In the picture above are some of the first socks I ever made, starting circa 2002. The fiesta striped Regia yarn was knit on size 3 double points, cuff down, and was my very first pair. I still have them but they have been darned once and are not knit tightly enough to be super-comfy. The blueberry waffle socks were an attempt to (over)compensate for the loose knit: I used bamboo size 0 needles and I will never use them again ... and not just because one of them snapped. I don't remember which yarn I used (before Ravelry), but I still wear them regularly, though they also have been darned. The third socks were made with yarn that I think was Knit Picks, but I only had one skein and had to buy black yarn from the fabric store to do the heels. This may have been the pair I tried the 2 circular needles technique, which I've been using ever since. I still have them and wear them. Then there are the Socks That Rock in "Puck's Mischief." Their fate was sad; they felted, but only after several wearings. I decided after that that sometimes cheap sock yarn makes me happier than expensive sock yarn. True disclosure: I'm not really willing to hand wash socks. It might start well for a week or two, but it would never last in our house.
I have more pictures of socks but these are the ones from farthest back in the archives.
My goal in 2013 is to knit plenty of socks for the members of my family that like and wear them frequently. Ideally at least Steve and I will have enough socks to wear handknit socks every day of the week (I'm close, Steve needs a few more). In fact, Steve has a cold right now and is trying the cold sock cure, which involves wearing wool socks over cold wet cotton socks overnight in the hopes that, I don't know, circulation will improve and the cold germs will flee through the soles of the feet? Hey, it's worth a try.
Are handknit wool socks the key to health and happiness? Well, they can't hurt.