Anyway, these socks were knit with a 2-ply handspun yarn made from some undyed Border Leicester lamb fleece that I washed and carded myself. Border Leicester is a nice wool to spin- it's sturdy (read: not soft enough for next-to-sensitive-skin but fine for outerwear, socks, and mittens). It is classified as a "long wool" (with a staple 4"-6" long), and has a loose crimp, which means that the yarn has next-to-no elasticity. My fleece, which I got in a trade for a shawl, was a lovely silvery-tan color- and amazingly enough, I found an old, small picture of the washed and carded fleece:
Which eventually knitted up into these:
The socks weren't entirely successful. I knitted a short-row heel, which isn't proper for a yarn with so little stretch. The socks are hard to get on, though once they're on my feet, they feel fine (and are toasty warm). And I forgot to add more stitches to compensate for the cabling, so they're also a little tight.
But the yarn was spun in '03 and I have worn these socks on a regular basis since then, and they're showing no sign of wear. That makes up for having to yank just to get them on.
edited to add: when I washed the socks, I found a small, nearly invisible repair in the ball of each foot, so there was some wear in the socks that I forgot about (probably from walking in my stocking feet on the rough tile in our kitchen). But still, the socks are holding up very well, given that they're 6 years old.