1) Buy as many sets of size 0-3 needles as you can afford. Double pointed ones and circular ones in all lengths. Keep them in a plastic zip-lock bag. Don't try to stuff them back in their original packages. Have at least three sets in all sizes. That way, you can start as many as three pair, in different yarns, all at the same time!
2) Buy as many yarns as you can and keep them in a pretty basket. That way, you will be inspired to use them and if you don't, they will be a nice decorative accent!
3) Don't worry about gauge. 7.5 stitches to the inch, 8 stitches to the inch, who cares. The socks will fit somebody!
I am being facetious but I sort of mean it!