My father talks about handknit socks with a bit of a wince. Scratchy yarn, lumpy seams, ill-fitting and stretched out, these were socks of necessity. He was a child of the Great Depression and grew up at a time when you used things up, wore them out, and then found a new use for them before they were recycled into something else.
When my father watches me knitting socks today, he fingers the fine handpainted merino I use and shakes his head. These are not my father's socks.