Eventually, you just have to try. A practice run is wise, as there's a smaller investment of materials, time, and energy. If you keep an open mind during said test run, you just might realize you'll do better than you think.
I made a baby sock. It's really cute. The whole heel flap thing seems less daunting now. It makes sense, this sock construction. I'm not ready to jump into toe-up socks just yet, but I think I could easily tackle a full-size pair of top-down socks without pulling all of my hair out.
I should probably get back to Square Cake now. I'm still working on the handles. One week left! Socks will have to wait.