If you haven't read LIW's books, you should. Even as an adult, they make a great read on these cold dreary winter days. My sisters and I wore out 2 sets of the the LIW books and now I have my own. Maybe I need to dig them out as a cure against the Februaries.
For centuries people have knitted socks. I think they would have figured out a long time ago how to knit them in the round with DPNs (wood or metal, depending on what was available).
And I, for one, am very glad to live in times that include indoor plumbing.