Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Types of Socks

Okay -- so I've been doing some looking around, and I'm with on this one:  if you think the only type of socks are the white ones that come to your ankle or part way up your calf are the only socks, then you definitely have not been shopping lately. There as many styles and colors and you can imagine.  Below I've listed some of the basics styles and shapes, starting from the bottom of the foot, going up.

  • Anklet --these socks are just like the name implies.  They reach about ankle level and are mostly used in cases where you don't want a lot of the sock showing.  A lot of men wear these socks with tennis shoes since they are more sporty and you don't have to continuously pull them up while moving.  These are often divided into three categories, no-show, low, and quarter.  No-show does not show over the ankle and usually has a tab to keep them pulled up.  Low reaches just to or just below the ankle and quarter reaches just above.  I've also read that many schools with uniforms are abolishing ankle socks -- for various reasons of course, but statistically, the most common reason seems to be that teachers are unsure students are wearing socks with some ankle socks and therefore it can become a hygiene issue.  They don't seem to be differentiating between no-show socks and other ankle socks. Never bothered me since I don't particularly care for these socks.

  • Crew -- these socks are the working man/sometimes woman's staple sock.  They are mid-length (usually 6-8 inches above the shoe line) socks, often reaching to mid-calf and have a ribbed cuff to keep them snug to the leg and in place. They are, I think, the most commonly used type of sock, since they are simple and versatile, especially for crew workers, as the name implies.  

  • Knee-High or Over the Calf -- Socks in this length often tend to be one of two styles: athletic or novelty.  It doesn't mean that there can't be socks in other styles that are athletic or novelty, but since these socks come up to just below the knee, they are more on display than ankle or crew socks.  Toe-Socks, which are novelty (usually) socks with separate areas for each toe, rather than one full area, are often in this length.  These are also my favorite type of sock since they are cute and warm, but not heavy.

  • Over the Knee -- These socks could just as easily fit into the knee-high category, but they are a little longer, reaching to the thigh area instead of just the knee.  Often this style of sock is a novelty costume sock, but if you group socks and stockings together, thigh-high dress stockings would fit into this category as well.

  • The other style that could possibly be included here is Stockings or Tights.  These are usually made of nylon/lycra blends and come in two basic shapes: stockings, which are like socks, but usually sheer and should be held in place by garters; and pantyhose, which come in a variety colors and designs with a undergarment style waist band to hold them in place.  There are also foot-less tights, but since the whole point of the "sock" is the actual foot, I am going to ignore them for the sake of argument.

What are your favorite styles of socks?  Do you have a favorite place to buy socks?  Right now, I'm really into the knee highs, and I'll explain more on why next time!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Little Miss Matched

    Those of you who know me personally know that I like lots of bright colored socks.  I ran across a company recently that caters to that whimsy.  It's called Little Miss Matched and they carry lots of different styles of socks, including sport length, knee high, and anklets.  More specifically, however, their socks don't come in pairs.  They come in sets of three, designed to be mixed and matched as the mood strikes.  You can see some of the new line below.  They have similar colors and styles, so that they match, but don't.

    So, for the second year now,  the company is holding a competition for new socks.  You have to design 3 mismatched socks for one set.  You can send in as many entries as you want and they hold a online vote for the winners.  The winner gets like BIG BUCKS and to see their socks in the new line.  I've done two full color sets so far and I have another drawn to color, so I thought I would share my socks with my readers!  I'll post one from each of the two I've finished because I don't want to give away all of them -- just in case anyone out there wants to attempt to steal them from me.  I'll keep everyone posted on the deadlines and such and I'll post more later.

    Ja ne!

    Tuesday, March 09, 2010

    New Dawn

    It's a new day, it's a new dawn -- it's a new life.
    It's a new day, it's a new dawn -- it's a new life.

    And I'm feeling good.*

    Actually, I could be feeling better today, but I wanted to get this blog started so that it can go somewhere.  I haven't decided yet, if this will remain mostly a blog, or if I want to transform it into a sort of web page like my writing blogs, so bear with me while I continue to make transitions.  It's so hard to find a decent webhost these days if you aren't interested in paying.  I know, they're pretty cheap, but when you don't keep it up, it's just not worth the extra money every month.

    Anyway, I guess my first post should be about socks in general -- I've been trying to get some definitive information for the first socks and where socks come from and here's what I've learned:

    Sock, pronounced [sok] is usually defined as a short stocking usually reaching to the calf or just about the ankle.  It has it's origins before 900 B.C.E. and comes from the Latin soccus, meaning slipper.  Some of the earliest socks were found in Egypt, and were noted to be knitted toe-up.  This is important because it allowed easier rework of the toe and heel when they fell out of repair due to use.  These are usually the first parts of the sock to be worn through, and today, they are often reinforced to keep them in tact.  Knitting toe-up also allows the creator to fit the sock as it grows, which allowed for a more uniform and comfortable fit.

    Earliest socks were made of animal skins and fur and used predominately by tying them on the feet with strings to protect the foot from cold.    Later, the Greeks used them on actors in comedies as they could be easily slipped on and off.  By 1,000 B.C.E. socks were used as a symbol of purity and status among the nobility, since only the richest could afford decorative stockings and socks.

    With the invention of the knitting machine in the 1800's, socks could be produced at a much faster rate and by 1938, the invention of nylon made making blended socks with cotton, wool, and linen easier with ensured fit and stretch.  Today, we still used nylon and a blending method to ensure sock fit.  Creators can blend a variety of colors and designs to create socks in all shapes and sizes from ankle length to over the knee.  Team socks are even used to distinguish one team from another based on the color of the socks.

    There are several different types of socks and styles, but we'll save that for another day and I'll leave you with a picture of one of the earliest recorded

    *Feeling Good by Nina Simone