It's easy to get jaded in the land of internet knitting. We put ourselves under constant pressure to make something fancier ("maybe I should make it in lace with fair isle!") , more complicated ("so, if I start with a knit octagon which will eventually be the bottom of the foot, pick up stitches...") and with more exotic, hand-painted-ier than thou yarn. While all of these things are awesome and I do love a challenge, I've lost a little bit of perspective.
While I was knitting my latest pair of socks, I just saw them as a rookie stockinette project that took up space on the shelf in my studio. I can't tell you how many times I whined to my overly patient friends about my inability to make things while I knit round after round on these bastards. My colleagues, incredible painters and metal workers, would reply "How can you say that? Look at what you're making!"
While I was washing my new socks for the first time today I remembered my first pair. I had only been knitting for a few months and somehow decided that striped socks were the answer to all of my construction-induced anxiety. If I could knit a sock, I could make anything. I started with the most awesome red/white/orange and blue self-striping yarn (I love this color so much I have another ball of it for when my first pair wear out) and a photocopy of a pattern from the yarn shop. I knit my socks while I soldered, fiber-glassed, cast plastic, welded (this I really shouldn't do strictly for the safety of anyone within 15 feet of me). After four months I had a pile of mediocre sculpture and a pair of freaking striped socks!
The moral of the story is that at one time stockinette socks were the pinnacle of my engineering aspirations. Since then I have knit way more complicated things, made some really weird objects etc. but before all of the antibiotic marshmallows and leeching tables, there were the damn striped socks.