They look pitiful, and act as though they should retire to a good, quiet life in a memory box or landfill, but that's not going to happen to this pair. No sirrie. Not until the fat needles click.
Brace yourself, this is what 11 years does to a sock. This is when it was a spring chicken:
These were my Gypsy Socks that I hand-dyed back in 2008. Did you know that I used to sell yarn (back before kids)? I know...it's been forever. Here's the original blog post on the socks. They were beautiful in their hayday.
I digress: have you read Nicolas Sparks books? I haven't since maybe 2010. They are like Hallmark movie channels...once you read one or two, you've read them all. ;)
Luckily, I have a little box of leftover yarn that I've been saving for when I eventually make a Cozy Memories Blanket. I was hoping to start that after several more pairs of knit socks so I could have a wider range of colors available to use.
Look how much the colors have faded over the years. There has been a couple of accidental washing machine episodes, but those luckily hasn't felted it more than what you see.
One sock was in a more desperate state than the other. I picked up stitches according to the size of the hole. Unfortunately, these holes were right on the heel turn portion of the sock, in which you can only do so much to make the patch-work match the original shape of the heel.
Sorry, I didn't take a picture while it was in action. However, I picked up one stitch on each side every row--sometimes knitting them together with the first or last stitch and sometimes keeping the extra stitch as an increase, depending on the shape of the hole. I did not pick up the very edge of the stitch, but picked up the stitch before/after the loose stitches because the stitches around the edge of the hole are worn and frail. As "fun" as this was (please note the sarcasm), I don't want to have to re-patch in a month or two.
You can see how the inside is all felted around the hole.
All in all, it wouldn't win a ribbon at a state fair, what with it being all worn and now has an awkward square in the middle of the heel, but it does the job. Hopefully I can still get a year or two out these if I treated it more gently. Maybe buff my heel? Don't wear it in clogs and boots?
These socks have always been a little loose due to the stretchiness of the fiber content, which wears them much faster. Always knit socks to be form-fitting.
It looks good enough, and the goal was to knit a patch in a manner that mostly blends in and doesn't feel odd on the bottom of your heel. Check.
I'm curious. Have you had to patch a sock heel yet?