Washing our socks

There's a lot of discussion about how to care for socks. I straddle the fence on the issue. On the one hand, it seems one should honor the time spent knitting socks through handwashing. On the other hand (or foot, as the case may be), once we've knit dozens of socks, it's nice to be able to throw them in the washer. I do that with my favorite pair. In fact, I've washed and dried them by machine for over a year and I bet I wear them weekly. I'm sure you all recognize the famous discontinued Brasil pattern by Opal Yarns. These socks wear like iron. I love their patterns, but I have quite a few solids in my stash, too. I buy almost all my Opals from Angel Yarns in the UK. They have the best prices even with trans-Atlantic shipping. Plus, they offer Socknitters Forum members an extra 10% off by signing up on their forum. I receive my order in exactly seven days out here in the Middle of America. So I consolidate my orders to diminish the environmental costs of all that mileage, and perk up my stash every 4-6 months. I'm about due for another order soon! I'm going to knit about three more pairs from the stash and then give myself permission!