Here is the first heel before the mend with my fingers inside it to show the wear. It appears that I almost waited too long to do the repair - there's not a lot left. But there are no tears or broken yarns. ~whew~
I had found this darning ball in my husband's late wife's sewing basket. I believe it is a vintage one made of maple. I saved it but rather doubted that I would ever darn a sock!! At that point I hadn't even made any socks.
Not sure you can see it, but I left a loose loop on each end, just as you must do to weave, to make sure the patch did not pull or pucker.
Here is a look at the entire weaving before I cut off the ends.
Susan's Fiber Shop. And if you don't live near there, check at your local fiber shop or on-line.)
You then simple poke the needles into the entire area over and over until you have felt. If you've needle felted, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, just do it until you wish you were done. And then maybe you will be...or soon thereafter.
And here is a picture after I finished. A bad picture, I might add. But maybe you get the idea.
Now it is ready to wear for a lot more cold days - once I do the other sock.
I'm pretty pleased with myself. Someone's got to be. :^)
NOTE: From now on, I'm going to reinforce heels and toes while I knit, as in this video.