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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!
I honestly cannot believe I’ve been writing these weekly Sock Journal entries for four years! I swear, if I didn’t do these posts about how long I’ve been writing the Sock Journal, I would never realise the speed of time passing.
I mean, how is it that I’ve gone a whole year and only done one post on Tips & Tricks and it was just a guide to how to measure to find the best fitting socks and one giving you tips on using gift notes to best advantage!
Those are still like, super useful, but I need to step up my game!
Putting together the Dreamers Recommend posts is a fun challenge. It’s tough for some of us to pick a favourite! And those of us who’ve worked here a long time have favourites that haven’t been made in years, or were a weird sample. So when you’re told “what do we have that is currently available that you love the most” your brain does a cartoonish screech as it puts on the brakes. Of course, once a person’s slept on it they can come up with a couple (or a couple dozen!).
As enjoyable as the birthday Dreamer posts are, the colour focus posts are definitely the most indulgent. I get to stroll through the stock room, plucking examples of colours like fruit! It’s the best kind of harvest!
I also love that it gives me a chance to use words to explain colours that can never be perfect across all monitors (as the teal/turquoise post proved!).
I mean, really, when it comes down to it, I’m trying to make the Sock Journal a good go-to for tips and general information about socks. Our stock is ever-changing, so I’ve got to write posts that will stand the test of time and keep helping folks in the years to come. So I get as much joy out of writing about how restock notifications work . . .
. . . as I do putting together DIY posts!
I guess if you start breaking all my posts down to the basics, they’re just be explaining and nerding on specific sock and sock-site things. Which is pretty much the best. Thank you for reading and, as always, I’d love to know socky things to nerd out on next!