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Pastels are pretty straightforward. The fancy words for them are “high value and low to intermediate saturation”, which just means “bright, but not, like, vivid.” They’re all your basic colours, but tinted with a heavy dose of white.
What’s interesting about pastel tints are that some things, like beige, are technically pastels of something else (brown, in this case), but we don’t always consider them that. Pastels can be terribly contextual, but we know ‘em when we see ‘em. Some of the colours we’re going to look at have been touched on in other colour posts, but they all qualify (for us, anyway) as a pastel.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define pastels. If you want to go down the learning rabbit-hole, Wikipedia is a good source. The Color Sorting Wiki actually barely touches on pastels, saying only “Think pastel when you think spring. Although not all spring colors are pastels and not all pastels are spring colors, the frequency of spring colors matching pastel colors is quite large.”
I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. Since it’s sorta a subjective colour, to some degree, we’re just going to look at the pastel-iest of what we’ve got classed as “Pastel” in our colour search. That said, let’s get down to it!
Did you know, back in The Day, the O Basics were split up, with “O Pastels” on their own product page? As yarns changed over the years, we lost some of our favourite pastels for a while and, along with site changes, it just made sense to consolidate them.
And, of course, the O Lovelies are the prima donnas of the pastel, soft little shades that are whispers of colour. I tried my darndest to show that Lichen O Rayons are a soft colour, but they look so dark next to the other pastel Dream Stocking yarns!
Always more of a “winter”, in colours as well as fibers, B.Ella doesn’t have that many true pastels. But what they do have are classics. The cotton Bastia best exemplifies pastels for this brand. Though the Kimi, Erin and Sophia all have colours that we’ve classed as pastel, when you put them next to these Pima cotton pretties, they glower with tone (which is when you mix a colour with grey) rather than shine with tint.
Their soft heather styles give EG Smith an advantage in the pastel game, though really only their heather pink qualifies. Other than that, EG only represents pastel via the classics.
Though denim heathers and soft browns and beiges could be considered pastels (and we have Foot Traffic’s versions classed as such) for pastel purists only two colours really fit—their singular Mint and their thigh high in Pink.
As usual, Tabbisocks brings colour to the table, with a perfect pastel offering in several tints.
Here in Portland, spring has only officially just started, but the cherry blossoms that were perfectly timed last year are so over it and already drifiting down in the only snow we saw this year. But a few weeks earlier, we were sure we’d be seeing one last icy slap for us to remember the winter by.
These transitional seasons are tricky, man. You’ve gotta sock smart when you’re unsure if the afternoon will greet you with a foot of snow or the sneaking tendrils of summer. I mention transitional seasons a lot, but heck, Autumn and Spring are half the year!
Because spring is different everywhere, with the only constant being its inconsistency, I thought it might be good to round up all the various posts and categories beyond just our “Spring” section that can help you lock down your transitional season trajectory!
It’s kinda just a list, but it’s a good one to keep bookmarked and I’ve put pictures in there for you, don’t worry.
Layering & Warmth
How we layer is as individual as ourselves and our environments! But there are some basic tips to ride the freezing-too warm-chilly arc of Spring days.
A recent newsletter has some great layering tips and tricks and we have some info on Polar Fleece and fleece-lined styles, which are a great layer for confirming coziness.
We also have tips on finding warm sock options, most of which are shorter and pair great with leggings (and footless tights)! Great transitional season layers, you can always drop the warmer sock in the afternoon for something shorter/lighter and they also let you start rocking the warmer weather wardrobe early.
Easy to bundle up in a bag when they get too warm to wear and just as easy to rock during chilly moments in addition to the day’s outfit, arm and leg warmers are a vital part of settling into Spring. Our Arm Warmer and Leg Warmer categories have lots to peruse, but here’s some good starting points of reference!
Arm warmers basically come in “mitt”, “sleeve” and “fingerless glove” and we go over the differences here. For your other half, our two most popular leg warmers are the Ribbed Knit and our Cuffable Scrunchables, they’re similar but also very different, which this post explains.
They may be a temporary layer but if you want to match your warmers to your socks or tights with minimal hassle, we’ve got some tips and favourite combos as a guide.
While I’ve got some lightweight faves for springtime layering, there are a couple of different categories of ours that are good starts for folks who live in places where it’s already heating up!
Crochet Look and Openwork styles let a little breeze through, and tend to “breathe” better, which is great when the day started out needing tights and ends up laughing at those foolish enough to be clad toe to waist.
A nice fiber for spring is Bamboo, which has good breathability and performs well under pressure, wicking away sweat. Another good option that is able to be folded down to warm afternoon-friendly knee highs, Over The Knee styles keep those patella sitting pretty until it’s time for them to bask in springtime sun.
And the Lightweight category combines all sorts of the warmer weather variables above, and more!
Spring is sneaky, but outwit its weather tricks with layers, warmers and lots of lightweight options!
Your cosplay is almost perfect. You’ve got your skirt and your corset. You’ve got your wig and your peace bonded weapon. The only thing you need to pull it all together is a pair of colorful thigh high boots. Buying expensive footwear is out of the question. You are saving your money for that autographed copy of Jill Trent, Science Sleuth #1. But the convention is next week and you don’t have time for another full blown sewing project. Don’t worry. We’ve got a very simple and inexpensive project that will get you set in no time. And the best thing is, there’s no sewing involved.
For this project you will need the following items:
- A pair of opaque nylon stockings in the color of your choice. In this tutorial we used the Solid Opaque Thigh Highs by Foot Traffic. We like them because they come in a wide variety of colors, they have a nice opacity to them and they sell for only $7. If you select a different sock, you’ll want to make sure you get something with a high nylon content, and something with a tube style foot.
- A pair of high heel shoes. Ideally you will want something with a wide toe. Something without buckles or embellishments. And most importantly, you’ll want something without a pattern and in a color that closely matches that of the thigh highs stockings.
- A package of self adhesive slip guards for traction.
- A bottle of anti-fraying glue. We tried several and found that Fray Block by June Taylor works the best. Make sure you pay close attention to the precautions on the back of the tube.
- A pair of scissors.
- One bottle of sock glue to keep the top of the boots from sliding down. We love It Stays! Roll-On Body Adhesive. The great thing about this adhesive is that it can be used to keep all sorts of costume pieces in place, such as shoulder straps, wigs, and even theatrical make-up.
Step One: Once you have selected the best shoes for the job, you’ll want to get the shoe inside the sock. Start by scrunching up the sock as if you were going to put it on your own foot. Then slide it over the toe of the shoe. Get the toe situated before carefully slipping the remainder of the stocking over the heel.
Step Two: If there is excess material around the toe of the shoe, you can tuck it under itself as shown. Once it is tucked, place a dab of the anti-fray glue in the fold and press until dry.
Step Three: With the toe looking nice it is time to move onto the heel. Because heels generally slope as they rise to meet the foot, you will want to make a very tiny cut about a half inch behind where the heel touches the sock. The cut should be just small enough to get the very point of the heel through.
Step Four: Place a ring of anti-fraying glue around the edge of the hole you just cut before you place the heel through it. This will help prevent excess fraying. Once the adhesive has dried slip the heel through the hole and work it upwards till it meets the foot of the shoe. If necessary, you can widen the hole, but make sure to add more anti-fray when you do. The sock does not need to go all the way up to the foot, but you can base this on the aesthetic that you are trying to achieve.
Step Five: When the heel is through and at the position you like, add more anti-fraying glue around the hole and any place that is showing signs of fraying. Let the glue dry.
Step Six: Place the slip guard on the base of the shoe. This will give you traction, as nylon stockings can be a bit slippery on the concrete floors that grace a lot of convention centers.
Step Seven: Roll the sock glue on your thigh where you would like the cuff to rest. Press the cuff to the glue. Your boots should stay securely in place.
Then, just repeat all steps for the second boot. And that’s it! You’re ready to go kick some butt. Figuratively of course. We at Sock Dreams do not condone literal violence. Just figurative butt kicking.
Let us know what you think, and if you have any tips or suggestions, we’d love to see you post them.
This may have been the second warmest winter on record for Oregon, but it’s still in that late winter/early spring season that means ultra-cold mornings. And I know a lot of you elsewhere have been buried under snow so aggressive, you’d think you owed the weather money. When it’s cold, gloves are great, but sometimes they’re too much, especially if you’re just trying to take the edge off of chill while you’re inside.
So let’s look at arm warmers and the different finger styles and coverage ranges that all fall under the “arm warmer” umbrella! They fall into these basic styles: sleeve, mitt and fingerless. And there’s plain ol’ full fingered gloves, of course, but they’re a horse of a different, more straightforward, colour.
Let’s start with the simplest and most straightforward style. A sleeve is an arm warmer with no hole for the thumb. Some can play the legwarmer game too, though they tend to be a bit more snug than straight up leg warmers. And a couple styles you may think of as primarily leg warmers are wonderful sleeves.
Sleeves are often longer in style, most wanting to reach at least the elbows. That’s not a defining factor, however. Mostly, sleeves are perfect to pair with shorter shirt sleeves or for when you want a little more arm warmth (armth?) without having to add a whole ‘nother shirt to the mix.
They don’t do much for keeping hands warm though, so if you want to keep your top paws cozy, you might want . . .
Mitts care about your thumb and give it a special place to live. For some mitts, it’s just a hole in the side, but that’s enough to ensure that your knuckles stay covered consistently.
Some mitts are madly minimal, only a few stitches at the hand end keeping them from being sleeves. Wider hands aren’t often fans of this type of mitt.
The most indulgent mitt is the kind that have a separate thumb space that often goes as high as the thumb knuckle. Sometimes it’s just through smart use of a seam allowance (like on the Una), but sometimes it’s like a house knit or sewn just for those useful un-fingers.
And when your fingers get jealous of your thumb’s cozy house, there’s always . . .
As straightforward as sleeves, fingerless gloves are like gloves minus the fingertips. They’re the go-to for keeping hands cozy and a lot of us layer them under our mitts for maximum warmth that leaves us more dexterous than straight up gloves. We don’t have a lot fingerless glove options right now, but the styles we do have are solid and reliable basics!
We’ve found that it doesn’t matter that much if you have smaller or medium-larger hands, it doesn’t really change how high the finger bits go up on you. We did some extensive and goofy testing and hand comparisons and found that though the Basic Fingerless Gloves go up the highest, but still don’t cover the first joint on even teeny hands. Here’s the basic rundown:
The Basic Fingerless Gloves (below, left) are not only the base for our Tie Dyed Fingerless Gloves, but are popular with fire dancers for their great coverage and 90% cotton blend. For similar length in acrylic, the Acrylic Fingerless Gloves (also available in a shortie) go nicely up the arm, but are a little shorter in the finger coverage department:
At about the same finger coverage level, the unique Microfiber Chenille Fingerless Gloves (below, right) don’t go as far up most arms as the other two basic styles. They are wildly soft and fluffy though, which is pretty important in the scheme of cuddly coziness.
From straight-up sleeves to fingerless gloves, there are lots of ways to keep the warms on your arms as we make the cold and confusing transition to warmer months!
Do you prefer to dream discreetly?
We would like to take a moment to let you know that we are happy to send out packages without our company name on the exterior. Often people request this when ordering gifts for someone they live with, but we know that there are a variety of reasons for which you may not wish to have your package identified as being from us, and we are not at all offended by these requests.
An example of a discreet domestic shipping label.
We think it is important to note that due to customs laws, we are required to attach a copy of the invoice, which lists items purchased, to the exterior of all international shipments. For this copy of the invoice, we list all items as “socks”, which we think is fairly innocuous. We must also provide a name for the return address. In cases where international customers request discreet packaging, we use an alternative (and more ambiguous) company name. We are working on removing all searchable ties to this name, but we think you should know that if you are concerned about prying eyes, international shipments may not be 100% secure. If you think that somebody you live with might open the customs packet or Google our alternative company name, you might want to try to find a safer address to ship to, or arrange to pick it up at a post office, if possible. We know that these measures aren’t possible for everybody, and are working to minimize these issues, though we must comply with customs law.
Examples of our international labels with our alternative name. Unfortunately we must include a name, but this one should be less obvious than Sock Dreams.
Your identities, privacy and personal safety are of the utmost importance to us. Just leave us an order note requesting that we leave off our company name and logo when you check out (order notes are on the same page as shipping options) and we will absolutely respect your wishes.
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