I completed the restoration of this pair of socks yesterday. The back of the heel – the heel flap – was intact (often there’s a lot of wear along that part of the heel but in this pair that wasn’t the case). The problem was with the bottom of the heel and the wear into the instep. Replacing just the heel wasn’t an option because I had nothing to graft onto in the instep. So I decided to redo just the bottom of the heel and to reinforce the weakened area of the instep so I could attach the heel to something solid.
The restoration has turned out rather well. I had matching yarn so the reknitting of the heel bottom blends into the heel flap. I probably should have looked for scraps of yarn that blended with the instep a bit better but it’s under the foot and won’t show when the socks are being worn.
Here you can see the problem – the heel flap is solid (the sock in behind and below the needle) but the heel turning and the instep are both weakened and worn through. I could cut out the entire heel and reknit the instep but that’s more work than the restoration warrants so I’ll do what I did with the previous pair: I’ll reinforce the weakened spots in the instep by oversewing the existing instep stitches, then salvage the heel flap and reknit the heel turning. Otherwise these socks are in good shape; worth refurbishing and keeping in a sock drawer.