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Last week we talked about the ZAP! Category and why a style goes away. You’d think, since we deal with this regularly (and some of us have to make the “this needs to go” decisions), Dreamers wouldn’t feel the pangs of loss as sharply when a style goes ZAP! But we do!
I asked my fellow Dreamers what socks they have and love, that we don’t carry any longer and they were quick to reply! Some are worn with the years, some are perfectly preserved (and worn only on special occasions), but all are styles we dearly miss. I bet a lot of your long-gone favourites are some of these too . . .
Old O Dreamy and Super Dreamy colours
Sure, we still sell the O Dreamy and Super Dreamy styles. But, as many of you know, the yarn is as difficult to get as a dragon’s hoard and eventually a colour runs out and that’s the last we see of it. Niq has expressed before that the Dreamy style is her personal favourite, and her collection of them is mighty!
The yarn used to be a bit more slubby back in the day too, as you can see in the original Bark Super Dreamy she’s layered under the old Antique O Dreamy. On the right are old product shots of the Hibiscus, Autumn and Classic colours. Old yarn or new, this style does just get softer and better with each wash.
Earlene Plaid Cat Socks (and other B.Ella cute crews)
For the style that Dreamer Lucy picked as her long-gone favourite, our image Archives sadly failed me. Somehow we no longer have images of this kinda-rustic, kinda-wooly, VERY comfortable crew. That’s just like cats, to tell the truth, off into the shadows! So I’ve added old images of the Susan (a merino blend with bold flowers) and the June (a classic picnic blanket check) on the right, so they all generally represent B.Ella crews lost and gone.
It’s not just these styles from B.Ella that has sadly but swiftly passed through our hands. Crews and ankle styles are clearly where B.Ella loves to play, they so regularly introduce new styles each season and only the strongest survive. It’s a sock-eat-sock world out there. Luckily, B.Ella offers several tried and true styles we can count on to keep on keeping on (even if their colours cycle out to new hues).
Shaggy Stripe Leggings
The nubbly, furry texture of these leggings definitely split opinion. You either loved them (like Dreamer Nina in the Black & Grey below), or you were Rather Not Into It. With decent stretch and good basic colours they did well, but they had two flaws.
We weren’t able to get them as regularly as we needed from their supplier, which is always frustrating, but these fabulously fuzzy leggings also were prone to holes at the crotch seams. That double whammy meant a sad goodbye, even though the folks who loved them (like Nina) don’t mind a bit their structural instability, because nowadays all we currently have to offer are fleece-lined styles and mere touches of microfiber fuzzies.
MP Coarse Knit Knee Highs
We mostly said goodbye to the MP brand about two years ago. They’re an expensive and difficult to import style, though we still carry some of their Cotton-Lined Wool Tights. But the gem in the MP crown was the Coarse Knit Knee Highs (and, before that, the shorter Coarse Knit Ski Socks). Thick, but not too thick, with a sweater-like rib that made them the ultimate in cozy, Dreamer Rosalind loved them so much that she collected four pairs before they went away forever.
I particularly love that she’s got a hat that matches their grey marl, it means the yarn is out there somewhere, just waiting to be made into socks we can easily carry! None of our warm, ribbed styles really compare, even the Ribbed Wool OTK isn’t as perfectly thick a sock.
At-Cross OTK and Kalana Wool Tights
This is actually another MP style—not as madly loved as the Coarse Knit, but a stellar example of the lovely over the knee socks from MP often offered. Deeply textural, and with a cuff that Dreamer Rachel loves because it’s the same inside and outside (allowing her to make them OTKs or thigh highs on her shorter inseam), there’s nothing that quite compares, though the Textured Cable Acrylic OTK come close, particularly in cuff. The Cronert cotton overknee styles also are similar. Even though they have a doubled cuff the ribbing is the same inside and out, making them quite cuffable!
But it wasn’t just the OTKs that Rachel was reminiscing about, she was also wearing the gorgeous Kalana Wool tights from B.Ella, which you can see peeks of around (and through!) her socks. One of those “crochet-style” tights, the Kalana were a lot like the Patricia Merino Crochet Tights in fiber and style, but with a gorgeous band detail at the thigh that we rarely see (though the ZAP!-ed Samara have a similar look). Together with the also mourned MP OTK, it’s a pair for the ages.
Surprise Rib OTK
We never did quite figure out what the surprise was in Ozone’s Surprise Rib OTK. Was it that “Khaki” was actually a brilliant green? Or the “Prune” had more warmth and gorgeousness than its name implied? Most likely the name came from the way the ribs opened up on these socks, creating a depth of texture that took you from “eh” to “OH!” Dreamer Stephanie had little hesitation when choosing this as her favourite long-gone style and regretted not getting more than one colour (though we may have been down to just “Khaki” and “Prune” when she first started with us).
Nowadays, Ozone seems to be focusing more on shorter styles and there’s nothing quite like the Surprise Rib OTK out there, though the Sweater Style Over the Knee has the same surprise effect when the ribbing opens up as you put them on.
Coyote Knee Highs
Nowadays we mostly only offer RockNSocks’ OTK and midcalf styles, with just the Eleggua Knee High representing that coverage level. But, once upon a time, there were several knee highs from RockNSocks available, like Dreamer Tori’s pick: the Coyote Knee High! And she isn’t alone in her devotion, another Dreamer came up as I was getting the snap below and when they learned it was for the “socks we miss” post they were crushed—turns out the Coyote Knee High were a favourite of theirs too and they didn’t realise that style had been gone for some time.
For fuller legs, a RockNSocks OTK is more like a knee sock, but that’s still a far cry from the sweet spot of “knee high.” Luckily, our Dreamer Socks have come out with more knee high options to fill that need for an eco-friendly, reclaimed fiber knee high that fits just right.
Oh Stance. You make such fun styles, but they’re so seasonal! Here for a year (or less) then gone. Dreamer Sabrina’s pick, the Galacticat Midcalves, were one we almost missed out offering online, and their time with us was far too short (they were pretty popular with everyone, it seemed). Cats. IN. SPACE. What else could we add to make them better? Sabrina’s pair is well loved and worn, because again: cats in space.
What can even compare? Oh, how about Grumpy Cat Grumpy Space Leggings? Another favourite that we didn’t get for very long were called “Plasticism” (the ways people get around directly referencing Mondrian’s designs are kind of great), but they live again from another supplier, the Abstract Rhythms Midcalf from Soxks. Stance has wonderfully unique socks, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on their page so you don’t miss any of the seasonal styles. Who knows what they’ll make that might top GALACTICAT?!
US Arm Warmers
Marls, stripes and solids, the lightweight yet warm US Arm Warmers (made, naturally, in the USA) were a basic-basic. Simple, tube style sleeves with a finished hole for the thumb, they were an inexpensive but favourite layer for Dreamer Rae.
There’s no direct equivalent to these old mitt-style arm warmers, the Harajuku Arm Warmers are cozy in the same way, but too short. The Una arm warmers are as long, but a totally different material. And neither have that sort of rustic, sort of punk (rustic punk, can that be a thing?) overall look.
But that’s how it goes. A style goes away and leaves as space that can’t always be filled in quite the same way. However, give anything enough time and something even better may come along that more than fills the space, it covers and landscapes it!
I’ve talked about the ZAP! Section before, and it’s always sad to be reminded that a favourite style isn’t going to be made forever. It’s also a tough category to do a focus post about, because sometimes a style sells out before I can hit “publish”! But, it’s a good category to remember and keep an eye on, because nothing is quite as sad as going back to order your favourite style only to find hide nor hair of it.
Styles end up in Zap! for one of a couple basic reasons: a limited number were made and we’re down to the last pairs, the supplier has stopped making that style, or (and this is the tough one) they just don’t sell well for us and we’ve got to make space for more popular and new styles. It’s a bummer to mention, but we’ve got limited space and if a style isn’t pulling its weight then we have to move on, no matter how much we love them.
Someday, when we have trans-dimensional storage for our stock room, then we can have EVERYTHING. But for now, we can’t, so let’s look at some current styles that we’re sadly waving goodbye to.
Alas, the dreaded “seasonal” style. You’ll often see a phrase like “Limited availability, we may not be able to restock.” tucked into the Additional Info of seasonal and limited styles. A lot of suppliers only make certain holiday socks right around that particular holiday. Or (a lot of our European suppliers do this), a colour or style is only available for a season or a year, then POOF, off into the great socky beyond.
Because sometimes we’re able to get a couple-dozen more they don’t always go into ZAP! right away, but we do note if they’re seasonal or limited right off, so a good search to see what we may not get more of is “Limited.” Two brands that are pretty much mostly seasonal in their offerings are Icelandic Design and Cronert. Ah Cronert, the hearts you’ve broken by only offering certain colours for one year!
Some of the loudest growls happen when we learn that a style beloved by both us and you has stopped being produced. Mysterious are the ways of the sock supplier! Maybe they can’t get the yarn any longer, maybe the machine or technician who made them isn’t working any more, maybe they were cursed by dragons to no longer make such a fabulous style.
Whatever their reason, once we’ve learned that there’s a limited number of pairs left and off into ZAP! they go. We may still be able to get them for a while, but the exclamation point of ZAP! hangs over their head like the Sword of Damocles, imbuing each restock with the knowledge that it may be their last.
It’s not you, it’s me
We’ve been selling socks for a long time, so we have a good sense for what socks are a good match for us to offer you. But sometimes we miscalculate and realise no, that is not a good match for us or you. Or, we super truly fall in googly-eyed love with a style and are blinded as to how well it will do.
This is where that “limited space” thing comes into play the most. Somehow we’ve Tetris’d over 1,000+ styles (and their colour and size variants!) into our little stock room, but it’s a game of balance. If a supplier can’t get us the amounts we need, or a style just isn’t working, we’ve got to move on. That’s part of what makes the ZAP! category so great, because it lets you know that a style you like has a short time left with us.
A style going into ZAP! is a bummer. We know what it’s like to have your favourite style go away forever, believe it! In fact, next week we’re going to share some of our long-lost favourites. What style are you (or were you) saddest to see go?
You had to know it was coming. I rarely let a year end without mentioning sparkles or sparkly metallics or any other excuse for shiny things. My reasoning here is super legitimate, though. We spent all of last year focusing on a colour a month, to add some reference points for our Color Search. This year we’ll be finishing off those colours and also delving into the details I couldn’t pack into previous posts.
This post we’re going to look at Bronze, Gold and Silver. Roughly, they fall under “Metallic” in our Pattern/Texture search as well. I think they’re the colour facets we’re most profligate with, because it only takes a little bit of metallic for us to tag something one of those metal colours.
We do try to be careful though. Sure, “Gold” is a regularly used word for a rich yellow, but that’s a horse of a different colour, same as “Silver” can mean “light grey” but not be truly silvery (you can read more about yellow and grey on the Sock Journal). Bronze is where things get messy, but we’ll get there in a moment.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define Bronze, Gold or Silver. If you want some poem-like lists of names for these shades, both Wikipedia (Bronze, Gold and Silver) and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these tones in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t.
So, let’s get sparkling!
We do use “Bronze” to describe the Floral Printed styles, because there is just no other word for it. It does bother me a bit, but I try to calm myself by thinking that the microfiber nylon does impart a bit of shimmer . . . though not as much as the liquid metal that are the Metallic Leggings.
Using gold and silver for a hint of shimmer more often than not, Gumball Poodle has a pretty basic use of silver and gold lurex spun with cotton for a softer shine.
They’re not traditionally metallic in a lurex way, but I’m in love with the soft pearlescent yarn K Bell uses. I haven’t seen it’s like from any other brand!
Probably some of the most stunning use of metal-toned colours that we carry. All of the Polonova styles are hand-screen printed right here in Portland, Oregon! We talk more about the lovely Polonova styles in an older Sock Journal post here.
Yes, it’s a bit of a cheat, since the “silver” and “gold” components are actual metal (and actually nickel and brass, respectively), but they’re so pretty.
So, they only have one metal toned style available right now and I should have thrown them into the “assorted” pile below, but I felt like their sheerness would make them a little hard to see next to everyone else.
Lotta little metal hints, every supplier tries a metallic tone at least once!
Now, let’s figure out what these tones tend to be!
The year “2015” is kind of an exciting number, right? We’re getting into the digits that meant crazy cool future in old science fiction books. The year lays out before us, fresh as new snow, ready for us to put our mark on it.
More likely than not, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks worrying about treating others with love and giving them just the right present that shows them how important they are to you. Let’s start this new year with you remembering to do the same for yourself. A wise man once said, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.”
We know you can’t get yourself new socks every day, or maybe even more than once a year. But that’s partially what wishlists are for, keeping track of those bigger presents you’re dreaming about. So, whether you’ve got your eye on a dream sock to save up for, or you want to treat yourself a bit more frugally, we have two great categories for you, Indulgences and the On Sale section!
We put the styles above a certain price in Indulgences, because we know dropping $19 on a midcalf or $59 on gloves isn’t an everyday thing for most folks. But they’re amazing styles that are worth saving up for.
These are the styles that garner sighs of envy when they arrive, who are texturally delicious and visually stunning, styles that are wished and waited for and become a favourite cherished pair.
In a world where $8 for a pair of knee highs can be expensive, these luxe styles earn their keep through quality materials and beautiful craftsmanship. B.Ella indulgences are both. Luxury fibers and an amazing wear make B.Ella styles a worthy investment in chic comfort.
The indulgences of Icelandic Design and Cronert are quality production and limited availability. For all of Icelandic Design and a good deal of Cronert, these gems don’t stay in our hands for long and we rarely can get more.
Because of their limited availability and our limited room, some Indulgences end up in the On Sale section, which is a much more approachable place! Now, just because something is on sale doesn’t always mean it’s going away (check our ZAP! section to see what styles we’re waving au revoir to). Sometimes we just end up with a lot of something and need to get things shakin’!
Of course, the things I link in the following paragraphs may not be on sale when you read this a month or more from now. But I bet there’s something new and exciting and cheap in there if you go look! And if you’re going in armed with a gift card, here’s where you get the most bang for your buck! Pro tip: sort prices low to high to see the cheapest things first!
Right now, what’s on sale? There’s fancy additions to your accessory wardrobe:
Or cute kitties that are a leeeetle past their season:
So, whether you’re indulging in a singular item or staying within budget while treating yourself, we’ve got something that’ll do the trick! Even if right now virtual window shopping is all you can do, we’re waiting for you and if you have any questions, we’re right here to help. Let’s start the year off on the right foot, remembering you’re worth it!
I think every year is better than the last, here in the sock mines. This year, particularly, you’ve all been sending each other the sweetest gifts, putting together the prettiest orders for yourselves and adding the loveliest notes to those of us who pull and package your orders.
We say this a lot, but we couldn’t do what we do without the amazing support and encouragement of our customers. It’s one of the reasons we use so many social media platforms, it not only helps us get sock info more directly to you—it also lets us see how awesome you all are and how awesomely you rock our socks!
Helping you choose the right socks for a costume, then seeing how that costume turned out just makes our week. We really can’t express how great feedback like that is. You let us know when a defective sock happens, or when a style suddenly goes sour. Even just seeing you “@” us when recommending us to your friends on Twitter is a joy.
If you haven’t poked around our other social media platforms, we’d love you to join us!
Our Facebook is full of latest items, cool finds and fun events. It’s also one of the main three places you’ll see coupon codes and contests! Dreamer Rosalind keeps it punny and fresh on FB!
The Sock Dreams Tumblr gets to revel in the photos, since that’s what Tumblr is great at! Both your submitted posts and lots of extra images of our items. Bonus: some great links there on the sidebar to tips and tutorials on sizing, DIY and style. Dreamer Zaf makes sure you’ll also find info on sales, shipping and contests here too!
For even more picture-heavy peeks into our daily sock doings, our Instagram the place to go! It’s run by our founder and president, Niq, who sneaks the best snaps of fun little moments!
Our Twitter keeps it brief, as the medium requires. Mostly here you’ll find friendly reminders, tips and awesome re-tweets of you folks being gorgeous that Dreamer Zaf has found.
From cool historical socks to styles so new they’re not on our site yet, our Pinterest offers lots of sock-tastic resources gathered by Dreamer Rosalind.
We’ve even got a G+, which isn’t as robust as our Tumblr and Facebook (our main two social media loves), but Dreamer Rosalind makes sure that even if that’s the only place you follow us on, you’re up to date!
Now, the best ways to keep on top of sales and other goodies are through our Facebook and Tumblr, but there’s one other way: our email newsletter! We only send out one or two a month and you can see all our old ones right here!
Of course, if you like your social media old school, there’s the Sock Journal (which you are conveniently reading right now) and our Latest News and Events blogs, run by Dreamers Rae and Rosalind! Coming in the new year, the Events blog is also going to be looking at cosplay, so stay tuned!
We love keeping in contact with you fine folks and we love hearing from you. Here’s to a sock-tastic new year!