Or rather, this is the way one should knit a sock:
1) Choose pattern
2) Choose yarn (this may or may not be done prior to the completion of step 1)
3) Knit swatch to see if pattern and yarn are comparable to each other (or go wild and skip this step)
4) Knit sock 1. Try sock on recipient to ensure fit.
5) Knit sock 2. Give to recipient.
See? Not that hard. At all. Which is why I have been ready to tear my eyeballs out in seething rage in response to this last pair I've been working on. Because this is how I have been knitting a sock.
1) Choose yarn (Yummy, in colorway Truffle, which apparently isn't being made anymore)
2) Choose pattern (Ancient Oak -- that's a Ravelry link)
3) Knit swatch.
4) Realize that the pattern calls for a slightly thicker yarn and a bigger gauge than the yarn will knit up at. Employ language unbecoming a knitter.
5) Decide to work the pattern anway, changing the stitch count from 54 to 72.
6) Knit ribbing and first pattern repeat.
7) Realize that even after having increased by 18 stitches, the sock is still to small.
8) Rip out sock and cast on again, this time with 84 stitches.
9) Realize that the colorway changed when the stitch count increased and no longer looks as nice. Employ more language unbecoming a knitter, but decide to continue knitting.
10) Celebrate when, after ribbing and first pattern repeat, that this size will work. Continue onto heel.
11) Realize halfway through heel flap that the pattern called for standard stockinette rather than slipped stitch. Rip back again.
12) Reknit heel and celebrate after a successful turning that has included copious amounts of weird math in order to get the stitch count to come out right.
13) Realize after about five rounds of gussett decreases that the color is just turning out way too weird to continue knitting.
14) Call V and complain bitterly about sock
15) Rip back, using language unbecoming a knitter and sobbing knitterly sobs.
16) Go up a needle size and cast on the original 72 stitches.
17) Use more language unbecoming a knitter when the realization dawns that this is now working.
18) Realize that the copious weird math done the first time is not going to work the second time. Use more language unbecoming a knitter.
19) Rework weird math. Celebrate when the heel turns successfully.
20) Complete sock 1
21) Begin sock 2 and ask recipient to try on sock 1
22) Dance jig when sock fits recipient
23) Progress to heel of sock 2
24) Realize that you again forgot to write down the exact numbers of the complicated weird math when turning the heel. Refrain from using language unbecoming a knitter as in the presence of parents.
25) Begin working on garter stitch shawl in an effort to preserve sanity.