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There’s just something about impending spring that fires up our crafty itch. Time to make things! Conveniently, March is National Craft Month and just about everywhere online and in the brick & mortar world has lots of fun ideas to kick-start your creative juices.
I love doing our DIY posts here on the Sock Journal, but sometimes the themes can get a bit lost among all the other posts we do. So I’ll start you off with a more solid round-up of DIY posts than the gift-oriented roundup I shared around the holidays. Then! I’ve got one new quickie craft to share with you.
First up, before we really dig in, remember that our DIY Sock Style Pinterest board and our Tumblr’s “DIY” tag have awesome crafty ideas from both us and around the web! Plus, our posts in the Tips & Tricks category has more useful sock care and fit resources.
Modification & Mending
• Darn It! •
• Arm Warmer Basics •
• DIY For Fit: Tights •
• DIY For Fun and Fashion •
• Tips & Tricks for Cutting Socks •
• Lace & Bows, Thighs & Toes (quick way to shorten stockings) •
• Fit Your Shirt to a “T” •
Surface Techniques (painting, etc)
Now, after the jump, let me add one more idea to your mental craft basket: DIY boot toppers! Read more »
Such a short month, yet we still have couple of folks this time around! But their names rhyme, which is pretty fabulous. You might say they’re a perfect match! Or—just perfect at matching.
Kori is our CFO, scheduler and number brain extraordinaire! She has a very specific and earthy colour palette and her outfits colour-coordinate like a maestro. RocknSocks are some of her faves and the Uma Striped Over the Knee is the most Kori sock of the bunch! I asked her why exactly she loved these the most and this is what she emailed me:
Why the Umas are my Favourites
I wear these socks at least three times a month. That may not sound so special to you, but as I’ve been working for Sock Dreams for nearly 9 years, I have QUITE the collection of socks by now, and yet I come back to my Umas time and time again. Why? Because A) Gorgeous colours that you can match with all of your earth tone outfits; B) They are comfy and stretchy; C) They are warm, but not too warm, so you can wear them most of the year. And D) because Thurman is hot and kicked arse in Kill Bill. That is all.
I feel like the above missive is actually about why Kori is one of my favourites.
Though most of the time we see her in warm earthtones with the occasional hint of mossy green, the lady can rock a blue like nobody’s business. I know that every one of the Erin Wool & Silk socks she modelled was perfectly matched to an outfit. Or, more properly, an outfit was sculpted to perfectly match these socks!
One of the wonderful attributes about Kori is her ability to match things just right—which is why the Gamer Knee High and Brat Knee High were just as perfect for her as the Paprika O Rayons. She’s just matching her ‘tude!
Now Tori is another great matcher, one of those people with a clear personal colour scheme that means they’ll always coordinate to some degree, no matter what they pull out of their closet. She’s a colourful, skilled whirlwind at our shop, in shipping and in the stock room and says “I don’t have a particular favorite sock, since I love them all, but the brand I always gravitate to are Sock It To Me’s knee high socks. I can always find a pair to go with all my outfits and they’re so funky and fun I just love showing them off!”
And, as regular rocker of shorter pants, show them off she does! Like with the Portland Striped Knee High, which seem to they go with just about everything she owns.
Tori always brings her game and a perfectly coordinated look. I cannot express the level to which my day was made when she wore the Striped Tights in Red & White and she dressed like a super-hip elf in fuzzy boots, or how perfectly the greens in her dress matched the Color Tights in Pear.
Now really, pretty much all of us here are crazy into colour coordination. And in the dark, short, wild-weather month of February, finding ways to bring some colour into your days is like a rainbow road into spring!
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!
Last year we paired socks up in romance novel-style covers, but this year our true love matches are between styles that make for great cold weather layering! It’s been chilly up here in the Northern hemisphere (resulting in snow in Portland, even!), and we’ve all been getting creative with pairing up socks.
I’ve mentioned layering here before, both pretty openwork styles to go over solid tights and lightweight layering options for spring, now let’s look at warm options that help keep you cozy by trapping warm air and just plain doubling up!
I’m a big arm warmer fan, so the first thing I do when it gets chilly is pair knit gloves with my old standby, the Harajuku Arm Warmers. And when the freeze gets really bitey, you don’t want to take your gloves off to use your mobile, so the Smart Gloves are super handy (ha, hand-y).
Also available in a lambswool version for folks who aren’t sensitive to wool (you lucky people!), both styles of Smart Gloves have a special fiber in the index finger tip and thumb, so you can still swipe your screen without freezing up! Stretchier styles like the Harajuku Arm Warmers and larger styles like the Leaf Pattern Fleece Arm Warmers go easily over knit gloves. Plus, their open-hand design allows you to pull them back a bit and take your gloves off when it gets too warm for gloves but not warm enough to expose your wrists to the elements.
But what about your toes?! Like I mentioned in the January Dreamer recommendations post, Zaf personally loves using the Silk Knee Highs as a liner sock under a warmer style. Not only does this trap air that helps keep you warm (like how a Thermos works, but with socks!), but if you’re sensitive to wool, a liner sock keeps those prickly fibers at a comfortable distance. The O Woolies are a great basic wool style that cuffs to make a fabulous knee high, so don’t worry about wool behind your knees!
Having a natural fiber against your skin is also a boon when wearing a purely man-made fiber like the Acrylic Slouches. I love my Acrylic Slouches, but if my feet start to sweat there is nowhere for the moisture to go. Silk and wool are both fabulous as liner fibers, because they help keep the moisture off your skin—and, as anyone who has worked themselves into a sweat in freezing weather knows, you start warm and then get cold fast! Coolmax® fiber is another wonderful wicking option, and though most of our Coolmax® styles, like the Sport Over the Calf Toe Sock, have toes, that’s just more snuggly layers keeping you warm!
Okay, sure, double up your socks, double up your gloves. But what if it is REALLY cold and you need to bring out the big guns? I will share my cold weather secret: double up your pants! But not like, with actual pants. Leggings can fit snugly under slacks and looser jeans, and if you go for fleece-lined styles like Foot Traffic’s Fleece Lined Leggings or the Thermo Fleece Lined Footless Tights, then you’ll really be barricading your legs against the chilly invaders of weather!
Layers! Pair those styles up, OTKs over tights, leg warmers over everything! Keep those toes cozy and share with us what your favourite layering combos are when the cold gets nasty and means business.
However you spend Valentine’s day, and whoever you spend it with (including yourself!) we’ve got some sweet treats for the day. Our Valentine’s Sweeties section is a great place to start. There’s your classic reds and hearts:
And traditional Valentine themes and colours with a little more edge:
And of course you can always paint the town (or your toes) red with our colour search.
Or pink to match your blush (which, I’m sure is totally because of the cold and not infatuation!).
Your best valentine should always be yourself, because (to paraphrase what a great person once said), if you can’t love yourself, how are you gonna love anybody else?! So indulge yourself, or get something warm to cozy up in, or get a little treat that’s on sale.
Of course, with the weather everywhere is having, even if you upgrade to Priority or Express (check our Shipping FAQ for more info) you might not get your Valentine treat in time. But we came prepared! Three of us Dreamers indulged our pun and doodle sides, putting together a bunch of little valentines for you all, like these:
Like the cartoon and toy themed valentines you might have got in grade school to give to all your classmates, we’ve made a PDF you can download and print to share with your friends and loved ones! Just click and save this link right here!
Of course, our favourite valentine is you, our wonderful customers! We love you lots and love that we can help your feet find their true love in socks!