skill-set, so that’s something… I love the idea of spreading a goal over multiple years; I’m actually approaching my goals in a similar manner; although, I don’t have the concentration to commit to a task over the course of a decade! 😀

    1. I figure, since I haven’t met my yearly goals three years running, setting one for the decade gives me ample wiggle room.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *