What this tells me is that a single 50gm ball of sock yarn need not be ignored. If I use a contrast yarn for the toe and heel, I could easily get a pair out of it. Sock yarn bargain bins, here I come!
I've been using a lot of small-producer, all wool or merino-rich blends of sock yarn, and going back to a standard commercial 75% wool/25% nylon sock yarn was more of shock than I expected. I've been spoiling myself. I do worry about how well the 100% wool ones will wear, though.
I'm sure after a few washes these will soften up. Can't wait to wear them with my new black high-top sneakers.