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Welcome to our first lesson in sock history! While we’ve talked about socks for historical costuming (three times!) in the past, we were focusing primarily on which socks we carry that can most accurately represent much older styles of sock and stocking. Today we begin a new journey through time, but on this journey we’ll mostly be taking a look at actual sock artifacts, and the stories behind them. So, to start this series off right, let’s take a trip way, way back to the earliest surviving pair of socks…
Currently housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, these socks were made at some point between 250 and 420 AD. They were then excavated in the 19th century, in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus; a Greek colony in central Egypt. Made for wear with sandals, these socks have a split-toe design, much like Japanese tabi socks. They also feature a roll top, and appear to fasten at the front of the ankle with ties.
These socks were fabricated from 3-ply wool yarn, and their fibers and brilliant red color have held up incredibly well over the years, probably due to the location of Oxyrhynchus on a canal system off the Nile, rather than on the banks of Nile itself. The area surrounding the city, which contained ancient garbage dumps and burial grounds, was gradually buried in sand, where it remained arid and undisturbed for over 1,000 years, as it wasn’t subject to the flooding of the Nile. The dry conditions preserved the artifacts of these sites, making Oxyrhynchus an important window into the ancient world.
But the most fascinating thing about these socks isn’t their tabi-style toes or long lasting red color – it’s the way they were fabricated! While they appear to have been knitted, they were actually made using a much older means of fabric creation, sometimes called “single needle knitting” or “nålebinding” as it’s known in Danish (and yes, this is what the Vikings used). This technique involves the use of a single, flat needle with an eye, akin to a flattened darning needle, and requires that the needleworker combine many short lengths of yarn together as the garment is made, unlike two-needle knitting or crochet, where one may use an indeterminate length of yarn. The fabric created is very similar to knitting, and like knitted materials, it is quite stretchy, allowing for a close fit.
While we definitely don’t have any ancient or nålebound socks, we do have some red split toe socks, if you’re interested in recreating this look! Try them in wool or fleece, or take to the internet to find modern nålebinding tutorials! We’d love to see what you create!
Your Birthday is right around the corner Gemini, and we’ve got some great collections of socks that may be just what you need to treat yourself this year. As amateur astrologists, we’ve taken the time to find the perfect socks to match your personality and your needs.
The zodiac symbol for Gemini is, of course, the Twins; but rather than being two separate people with many similarities, we’re speaking of a single person with two (or sometimes more) different versions of themselves. Sort of like a coin with two sides, both heads and tails.
This seeming contradiction of temperament may, at times, confuse those around you, as they’re never quite sure which version of a Gemini they might encounter at any given moment. However, this dichotomy serves a greater purpose for a Gemini, and makes you some of the most unique and creative people on the planet! Geminis love the experience of life, and your dualistic nature allows you to experience the world in many different ways. It also gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that most of us could not even imagine. It is in fact your great imagination that sets you apart from the rest of the zodiac.
It is true that Twins don’t always get along, however. It may seem, to outsiders at least, that a Gemini’s many personalities may clash with one another. Of course Geminis know that some of the best partnerships are born in opposition. One cannot grow without conflict, after all. Where others see foes, a Gemini sees the possibility for a beautiful friendship!
There may be moments when you find that you simply cannot choose a side to stand on. Well Gemini, we’re here to tell you that sometimes, you don’t have to choose!
So there you have it Gemini, so many socks to fit all of the many different yous. And don’t forget to ask for a limited edition Gemini Sticker when you check out (in your Order Notes). Happy Birthday Gemini; may your feet stay as unique, creative and colorful as you are!
Here at Sock Dreams, we’re big fans of bikes and the people who ride them—being Portlanders, it’s practically required! In past years we’ve participated in a local bike festival, Filmed by Bike, and we support the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (our shop even offers a special promotion for members). We gave you a lot of recommendations for Bike to Work Day a few years ago, but we’re always getting new products, and we thought it was time we highlighted some current favorites for cyclists.
First, we have a few styles to help show off your bike pride with bright colors and charming gears.
We’ve also got a great selection of novelty socks for any taste. Tie back your skirt or roll up your jeans to reveal a flash of fashionable socks, as well as protect your clothing from splashes of dirt and the nasty bite of the bike chain.
For those of you riding at night, or during the treacherous early hours of the morning, you may feel a bit better on the road with a pop of neon. Stay safe, stay visible!
You may also want to utilize some tights or leggings to help keep off the wind-chill, especially in the colder months of the year. Fleece-lined tights and leggings are great for this, and can be layered under pants in the winter for extra warmth.
If you bike daily, you may want to invest in some socks to help protect against calluses and blisters. We’ve got a few socks aimed at athletic individuals (whether you prefer pedaling, hiking, or running on a treadmill), and we’ve also got some compression socks to keep your legs healthy during your static work day.
The truly waterproof socks by Showers Pass would also be a good investment for riders in the Pacific Northwest. It can get pretty wet here, and even the loveliest days have been known to go from fair to a downpour at the drop of a helmet.
Remember, whenever you’re biking, it’s important to stay hydrated! Grab a trusty water bottle to fight thirst on the road. Happy cycling!
May the 4th is a stellar day which celebrates all things Star Wars. As such, we are offering an equally stellar deal. From now until midnight, Stance’s Star Wars socks are 25% off! That means that the adult socks are only $15, and the kids versions are just $12. This sale is good online, and at our Portland shop as well. No discount code is necessary, just place your order and you’ll receive your discount automatically.
With this heroic footwear, you can honor Luke Skywalker’s defeat of the Empire. You can laud the alacrity of Han Solo’s Kessel Run. You can glorify Princess Leia’s rebellious nature, and iconic hair style. Or, if you are feeling more sinister, you could mark the occasion with the galaxy’s most notorious villian, his armored henchmen, and one very determined bounty hunter. Will you follow the path of the Jedi, or fall to the dark side of the force?
Why not get them all and have your feet decide which way is supreme? Whatever you choose, remember, the sale is for May 4th only, and supplies are limited. So get them now, before they end up in a sock drawer far far away.
Spring is in full bloom these days and with it come the many annual events that mark this time of renewal. Last week we covered Eco-Friendly socks for Earth Day. We thought Arbor Day, a similar event solely dedicated to the planting and caring for trees, would be the perfect occasion to highlight all of our tree-themed socks.
The first American Arbor Day was celebrated in 1872 in the Great Plains of Nebraska. Pioneers knew the true value of trees at a time when they were of paramount importance for fuel, building materials, and as natural wind-barriers to keep soil in place. Trees are still very important to us today; they’re needed to moderate temperature, clean the air, and provide habitat for wildlife.
At the first Arbor Day, prizes were offered to Nebraskan counties and citizens for properly planting the most trees that day. In fact, it’s estimated by the Arbor Day Foundation that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day! The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and partners. Arbor Day itself may be seasonal, but your love for trees can be displayed all year-round with the right pair of socks!
Arbor Day is commonly observed in the United States on the last Friday in April, however, many states observe the day at other times to coincide with their region’s optimum planting weather. The State of Oregon officially recognizes Arbor Day as the first full week in April, but you can use this interactive map to find out when your state celebrates this day, as well. Protect your legs while you’re out planting trees with a pair of Dream Stockings. Not only will you look cute and keep dirt and allergens off your sensitive skin, you’ll be wearing eco-friendly regenerated cotton socks made right here in the USA.
If you don’t have the means to plant a tree of your own this Arbor Day, there are still plenty of other ways you can commemorate it! Spending some time cleaning up a public park, or volunteering with a local tree-planting organization, are two excellent ways to uplift your community. Additionally, mapping out a tree identification hike or hosting a “biggest tree” search in your neighborhood are fun ways to get out there and appreciate your local outdoors. If climbing trees is your favorite hands-on way to appreciate them, donning a pair of tights or leggings will help ensure that your modesty isn’t compromised—no matter how high you climb.
For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation and their current projects, you can visit their website to locate your nearest chapter and become a member. If you are planning on giving back this Arbor Day, please feel free to share your plans with us in the comments below! Regardless of whether you spend the day resting in the shade of a tree or volunteering in your community, we hope everyone gets a moment to reflect on the importance of trees and making the world a greener place this year!
Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks in Hunter