Ever the masochist I decided to knit myself a pair of socks. Why? You may well ask, but it boils down to two reasons: firstly I'm buggered if I'm going to be defeated by a knitting pattern and second, because I thought it would be interesting.
I have now completed one sock and I am pleased to report that my Swiss friends (are all Swiss people avid sock knitters? I don't know) tell me that I got the pattern right, AND it fits. And since both my feet are more or less the same size I entertain great hopes that the other one will too (if I ever get it finished).
If these were to be sold on the open market I think they could be the most expensive socks ever, this side of Himalayan hand-sheared baby-goat stomach-fleece with added spider gauze... I'm not the world's fastest knitter and what with that fact, general blindness (if I have to look closely at the pattern I have to take my glasses off - it all adds time), and the requirement to consult more than one pattern for the tricky bits I think we're talking 10 hours hard labour per sock. If we go with a general (un)skilled pay rate of $20 per hour we're already talking $200 per sock plus materials. If any of you covet my socks I will be VERY HAPPY to part with them for the heavily discounted sum of $300 plus postage...
At the bottom of one of the patterns I consulted there was the highly optimistic sentence: "welcome to the new addiction of sock knitting". I think not.