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Last month, we looked at Purple as the start of some monthly colour focus fun. This month we’re looking at red, because I thought this short month would be a great time to focus on a sorely under-represented colour. Sure, the colour most absent from socks is probably yellow, but bear with me here, it’s seasonally appropriate! And really, with all the winter gloom we’ve been having, I needed the colour punch only red can give!
There aren’t a whole lot of solid red socks out there, they tend to shade into “dark red” (and “burgundy” and “wine” or “Bordeaux” or some other name for fermented grapes) or “rust” (also known as “spice”). This time, we’re just looking at red-reds. A 1940’s lipstick red!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define red. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of red, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. 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. That said, let’s get down to it!
First, let’s look at the difference between red with black elastic behind it and red with white elastic behind it. In the Cotton Inklined on the left, the hue is a little darker (think “cinnamon candy”). In the Spiral Cotton OTK on the right, the hue is a little brighter (think “cherry candy”).
How much of the elastic colour you see also makes a difference. The O Basics have a slightly thicker yarn than the Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs, making their stitches a little wider and showing more of the black underneath. So even though the yarns are the same colour, the red yarn in the O Basics “pops” a little more because of the more visible, contrasting black.
Now let’s look at representative and key reds across some different brands! I’m focusing mostly on solids and only the most basic stripes, just to keep things simple. A word of warning: pure reds are total monsters to edit, because it’s such a vibrant colour. I’ve done the best I can to properly represent these shades. And I apologise if I blow out your monitor.
Dream Stockings and Dreamer Socks
Crayon-clearness of hue, with cotton yarn nearly as pure and bright as the nylon.
Almost always a rich, darker red that sometimes strays a little more blue, but has the decency to be called Bordeaux if it dabbles too darkly.
A very true blue, lipstick-y red, with the heavier gauged yarn of the Bootsocks almost glowing in person.
No variation in this nylon colour. It is red and it is so red.
From the borderline bluer-dark red of the tights to the yellow-cast hue in the legwarmers, there isn’t a regularity but there is a range!
Okay, give yourself some time to blink it out and join me after the jump for some fiber hue comparisons across brands!
So, as I showed you a bit last week, how an individual brand portrays purple across different fibers can vary. “Purple” doesn’t always mean purple the same way. Niq reminded me of another good thing to know about matching colours—the exact same yarn can look different depending on what elastic it is paired with. A great example are our O Chevrons. The Plum O Chevrons are available with black detail and with white detail. The same Plum yarn is used in both, but the elastic is either black or white to create their eponymous design. You can see it easiest on the inside of the sock (on the right, below).
Just that little difference of backing colour can make the hue read differently (bluer, paler, anything!). It’s a good thing to keep in mind when stridently matching and a great thing to remember when playing with monochromatic colour schemes. So many variables! And if you start bringing stripes into it, whew. It’s why I’m focusing mostly on solids.
And those variables include the supplier themselves! Sometimes a yarn colour changes and even though it’s called the same thing (in the case of these Harajuku Scrunchy Socks, their Violet is yarn number 86), a fiber change or dye batch change (or in this case, BOTH!) can make a big change in colour.
So remember, as we look over some good matching options below, if it is a vital colour match you’re trying for, drop us a line and we can help you out! We do our best to update yarn colour changes , but eyes are more reliable than monitors!
Sometimes a colour name and total fiber difference doesn’t mean a thing. The 69% cotton Socklings in Bright Purple are a solid match with the Purple used in the EG Smith Original Bootsocks and GoGo Bootsocks, both of which are 98% cotton!
Another surprising match is Foot Traffic’s nylon Purple (found in tights, thigh highs and knee highs) and the Polonova Longer Velvet Wrist Warmers. Again a plusher fiber adds depth to the colour (and velvet is a beast for colour, with bright highlights and deep shadow, thanks to all that texture), but they are both what I like to call “rather dang purple.”
Nylon and other synthetic fibers are always where you’re going to find the most vibrant examples of a hue. Leg Avenue’s nylon purples and the Acrylic Slouches in Purple are both eye-searingly delightful in their vibrancy.
You’ll find pairings in the strangest places, like the wooly, lush Bea Polka Dot Crew Socks in Purple & Grey have the almost the same crayon vibrance of the EG Smith bootsock purple. The Bea’s black elastic tones the colour down and brings it to the refined palette B.Ella is known for.
One thing I think should always be remembered when playing within a colour is that your feet and legs are pretty far from the rest of you. A close colour match looks a lot more exact if one version is on your feet and another on your hands. Which means you could rock the Extraordinary Striped Thigh Highs in Plum & Lilac with the Harajuku Arm Warmers in Purple for a pretty dang close match, or the Harajuku Arm Warmers in Violet for a not-exact-but-pretty-close pairing (and because it’s a little darker and more blue than our Lilac, it is almost like the colour baby of both stripes in the socks!).
A closer match for hands and feet would be the Knit Mitts in Grape & Burgundy paired with either the Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks in Plum to match one half, or the Cotton Slouches in Plum to match the other half.
Dark purples and plums are one of the most popular colours we carry, so let’s end this post by gazing with a sigh into some pools of purple.
I hope you are having as much fun with these colour posts as I am, I already am planning the one for next month!
Folks write us sometimes to ask about colour matching. “Do these tights match those socks?” “Is this really that bright?!” Even though we do our best to accurately represent the real-life colours of our socks, everybody’s monitors are different, lighting situations are different, it’s frustrating. So what I thought might be fun is to look at how a colour is represented across brands and fibers, to share the similarities and differences.
I hope to make this a regular thing, not only because it makes my desk look exciting, but because colours are fun! We’re starting with purple, because it is kind of one of our theme colours here.
There’s lots of ways to approach this, but this time around, let’s focus on each brand’s interpretation of “purple” (and variants) across the different fibers they use (and within the fibers they use!). Because different fibers dye differently (as you may have learned in your own experiments). Now, I’m not trying to define purple or argue for why that sort-of-more-maroon shade is called “Plum.” We tend to go by what a supplier or brand calls a colour, so I’m taking some things at face value. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of purple, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. 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.
First, let’s look at a quick visual of representative and key purples for each brand. I’m focusing on styles that are solid purple (or plum, or violet!) because, more often than not, a brand will use their purple yarns across styles. If they have a big ol’ spool of plum wool on hand, they’re going to use it for stripes and solids! So this is not all the purples.
DreaM Stockings & Dreamer Socks
Our house brands have great purples, but most of the time the hue runs to plum.
They have a pretty great representation of purple, across a couple of shades!
They’ve got some very basic purples, in both nylon and cotton.
It’s no surprise that B.Ella offers a rich array of the hue, tending more often than not to plum.
They’ve also got some lovely purples, including their signature “Inky Violet”!
They don’t have a lot of solid shades of purple, but they are a great example of how vibrant the hue can be when used in nylon styles. Put on your sunglasses!
Glorious! This is going to get a bit long and full of pictures, so join me after the jump for more purple and more info! Read more »
A new year has begun and we’re busy restocking as fast as our suppliers can get socks to us! With our recent sale and all the great gifts you folks have gotten yourself and others, some of our stock is pretty depleted. We know a lot of you want to use your gift cards and get socked (ahem, I mean “stocked”) up for the new year, but some of the styles you want might not be available right now. What to do (and not do)?!
We get a lot of product questions that aren’t questions about the products at all. Instead of using the Questions and Answers tab on a product page to clarify fit, colour or what-have-you—some people use the space to ask instead: “When will it be back in stock?!”
Probably, if you’ve asked that, you’ll find that we’ve emailed you directly about it and removed your question from the product page. Not because we don’t love you, but because the availability of a style varies by supplier, season and a bunch of other things! So what we have to answer this time might not be applicable six months from now when somebody else is looking at the Questions and Answers.
You may have also poked into our FAQ, looking for the answer to “When are you restocking?” Just like we say there:
It depends on the style! We deal with many suppliers and receive deliveries nearly every day. But we cannot always get what we want when we want it, and sometimes suppliers discontinue things forever. Please sign up to be notified when an item returns and you’ll get an email the same day we add our fresh stock!
So what is the best thing to do when you see the dreaded OUT OF STOCK?
Take courage! The answer to your problems is right there in the same cruel space telling you the socks you want aren’t available. Just take advantage of our automatic notifications and sign up to be notified when new stock arrives. If the out of stock box pops up, just click on “sign up to be notified when new stock arrives” and enter your email in the space provided. You will get an email the same day we get that style back in stock with a helpful link to go get it!
You have two extra options when signing up for stock notifications. You can also check a box to be notified when that brand adds a new style (which is great if you have a favourite brand) and you can check a box to sign up for our newsletter (which is sent out about monthly). If you don’t check those boxes, you won’t be signed up for either of those extra things, you’ll just get an email when that style is back in stock. We know how annoying it is to get unsolicited emails, so we try to make it as easy as we can to opt out and to avoid them.
But what if, instead of a place to sign up for notifications you see this?
Then the fates have decreed that this style, colour or variety is no longer available to us and we shall never see it again. It’s sad, but with over a thousand styles, some things are bound to disappear after a while, if only to make room for new favourites. Though sometimes it is a surprise to us too, you can keep an eye out on styles that are going away by watching our Zap section (more information about that here) or by looking in a style’s Additional Info for the sad phrase “Quantities limited, we will not not be able to restock.”
Another bonus of signing up for notifications about an out of stock style is that if we only get a limited amount (or find a few hiding in our stock room) you get a special email that gets you (and others who have signed up) special access to order it before they’re made available to the general public.
There’s one last benefit to stock notifications, though it is also kind of a bummer. If a style doesn’t return from the great beyond and we have to remove it, you’ll get an email that lets you know. We talked about that a little in the Sock Journal when our site was first able to do that.
“Okay, okay” you say. “So I can sign up for stock notifications. But what if I need a specific style now or by a specific time?!” Why, that is still easy as pie. What you’ll need to do is drop us a line via email with what you’re waiting for (and “black socks” doesn’t count, tell us the style name, colour and size!) and when you’re hoping it will be back by. We often can’t give you an exact date that a style will be back, but we often can pin it down close enough to tell you if it is worth waiting for, or if you might need to find something else. A bonus to writing us directly is that then, if we have bad news for you, we can work together to find another style that might be a good replacement and answer any other questions you may have!
We don’t have all the answers, but we definitely try to get them, so if you’re not in a rush, just sign up for stock notifications and if you need something soon, email us to get the low-down. We’re often as anxious as you to see our favourites back in stock!
Last week I shared styles we carry that have that hand made touch. Now let’s look at some things you can make or personalise as gifts! We’ve got a big ol’ DIY section full of ideas, I’ll share some favourites from there and then point you other places on the crafty web that has more fabulous sock crafting how-tos!
Customising stuff for friends and family can be fun, either by cutting into some socks to make styles you can’t find off-the-shelf, in DIY for Fun & Fashion, or custom-dyeing styles to match the giftee’s wardrobe!
There are more fun things to try in the DIY category of the Sock Journal, but let’s look elsewhere for more inspiration. Our DIY Sock Style Pinterest Board is full of ideas, from a galaxy bleach tutorial at The Sun Was High to a sweet little teddy bear at The Meta Picture.
I think one of my favourite tutorials from around the web is this glorious draft stopper at Squawkfox.
image from Squawkfox
From catnip pillows from retired socks at Craftster, to DIY grippy socks at Cut-Out-And-Keep, there are tonnes of great DIY ideas for socks floating around the web. If you end up solving a last-minute gift emergency with crafty sock superhero skills, share the results with us!