For the following example, I'm going to use numbers from a large pair of socks from my Simple Luxury line. Many people glance at them and consider only the design. They're not very flashy, compared to many of my tabi and carry a heftier price tag; and, though they're made of higher-end fibers, that's not the only justification for the price.
What is then? Well, each sock is made up of over seventeen thousand stitches. Yes, that's 17.000 with 3 0's. Each one of those stitches is slipped from needle to needle by hand, not whirled around the gears of a machine. A pair of socks has over 34.000 stitches -- about twice what a proportionally- sized sweater (on larger needles with larger yarn, of course) uses.
As for yarn, these socks take a little over 1/4 of a mile of yarn.
That's a lot of stitches!