I think grafting the toe closed has got to be my least favorite part of making socks. I'm really not one much for hand sewing--I am more into the whole instant gratification thing. Zipping up the toes by hand takes almost as long as making the whole rest of the sock on my machine! But I have yet to find a quicker method. And I suppose it isn't actually all that bad. As long as I have decent lighting to work under. Those stitches get tiny.
The end result is worth it, though. I have the bugs pretty well worked out of my basic calf-high socks now. The socks in the picture were made from Serenity sock weight yarn, from the Deborah Norville collection. They are 50% superwash merino wool, 25% bamboo, and 25% nylon. My antique machine loves this yarn--hardly drops any stitches at all! And the resulting socks are very snuggley and warm, as well as being machine washable.
These two pairs are sold already, but after I get back from Estrella I'll be making up some more to put into the Etsy shop.