when your shoe is hurting,
it’s because of the seam
on the sock.
Back when I was in teacher training, my Faculty Associate (university liaison person) was Debbie. Debbie got up every morning and sewed before she headed to work. Because she made her own cool garments, she invested in interesting shoes and socks. I had a pair of Debbie-style striped shoes I wore until they fell apart, and I still have some fancy, colourful trouser socks purchased on her inspiration back in those days, now getting over stretched and holey, and desperately in need of replacement. Unfortunately finding great socks can be a challenge.
My mother also sews, and also loves great shoes. When we moved her, she had 8 closets of clothes, and well over a hundred shoes- mostly pumps. She wasn’t quite as adventurous in her shoe choices, but then, she’s a very classical dresser- à la Chanel. She has lots of fancy hose, but offers no suggestions on wonderful socks.
I used to make my own clothes, and still collect fabric and patterns with the intention of sewing, but with an uncooperative serger (it was recently ‘repaired’ without any change in its proclivity to eat needles and break thread), and a cold basement sewing zone, I don’t do as much sewing as I should, especially not in the middle of winter, when I’m supposed to be writing novels in my ‘spare’ time.
When weight fluctuates, shoes and socks still fit (unless something truly dramatic happens) but while finding shoes has been relatively simple effort, I have not found a local or internet source for awesome socks worthy of my Fluevogs.
Recently, I was looking at blogs for some inspiration on other ways to wear my Libby Smith boots, and that search led me to The Fashionable Bureaucrat. Megan lives all the way across Canada in Nova Scotia and she blogs photos of her ensembles. She has some interesting tights she orders from Sock Dreams in Portland, Oregon. With a store name like that, obviously I had to check them out and wow! it is sock NIRVANA over there! I just sent in my first order, and I’m looking forward to adding funky socks to the daily dressing here in the Shuswap. After poking around Sock Dreams, I discovered Sock It to Me, also located in Portland. What is it with Portland that they get TWO amazing sock stores, while the rest of North America goes without?
There is sock hope! (You’ll see that shipping is free in the US. With orders under $50 you can ship with USPS First Class International Parcel for $8, which isn’t so bad taxes and exchange rate considered!).
I’ve been knitting socks the last couple of days. It takes me about 8 hours to knit one sock, so 16 hours for a pair. This is not exactly a cost effective way to purchase socks. Good heavy duty socks can be had for about $10. With the yarn at something like $5 a ball, I’m getting little more than 25c an hour value out of my time. However, the satisfaction is in the making. I will have another sturdy pair of warm socks, something I am always thankful of in winter, with my chronically cold feet. I will have bright, pretty socks, and I will have socks I made with my own two hands and four needles…
There’s a sense of power in knowing that you can make things yourself, be they socks. sweaters. clothes, furniture or whatever. Self-sufficiency is a reward. I like spending my time making something that lasts, as opposed to doing housework which never ends, for example.
I’ve used Paton’s Jr Jacquard yard (90% acrylic. 10% nylon) in “Big Deal Teal.” The pattern is from Knitty.com I actually stumbled upon it quite accidentally when looking up a precise definition of the word “Widdershins.” In this case, most socks are knit knee down, and these are knit toes up. I had been interested in someday finding a toe up pattern, and since this one fell into my lap, I was happy to try it. You can find the pattern here. I love such serendipity.
This is my result- one sock complete, and the toe started on the twin as you can see on the right.
As you can see from the ball, the yarn ends in lime, which suggests to me that my mate sock is going to end up about 1/2 shorter than the first one. I will live with that! I probably should have unwound the ball and divided it equally in half so I could have exactly the same amount of yarn. I wish there was an easy way to do that, come to think of it.
What do you make that gives you small satisfaction of ‘doing it yourself?’