What it Takes


Have you ever wondered how many stitches it takes to knit a sock? Hm. Well. I did. And so I counted. Or rather approximated. For my recently finished knit sock, which has 7″ inches above the heel, and fits my size 9 foot, I counted the rows, then multiplied them by the number of stitches in each row. I did my best to count in this manner through the heel flap, the turning of the heel, the gusset, and on down at the toe area. Here’s my calculating page:


And so, the grand total number of stitches it takes to knit a sock is 13,216! Whoa. That means that each PAIR of socks is a cool 26,432 stitches. Ai! Yi! Yi!

I had no idea. NO IDEA!! That’s crazy! I have now knitted 6 1/2 pairs of socks. I’m not even sure I can do the  math on how many stitches that is!! The crazy thing about knowing this, is that if anyone had ever said to me, when I began to cast on the stitches for a new sock, that I now had 13,200 some odd more to go, I would’ve put the needles down immediately, knowing there was no way I could make it through that many stitches to the end.


Can you see where I’m going with this? Life is like a box of chocolates knitting a sock. If you knew ahead of time what each minute of your life would contain, you might throw in the towel before you even begin. You might never have traversed the slow-down-and-concentrate parts, or endured the confusing, what’s-happening-here parts, or enjoyed the easy, methodical-bordering-on-mundane parts. And you especially wouldn’t get to see it all be kitchenered (grafted) together in the end, resulting in something both beautiful and useful.

Crazy socks. Crazy Life. I’m in it for the long haul. And right now, I’m casting on the second sock to match the above.

Only 13,152 more stitches to go!  I’m gonna need to remember this post from time to time. 😉

0 thoughts on “What it Takes

  1. mudtherapist says:

    I love EVERYTHING about this post!! The colorful art work, the whimsical beauty of the one colorful sock, interwoven with the bare foot with bright orange toe nails! The hint at the bottom of the picture of another drawing of the sock and foot! The beautiful socks you knitted – the amazing sense of satisfaction you must feel at creating things so beautiful and useful! And the wonder expressed at all the work, in retrospect, that went into the creations! and the message in your writing, which inspires me as I face a full saturday evening in the office doing a mountain of paperwork!! Thanks!! Fun, stimulating, and inspiring!

  2. Roasted-Reverie says:

    These are such beautiful creations ! In case you were wondering, following your calculations, there are therefore more than 80,000 stitches in 6 and a half socks ! I’ve only just mastered the basic knit, purl, rib and cable, so I’ve got a long way to go !

  3. freebirdsings says:

    Wow, I have made at least 8 pairs of socks like yours and many, many more (just made 6 pairs last Christmas) of a larger gauge for slipper socks for my son. I always look at socks as a small project that I can surely handle but never thought of just how many stitches I was knitting. I love how you put the idea of too many stitches at once to knowing too much of our lives at once. I think that is very true. Not only that but it’s the process of knitting that sock that I like so much and watching the patterns form. Wearing them is a bonus but not what I love the most about them. I wonder if we’d enjoy our lives should we step outside the slow process of just living it to having it all set before us in a complete package.

    My husband and I just closed on our house in Kingman, packed up what remained, did a quick cleaning and left Kingman AZ yesterday for our home in California. I told him we’d just closed that chapter of our lives and were moving into a new one. I wonder what it will bring as he is 62 and I will be 60 in November. I am glad I don’t know the whole chapter already. Especially as we age or lose some of our health or vigor, it becomes something I really want to just let unfold one day at a time just like knitting one stitch at a time. I am all for the “slow cloth” concept at this point in my life!

    I was going to work on a new afghan (not having finished the one underway yet) but maybe I’ll pull some yarn our from my sock stash and do that instead…..

    Love your painted sock picture!

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