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We are back from sunny California and the extravaganza eleganza-filled weekend of the 2nd annual RuPaul’s DragCon at the Los Angeles Convention Center. What a wonderful and unique celebration of diversity, acceptance, equality, and flat-out fun! We couldn’t be happier that we were asked to be a part of it!
Friday evening, VIP Preview Night kicked off with the one, the only, King of Queens, RuPaul, taking the time to stop by each and every vendor booth for a personal welcome. How cool is it that? Pretty much right at the top of the cool-o-meter! Our turn came just as we were putting the finishing touches on our space.
On Saturday, attendee Max (not drag queen Max, who was also spotted throughout the weekend), picked up a pair of our Sock Dreams exclusive Queer Pride socks by Gumball Poodle, and came by the next day proudly displaying fantastically rainbow legs. An endless sea of glitz and glamour, ball gowns and shiny crowns, glitter beards and platform heels overtook the exhibit hall. The most delightful sensory overload one could ask for!
Sunday found another fabulous day with RuPaul opening the morning by roller skating circuits around the show floor. We loved the opportunity to meet some iconic figures in the drag world and enjoyed a weekend of unity.
Dreamer Rose was wide-eyed and giddy over getting to meet the ever glamorous Chad Michaels.
Dreamer Nina enthusiastically seized an eleventh hour opportunity to say “Hey Qween” to comedian, talk host, and all-around entertainer Johnny McGovern.
Then, in a flash, 4 PM rolled around, the floor lights turned off, and the fabulous Miss Kennedy Davenport made the final sock purchase of the weekend, before we all sashayed away. Because everybody knows, with the dancing feet on that girl, comfy and cozy socks are a must!
We wish we had more pictures to share, but such a busy weekend it was! If you’d like to see more, hop on over to RuPaul’s DragCon Facebook or Instagram. And if you’d like to get your share of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent…plans are already in the works for next year’s 3rd annual gathering!
Welcome to our first lesson in sock history! While we’ve talked about socks for historical costuming (three times!) in the past, we were focusing primarily on which socks we carry that can most accurately represent much older styles of sock and stocking. Today we begin a new journey through time, but on this journey we’ll mostly be taking a look at actual sock artifacts, and the stories behind them. So, to start this series off right, let’s take a trip way, way back to the earliest surviving pair of socks…
Currently housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, these socks were made at some point between 250 and 420 AD. They were then excavated in the 19th century, in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus; a Greek colony in central Egypt. Made for wear with sandals, these socks have a split-toe design, much like Japanese tabi socks. They also feature a roll top, and appear to fasten at the front of the ankle with ties.
These socks were fabricated from 3-ply wool yarn, and their fibers and brilliant red color have held up incredibly well over the years, probably due to the location of Oxyrhynchus on a canal system off the Nile, rather than on the banks of Nile itself. The area surrounding the city, which contained ancient garbage dumps and burial grounds, was gradually buried in sand, where it remained arid and undisturbed for over 1,000 years, as it wasn’t subject to the flooding of the Nile. The dry conditions preserved the artifacts of these sites, making Oxyrhynchus an important window into the ancient world.
But the most fascinating thing about these socks isn’t their tabi-style toes or long lasting red color – it’s the way they were fabricated! While they appear to have been knitted, they were actually made using a much older means of fabric creation, sometimes called “single needle knitting” or “nålebinding” as it’s known in Danish (and yes, this is what the Vikings used). This technique involves the use of a single, flat needle with an eye, akin to a flattened darning needle, and requires that the needleworker combine many short lengths of yarn together as the garment is made, unlike two-needle knitting or crochet, where one may use an indeterminate length of yarn. The fabric created is very similar to knitting, and like knitted materials, it is quite stretchy, allowing for a close fit.
While we definitely don’t have any ancient or nålebound socks, we do have some red split toe socks, if you’re interested in recreating this look! Try them in wool or fleece, or take to the internet to find modern nålebinding tutorials! We’d love to see what you create!
Your Birthday is right around the corner Gemini, and we’ve got some great collections of socks that may be just what you need to treat yourself this year. As amateur astrologists, we’ve taken the time to find the perfect socks to match your personality and your needs.
The zodiac symbol for Gemini is, of course, the Twins; but rather than being two separate people with many similarities, we’re speaking of a single person with two (or sometimes more) different versions of themselves. Sort of like a coin with two sides, both heads and tails.
This seeming contradiction of temperament may, at times, confuse those around you, as they’re never quite sure which version of a Gemini they might encounter at any given moment. However, this dichotomy serves a greater purpose for a Gemini, and makes you some of the most unique and creative people on the planet! Geminis love the experience of life, and your dualistic nature allows you to experience the world in many different ways. It also gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that most of us could not even imagine. It is in fact your great imagination that sets you apart from the rest of the zodiac.
It is true that Twins don’t always get along, however. It may seem, to outsiders at least, that a Gemini’s many personalities may clash with one another. Of course Geminis know that some of the best partnerships are born in opposition. One cannot grow without conflict, after all. Where others see foes, a Gemini sees the possibility for a beautiful friendship!
There may be moments when you find that you simply cannot choose a side to stand on. Well Gemini, we’re here to tell you that sometimes, you don’t have to choose!
So there you have it Gemini, so many socks to fit all of the many different yous. And don’t forget to ask for a limited edition Gemini Sticker when you check out (in your Order Notes). Happy Birthday Gemini; may your feet stay as unique, creative and colorful as you are!
Here at Sock Dreams, we’re big fans of bikes and the people who ride them—being Portlanders, it’s practically required! In past years we’ve participated in a local bike festival, Filmed by Bike, and we support the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (our shop even offers a special promotion for members). We gave you a lot of recommendations for Bike to Work Day a few years ago, but we’re always getting new products, and we thought it was time we highlighted some current favorites for cyclists.
First, we have a few styles to help show off your bike pride with bright colors and charming gears.
We’ve also got a great selection of novelty socks for any taste. Tie back your skirt or roll up your jeans to reveal a flash of fashionable socks, as well as protect your clothing from splashes of dirt and the nasty bite of the bike chain.
For those of you riding at night, or during the treacherous early hours of the morning, you may feel a bit better on the road with a pop of neon. Stay safe, stay visible!
You may also want to utilize some tights or leggings to help keep off the wind-chill, especially in the colder months of the year. Fleece-lined tights and leggings are great for this, and can be layered under pants in the winter for extra warmth.
If you bike daily, you may want to invest in some socks to help protect against calluses and blisters. We’ve got a few socks aimed at athletic individuals (whether you prefer pedaling, hiking, or running on a treadmill), and we’ve also got some compression socks to keep your legs healthy during your static work day.
The truly waterproof socks by Showers Pass would also be a good investment for riders in the Pacific Northwest. It can get pretty wet here, and even the loveliest days have been known to go from fair to a downpour at the drop of a helmet.
Remember, whenever you’re biking, it’s important to stay hydrated! Grab a trusty water bottle to fight thirst on the road. Happy cycling!
To start off this season of Cosplay Corner, we thought it was appropriate to round up a “greatest hits” collection from our sock journal. We love cosplay, and we’ve got a bunch of posts that will be especially helpful to new and veteran costumers alike.
Whether your taste leans towards reenactment or space operas, every costumer can benefit from Dreamer Rosalind’s three-part series on historical costuming (from the European Middle Ages through the 20th century). Even the most futuristic costume has roots in fashion history, and Rosalind has some great tips for finding the most authentic look.
Historical Costuming Part 1 – stocking trends from the Middle Ages to the 18th century
Historical Costuming Part 2 – fashion heats up through the 18th and 19th centuries
Historical Costuming Part 3 – rapid change during the turbulent 20th century
We’ve done a lot of DIY posts here on the blog over the years, but some of them will be especially helpful for costumers. Although we pride ourselves on our varied selection of sockwear, there are times when a costume requires something that you simply can’t go out and buy. For those instances, we have a few suggestions on how to modify your socks to perfectly accessorize your cosplay. It may be worth bookmarking our DIY category, since we’re always adding to it. And if there are any sock-related DIYs you’d like to see, drop us a line!
No-Sew Thigh High Boots – a great alternative when you just can’t find the right boots
Stocking Adornments – adorable adornments for lace-up stockings
DIY for Fun and Fashion – some quick and easy modifications for cut-out styles
Bleach Stamping – a great little tutorial for adding patterns
Drawing Detail – how to utilize pens and fabric paints to add the perfect patterns
We’ve tackled dyeing fabric a few different times, whether you’re working with natural fabrics or synthetics. Although of course you can use these techniques on socks and tights, these skills will also carry over to other garments.
Ready Set Colour – a basic tutorial on using Rit Dye on cotton socks
More Dyeing Techniques – take your skills from our first tutorial to the next level
Dyeing Nylon – moving on to nylons, with Kool-Aid and acid techniques
Dyeing Stockings to Match – using Rit Dye to get the perfect true “nude” for your skin tone
National Peach Month – a quick quest for the perfect peach tones leads to combining colors
As any costumer knows, cons can take their toll on your beloved creations. We thought we’d end our round-up with some tips and tricks to keep your socks going even when snags or holes strike.
Darn It – a basic tutorial for those socks that have seen one too many cons
Needle Felting – an alternative technique for darning
Snag Removers – the magical tool that will fix snags and pulls
Pilling & Electric Sweater Shavers – the perfect fix for socks that are showing their age
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