There are many good things about knitting your nearest and dearest a pair of warm and woolly socks. Particularly the fact that it does give you a lot (really, a lot) of time to sit and think. My husband is eminently knitworthy and supremely appreciative of his handknit socks, but he only averages about 1 pair per year due to the length of time it takes me to knit them.
It was during one such marathon knitting project that I found myself wondering “How many more stitches are there is a man's sock compared to a woman's?”
Being of an enquiring and scientific mind I did a bit of idle working out on the back of an envelope and came to the conclusion that knitting socks for an ‘average man” takes precisely 21% more stitches than for an ‘average woman’.
This is assuming a 64 st sock for a woman and a 72st one for her male counterpart. I didn’t include the heel in the calculation but just based it on a 15” tube and a 17” tube respectively with a sock yarn gauge of 11 rounds per inch.
Using these numbers a ‘standard’ women’s sock came out at approximately 10,500 stitches in total whereas a standard man’s sock was a significantly higher 13,500 ( a difference of just over 20%). Obviously - you need to multiply this by 2 - unless your DH likes single socks.
It’s not rocket science and it certainly won’t help you get the socks knitted, but at least it is something to ponder whilst knitting on that second sock.