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With the first book of her adventures published in Sweden in late November, 1945, Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking (y’know, Pippi Longstocking) turns 67 this year. And I bet she’s still mismatching her socks.
If you’re not familiar with this little whirlwind of a trickster, Wikipedia is a good jumping off point to all the books, translations and movie adaptations (and there are a lot!). They may be children’s books, but folks of all ages love the super-strong little girl with sticking-out pigtails.
And of course, she never matched her knee socks. Not in the movies,
Or even the cartoon!
From Pippi Longstocking, 1997. You can get the look with a pair of orange and yellow stripes and solid purple over the knees like the Extraordinary Stripes in Ochre & Spice and the Extraordinaries in Plum.
Some of you might be hearing (well, reading) “Pippi” and thinking of a particular kind of sock. Not one worn in one of the dozens of incarnations of the famous character, but a sock named after her. One of the styles lost along with the Original Bootsocks when EG Smith’s machines died were the 28 and 42 inch Pippy Longstocklings.
From the Sock Journal, October 2004.
Thick and scrunchy, pretty much super (and super-duper) long bootsocks, the Pippy Longstocklings were wildly popular and we often had trouble keeping them in stock even before the bootsock troubles.
Though EG Smith has brought back their Bootsocks, we don’t expect them to bring back the Pippy. But that’s okay, because Schoolgirl Long Socks and the Schoolgirl Extra Long socks are pretty much as fabulous.
Most recently linked to in March 2012, when we were talking about what a scrunchy sock is.
The Schoolgirl Long Socks are 30 inches long and the Schoolgirl Extra Long socks are 40, making them roughly the same lengths as the old Pippy styles. The knit pattern is practically the same, the only real difference is the fiber content. The Pippy Longstocklings were 99% cotton and 1% spandex and the Schoolgirl socks are 50% cotton, 20% acrylic, 18% polyester, 10% nylon, 2% spandex.
Hmm, if grown-up Pippi were to wear the Schoolgirl Long Socks, what would she mismatch them with?
I said last week that if a bootsock happens to be one of your favourite socks of all time, you might be interested in this week’s post. Of course, if you diligently watch our What’s New page, you might already know where I’m going with this. EG Smith has brought back their Original Bootsocks, and though they’re not 100% the same as the true Originals, they’re closer than we could have imagined or hoped! The second half of this post compares the new Originals with the old Originals, but if you’d like a walk down memory lane, stick with us for this first bit.
If you know about the EG Smith Original Bootsocks, then I don’t have to describe them to you. Crazy high cotton content, slouch-tastic, made in the USA, they were the ultimate bootsock. Back in the day they even had “Love, Eric” printed on the arch of the foot—and we still know folks who call them “Love Eric” socks because of that!
From the Sock Journal, September 2005.
Sock Dreams carried EG Smith Original Bootsocks since the beginning, in 2000, back when our name was Fetishize Me. We took a screencap of how the bootsock page used to look in Feburary, 2004, using the Wayback Machine to travel back in time—it was long enough ago that we couldn’t find all the pictures that were missing when we recreated the page.
They were much loved socks, and if you are familiar with the fashion stylings of the 1990s, you may be familiar with the soft, scrunched bootsock as a wardrobe staple (I was very tempted to find a good still from 90210 as an example, but that would have sidetracked me for a while!). So it was like a bolt out of the blue in late 2008 when we learned that EG Smith wouldn’t be making them anymore.
EG Smith’s Original Bootsocks were made on machines that had been making socks for over a century and after that long, the poor machines just couldn’t keep working any more. Here’s a screencap from January, 2009:
Gone, all gone! And all that we had was to wait and hope while the folks at EG Smith tried to recreate their Original. By the fall of 2009, EG Smith had introduced a new bootsock to act as a replacement, the EG Smith Ribbed Bootsock.
From the Sock Journal, September 2009.
But it wasn’t quite the same! Only 94% cotton, and a lot more “scrunch” than “slouch”. These socks stayed where you put them instead of softly falling down. Some of us liked that, but it meant that they weren’t the perfect replacement for the EG Smith Original Bootsock.
So we were back to waiting.
Ack! But what happened next? And how do these new Originals compare with the old Originals? Check it out after the jump!
At Sock Dreams we try to be conscientious about the materials our house brand socks are made with. The cotton styles of our Dream Stockings are made with recycled cotton. What is recycled cotton made of? Well, it’s not made out of used clothes, it’s produced from threads and associated scraps left over from clothing manufacturing. All these little bits are sorted by colour, turned back into fiber and spun into fresh new thread! So instead of being waste, they’re given a new life and become new socks (which has got to be better than being a t-shirt, that’s for sure!)
These are just a couple of the recycled cotton content styles you can find in our Dream Stockings.
Our Dreamer Socks have another interesting kind of recycled fiber, the cotton blends are made from an 85% mix of regenerated cotton/acrylic/polyester. What’s “regenerated?” It’s just another way of saying that the fiber used in these socks is also saved from scraps that would have been just thrown away! So “regenerated” or “recycled”, our Sock Dreams brand socks are doing their best to reduce, reuse and recycle! These are just three of the regenerated fiber blend styles offered in our Dreamer Socks.
We recently learned a new descriptive term that we dig: ‘scrunchy socks’. Sharp eyes may have noticed that the ‘Loose Socks’ collection has been renamed to ‘Scrunchy Socks.’ When talking with our Tabbisocks sales representatives, they explained that the much-loved Super Loose were changing their name.
It turns out that though ‘Super Loose’ is a direct translation of the Japanese word for this style of sock, a more accurate translation is ‘Scrunchy.’ And it definitely seems more accurate! One of the things we love about this style is that you can just scrunch them down.
Is there a difference between ‘scrunching’ and ‘slouching’? Not really, though how we often tend to use the words is that ‘scrunch’ is actively pushing your socks down and ‘slouch’ is when a sock more naturally crumples a little lower. The effect is the same either way, soft folds above your ankles (or tops of your boots!).
In our Scrunchy Socks collection you’ll find two distinct schools of the scrunchy sock, ‘schoolgirl socks’ and ‘slouch socks.’ What’s the difference? Find out after the jump!
Sometimes a sock just isn’t exactly as cool as you envision it could be. But if it’s the right kind of fabric all you need are scissors, a steady hand and imagination. A couple weeks ago I showed you a couple super quick do it yourself modifications for t-shirts. The tight knit of t-shirt fabric means hemming is optional, which makes it a great craft for non-sewers. Of our 800+ styles, we have several options that are of that same t-shirt fabric, or other styles of knit that work just as well if you feel like getting sassy with a pair of scissors. The options are as endless as your imagination, but here are a few ideas to inspire you.
The “Shredded” Look
The bane of square parent types, shredded looks are fun to rock no matter the weather, because they layer fantastically with contrasting colours and textures. The simplest style is straight up slashes. Fishnet may be the classic choice, but t-shirt knit socks like the Lemonade Stockings or the EG Smith Solid Over The Knee Stockings work even better. Remember! Measure twice and cut once. Cut areas of fabric will shrink as they curl, so it’s best to cut less and see how it looks—you can always cut more later. Put on the socks and use a contrasting colour of chalk or washable marker (or eye pencil!) to mark the beginning and end points of your slashes. Use a mirror or a friend for feedback if you have one handy. Ready, set, cut!
Braiding and Weaving
Plain old slashes are a look that works for punk-rock couture, or zombies (it is that time of year!). But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can “braid” the cut strips for a style that is definitely something you can’t find off the rack. A nice and clear YouTube tutorial is here, if you’ve ever “finger crocheted” the technique will be familiar. Cut even strips of slashes and, starting from the top or the bottom, pull the next strand of fabric through, creating a loop by pulling it behind and then over. Repeat this down the line, finishing either by knotting like in the video linked, or threading a ribbon through the last two loops (which I prefer, it’s way fancier). Keep in mind this will make the sock fit a little more snugly. I’ve been finding that a lot of t-shirt surgery techniques, like what you can find at the T-Shirt Surgery Livejournal community, can be applied to socks.
With scissors, the right socks and determination it’s fun to create your own interpretation of your favourite fashion looks. After the jump are a couple of styles we get asked about that are easy to whip up at home.
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