Not as many as some previous years, especially if you figure that two pairs were baby socks, but when you figure it's about 350 yards of yarn per adult-sized pair....that's about a mile of yarn!
If you don't have a pair of hand knit socks, do whatever it takes to get some! They fit perfectly, are so warm and cozy, and wear like iron. My oldest pair is 10 years old, and have only been darned once. Wool is amazing stuff - it absorbs up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp, so it keeps you warm even when wet. It self-extinguishes if it catches fire. The natural crimp (or curliness) of the fibers create bulk and loft which trap air, making it an excellent insulator. Wool is elastic and resists wrinkles. It's 15x more durable than cotton. It's anti-microbial and hypoallergenic.
His sweater is waiting to become YOUR sweater!
And it felts....remember that sweater you threw in the washing machine and it shrunk into Barbie-sized apparel? Yeah, felting is simple the cuticles of the fibers locking onto each tighter and tighter as the wool is agitated. But this isn't a bad thing (unless you did it to your favorite sweater). Felted wool is very dense and warm - great for mittens, slippers, hot pads, and more. And because knitting that's been felted won't unravel, go ahead and cut up that mini-sweater and make something new and wonderful with it! I made some slippers from a thrifted sweater that I intentionally felted (just wash with HOT water with your next load of towels or jeans....and throw it in the dryer, too. The more abuse, the better it felts).
As much as I love wool, I usually choose "superwash" wools when I knit socks. This means the wool has been treated so it won't felt. I don't need to worry about my socks shrinking in the wash!
And just how many socks have I knit?? I lost count, but I rounded up almost every pair I have in the house for you to see (I know 2 pairs are missing from this pic). About a dozen more have been given away as gifts. The center blue/gray striped pair is the first pair I ever knit, 10 years ago.
(Before you go crazy, these aren't ALL mine. Five of these are my husband's. He loves hand knit socks, too!)
Are you convinced hand knit socks are the way to go? Try making your own - it's really not that hard! Everything you need to know is online and FREE! Happy knitting!