I have been knitting socks for about 4 years- I make them for myself, and the kids and DH (by the way, if you see an acid green pair, they are for his birthday, and I kind of lost them) I also make them for gifts for other people I love, but don’t go hinting around about buying a pair- I’m happy to teach you to knit socks, but I it doesn’t make sense to make them for money rather than love.
It takes about 8 hours of work for a sock- usually it is work while I am doing other things, watching softball practice, or swimming lessons, or waiting at the dentist. I usually have 1 pair of socks going at all times, and it helps my mental health and concentration, so I do it at staff meetings and trainings and car rides. So on the one hand, it is borrowed time- I am rarely just knitting, but on the other hand, it is a lot of time to invest in a sock, so when a couple of pairs got holes, rather than toss them, or turn them into puppets, I decided they needed to be darned.
Not right away, of course. Projects need to marinate, for a while, sometimes.
When I was a kid, my mom had taught me to darn by kind of weaving across a hole, which is one way to do it, http://zigzagstitch.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/how-to-do-it-darn-socks/ In my research I found a different process, sometimes called swiss darning, sometimes called duplicate stitch, where you kind of trace the stitches at the bottom of the hole, then create new ones where the hole is, then connect them to the old stitches at the top of the hole. Kind of amazing, and prettier than a woven patch. It appeals to the witch in me- making something out of nothing. The muggles will never figure it out!
Here’s a link to darning with duplicate, with a demo on something that actually needed darning,http://www.hjsstudio.com/darn.html and another http://bellaknitting.typepad.com/bella_knitting/2007/08/duplicate-stitc.html, that just shows duplicate stitch as decoration, but was the best demo of where your needle should go, and when.