Knitters are weak people. Lovable and enthusiastic, but weak. And I am one of them.
Sock yarn like this was created for just such weak people. Socks are very easy to justify knitting (despite the 9 other unfinished projects you might have lying around) because you always need socks. You can never have too many. Every year for Christmas, each member of our family buys another new socks (or knits them, if I've been disciplined) so that everybody has new socks for the next year. Socks = practical.
The price of store-bought socks is actually roughly equal to the yarn cost to make them. This doesn't include labor (the knitting), but most knitters won't care. If you buy a pair of nice, Smartwool socks, you'll be spending up to $20. If you buy a skein of nice sock yarn, you'll be spending an average of $20. Socks = economical.
And finally, you generally need ONE SKEIN of sock yarn to knit a pair. This is by far the easiest part to justify when you're among knitters. Non-knitters will appreciate the above reasons, but for guilty knitters who buy TOO MUCH YARN, a one-skein, practical, economical project is very appealing. One skein of sock yarn is very easy to tuck away until such a time that you need it or can't stand to not knit with it anymore. Socks = justifiable.
Sock yarn manufacturers laugh with glee and rub their hands together every time they think about it. Really, I'm sure they do. And who can blame them? We're such easy prey. I walked into the Dutch Oven Yarn Shop a few weeks ago and saw this...I was instantly sold. I never even had a chance! The premise of this yarn (Schoppel Wolle's Flying Saucer, colorway Dr. Air) is that the two strands are dyed at the same time so your socks will match. OCD sock freaks, rejoice!
This was all well and good, until I tried to figure out how to wind the thing. Watch this video and laugh and cry- look how ridiculously clumsy it looks. And then their "get a friend, go faster!" should really be "oh shit! Our knitters are going to riot after this takes 9 hours and gets stuck in a knot- bring help!" I am planning to recruit the entirety of my knitting group, so those of you reading this, I'm sorry.
But really, yarn manufacturers, you can come up with any silly gimmick (functionality aside) and we will buy it. Don't worry.