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Good ol’ brown. Now, I mean brown-brown, not tan or beige (which are their own thing in our Color Search). Deep, earthy, bark-like, ranging from cool to warm, brown is a great “neutral” shade for when you don’t want to go black or navy or grey.
You’ll see, as we look at the different supplier’s browns, that there are definitely some dye batch differences that exist within brown, but everybody can fall into a pretty clear family of umbers, chocolates, earthy loams and red. I think in this post, the images of each brand’s array of browns is closest to spot-on for colour accuracy.
Brown seems very mutable, and reflects the colours it is next to or knit with quite strongly. See the difference in how the colour presents between the white elastic of the O Chevrons and the black elastic of the B Chevrons below!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define brown. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of brown, 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!
Oops, I forgot to include the Dreamer Socks’ Extraordinary Thigh Highs in Dark Brown here, but they’re just a touch richer than the Dark Brown in the Dream Stockings styles. Earth is nice and cool-yellow and I love the Coffee nylon hue, so rich!
Ooh boy. Not only does B.Ella offer “Espresso” “Chocolate” and plain ol’ “Brown”, there’s some variation within each colour (both the tights on the far left and far right are “Espresso”). It does mean a gorgeous range of hues, though.
From left to right: Patricia Merino Crochet Tights, Meg Unconstricted Top Crew, Trentata Italian Trouser Sock, Pantera Jersey Dress Midcalf, Gregorio Wool Bootsocks, Vera Recycled Cotton No Show, Bastia Comfort Top Crew, Codori Crochet Tights
Either deep or chocolately-basic, Cronert keeps it simple with two very good representations of brown.
EG Smith tries to keep it simple with just a simple “Brownie” and a heather. But, as you can see between the two boot sock styles (with the same fiber content) below, there’s variation. We keep our images updated the best we can when dealing with dye batch differences like this. The Sockling and the Solid OTK are pretty much the same hue, on the other hand.
Not normally one to offer a full range of hues, Foot Traffic brings it home with a pretty selection of browns from loamy to umber to chocolate. The colour variation in Brown between the Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks and the Solid Opaque Thigh Highs seems to be that the former is 80% microfiber nylon and the latter is 90% plain ol’ nylon.
From left to right: Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmer, Fleece Lined Knee Highs, Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks, Solid Opaque Thigh High, Signature Cotton Tights, Signature Cotton Tights, Cotton Lace Anklets
Nouvella’s colour consistency is a little uneven when it comes to browns, with the widest range between dye batches. Below you can see two different dye batches of the Nouvella Cotton Leggings in Brown. What a difference! We try to catch all changes we can so we can keep our images updated.
For once, Tabbisocks does not dominate a colour with a masterful array! Their brown tends towards maroon (except for their Color Tights, which are nice and cool, a rather umber-y chocolate).
Lots of browns show up as single examples across different brands.
Okay, after the jump, let’s look at the variations within the variations of brown!
You know when you get a new wooly sock and there are those almost microscopic little hairs poofing up from the stitches? That’s loosely called “halo.” Angora has a very marked halo, that’s what makes it so warm! Even some synthetic fibers that are made to imitate wool, like acrylic, have a bit of halo. It’s what can cause itchies for some folks—though everyone has different ways wool can be itchy.
Halo is also part of what makes wooly (and fake wooly acrylic) so great in so many temperatures, too. Those little fibers trap air that keeps the cold out and the warm in (and it works the opposite way too, I swear!).
Combined with blooming, which is when yarn puffs up to make a fuller and fuzzier look after washing, halo is part of what can make a sock so very fluffy-soft or hairy-scratchy, depending on your skin’s sensitivities. As a wool sensitive person, I like that acrylic can imitate that fluffy specialness of wool. Take a gander below!
The Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmers and the Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers are another great example of acrylic halo. The Charcoal are obviously fuzzy, with those little white “hairs”, but the black are just as fuzz—they’re being all stealth about it. All the colours of both styles have a bit of halo, with the Ivory having the least (but still having some).
Of course, that’s not the case for all acrylic styles. Our O Dreamy and Super Dreamy styles also have almost no halo. The Foot Traffic and Leg Avenue acrylic OTKs and thigh highs are super soft, but smooth, with none of the wooly halo.
And wool can have very little halo too. Wool crochet-like styles tend to be smoother and don’t bloom as much after washing and wearing.
Angora has enough halo that adding even tiny bits of it can add to a style’s overall fuzzy halo feel. The Kimi Wool Blend OTKs, like a lot of B.Ella’s angora blends, only has 6% of this fuzzy fiber in it, but combined with 8% cashmere it makes for just the right amount of super soft halo to keep cozy as the days grow cold.
More microscopic than what we call “fuzzy or furry”, the halo found in wool and acrylic blends adds to the warmth and coziness and their beautiful bloom that builds as they’re washed and worn adds to the experience.
What are letters and pictures without numbers and theories? Since last week you started your sock school day with some writing and art, your brain is all warmed up and ready for some science and math!
Science is a broad field that covers a lot of learnin’. There are many “-ologies” (“studies of”) out there to nerd out on. I think a lot of folks think of a lab and assorted fiddly bits when presented with the word “science”, but in actuality there’s a lot more there. Studying dinosaurs is science. Maybe it is the best science.
Let’s start with a field that isn’t an “-ology” but whatever. Astronomy is the study of celestial objects, all that weird and beautiful star stuff. What they’re made of, where they’re going, how they interact with each other and us—it’s a science that isn’t that intimidating, because not only are the stars always with us, but amateur astronomers have been vital parts of many major discoveries.
Another thing that is always with us, like it or not, are insects and that’s what entomology studies! From obviously useful insect friends, like bees, to what a lot of us consider pests, entomology investigates insects from their smallest parts to the greatest expanse of their social structures and their place in the ecosystem. I know somebody who did their doctoral work on the iridescence of beetle carapaces and that is a pretty awesome thing.
From land to sea, marine biology studies the critters (a very scientific term) that live in the ocean and other non-fresh water places. Like bugs and space, you get to look at some weird monsters and beautiful creatures that we share the world with.
Of course, both entomology and marine biology are subsets of plain ol’ biology, the natural science of life and living stuff. There are five natural sciences: astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics. When it comes to socks, synthetic fibers, like Coolmax, have chemistry to thank. How socks stay up is directly connected to physics (and sock glue) and as for the earth sciences, socks—well, socks rock.
Natural science is one of the “empirical sciences”, while mathematics is classed as a “formal science”. You may now picture your favourite number dressed up as James Bond.
Though we use math all the time with socks (they come to us in packs of six, which means I’m very good at my six-times tables), they’re not as easy to integrate into mathematics.
Well, they do divide themselves more often than we’d like, leaving one in the dryer and one off exploring the depths of space or something. If you don’t like your socks doing division, using a hosiery bag for washing should keep them prime (get it, indivisible?!). The brand Soxks even includes a wash bag with each pair!
Now, I know a lot of folks wish their sock collection could multiply, but there’s an easy way to do that. Multi packs!
From two packs to six, buying more socks at once not only multiplies your styles, but is also a formula for savings, since they’re often less per pair when packaged together.
There are no sciences like the sock sciences (both natural and formal). Now that you’ve been sock schooled, I hereby deem you professors of socks! Just in time for the new school year. May all your learning be as useful and fun as socks can be.
Fall is right around the corner, if you squint you can see it! School is about to start or has already started for lots of folks and we’ve got your sock curriculum all planned out. We’re going to sock-school you!
However you feel about school, writing and the arts of language is a vital foundation to life (we have words to thank for our sassy, punny copy, for instance!). So grab your pencil and some paper to take down a few notes.
Creativity is key and it’s amazing what can blossom between restraints of form. That could be the limits of a form poem, or working with given prompts. An example! Let’s try a triplet, three lines using the same rhyme and forming a complete little thought unto themselves.
And for inspiration, some words.
Okay, let’s try . . .
The evil jinn, not gin the drink,
Poured himself a glass, and sat to think.
And as he drank, began to shrink.
Wait, are you even paying attention. You’re reading comic books, aren’t you?
I mean, comic books are great, and actually a perfect example of what restraints of form can do in inspiring the creative process. It’s just, a little rude when I’m all trying to teach up-over here. But I can take a hint. Let’s move on to a related subject.
The visual arts go hand-in-hand with written language. They can convey and document, suggest and imagine. More than just pretty pictures, it’s how people decorate their world through architecture and textiles and how that process influences and is influenced by society.
• Maroc Midcalf (architectural design in form of repeating tile patterns) •
• Folklore Midcalf (simplistic motif used to convey story and feeling) •
• Art Deco Tights (highly influential visual style that influenced all aspects of life) •
Though the kind of paintings that hang in museums get a lot of attention, work that should never be overlooked is that inspired by or related to handicraft and entertainment. Silhouette scenes and patterns cut from card are a great example of this. Though silhouette portraiture was popularised in the Victorian era, paper cut scenes were a popular way to illustrate books since the late 18th century and their use in shadow theatre is an ancient art.
Oh, there goes the bell! Well, I’ll see you back here after lunch (or, ahem, next week) for your last two classes, science and math. Don’t make that face, it’ll be fun.
I know I said that Yellow was an under-represented colour, but Orange shows up even less. Once you take “rust” and “spice” out of the equation (which I did with Red as well), there’s hardly enough to count. Look at how well they all fit in this one bin, not a bit of spillover!
As I’m saving pastels and neons for another day, we’ll just focus on that delicious crayon-orange. There are lighter shades and brighter shades and ones that dance the edge of rust, but overall it’s a pretty straightforward colour.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define orange. 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!
As our Dreamer Socks only enlist orange in a spice/rust variant, it’s just Dream Stockings that offer orange as an option. The nylon version is definitely more of a red orange, while the cotton Sherbet and Tangerine have a yellow undertone.
An outrageous orange that battles your monitor’s capabilities of rendering it accurately, EG Smith’s orange is slightly more vibrant in their Ribbed Bootsock.
Now, I’m showing the Striped OTK in Black & Neon Orange just so you can have a good comparison against the Black & Pumpkin. Word on the street is that the Black w/Pumpkin is being discontinued, more’s the pity.
Suprisingly, Tabbisocks, who offers ALL the colours, only has about one representation of plain ol’ orange. It’s a good, reliable orange. Bright, but not glaring. The arm and leg warmers aren’t an exact match (totally different fiber content will do that), but they match well enough to be worn together, since they’re on totally different ends.
There are some scattered representations of orange throughout our suppliers. They tend to range carefully in straight up “orange” if they’re not fully embracing spice and rust.
Oh, and this pretender
You may be doubting me when I say that rust and spice are their own thing and shouldn’t be counted with orange. I think a great example of how different rust can be is shown in the Jellies Arm Cozies in “Orange.” Ma’am that is rust.
After the jump, let’s take a gander at the loose sub-categories of orange that exist even in this small a sample of styles!