Monday, 29 September 2014

Sock It To Me, Baby!

sockAutumn is upon us, and my feet are feeling the chills – so I am wearing socks more than I was a couple of weeks ago. I decided my sock collection needed sorting. It is in a Truly Parlous State.

Some socks are without their mates, others are thin and holey … a serious cull is needed here. Statistics show that the average family of four loses around 60 socks a year. I am not sure that Bob and I have lost 30 socks in the past twelve months, so someone out there is being Very Careless!

But what to do with the odd socks, and the holey socks? I can, and do, darn holes where possible – but many of my cheap man-made fibre socks don’t really like being darned. I have been looking at the gazillion websites dedicated to ‘uses for old socks’ and the Pinterest page devoted to hapless hosiery. I have concluded there are three general categories of Old Socks.

  1. socks which are really beyond any useful purpose- bin them
  2. socks which are boring and dull, and holey – but could be put to use for dusting or other dirty household chores, and then be binned – these could go into the Rag Bag [if I had one]
  3. socks which have been ‘widowed’, but are far too attractive to thrown away – and can be used to cover jars and bottles, or be remade into soft toys, or turned into icepacks/wheat packs, purses, or wristwarmers. I have no socks in Group 3

sock monkey

Sadly I have never owned a pair of genuine Rockford Red Heel Socks, to make a proper sock monkey.

When I was running regularly, I invested in a few pairs of ‘trainer socks’ – but don’t like wearing them with regular shoes. They have so little fabric in them, they are hardly worth recycling into anything. My socks are all dull and functional. And I have plenty of dusters already. All my socks are in Group 1

viyella socks

I am just going to have to be ruthless here, and bin the ones which are beyond use.

Bob, on the other hand, owns a pair of wonderful striped Viyella cotton socks [a Christmas gift from his sister, some time ago] Now I could find all sorts of ways to repurpose them – but they never seem to get separated in the wash, and show no signs of developing holes yet. So I suppose I must “possess my soul in patience” – and put ‘new socks’ on my Christmas wish list!


  1. I often refer to my "religious" socks - they are very holy!!!

  2. I remember making sock puppets & sock bean bags. Most charity shops will take clothing not fit to be resold & recycle it via a rag collector who will pay per kilo thus making a bit more money for the charity & keeping clothing out of landfill.I know a few socks weigh very little but when lots of people donate "rags" it all adds up. Just a thought. Vee x

  3. I must be the careless sock loser as the sock monster definitely lives here. I am lucky if I get one wear out of a pair of socks before they go their separate ways. If it wasn't for primark I'd be sockless. I know they are cheap but as all my socks divorce and leg it its the only way I can fund my habit.

    My favourite use for one of the lone padded sports socks is to turn it inside out, stick it on my hand and use the padded sole to polish shoes.

  4. I have beige socks and black socks...that's it.I can always make a matching pair when some give up the ghost.
    Jane x
    PS My Dad's theory is that missing socks breed,their offspring are coathangers.

    1. I think your Dad sounds like a very wise man!

  5. My socks all tend to get holey at the big toe ... very frustrating! I sometimes extend their life by pinching the edges of the hole together and sewing them with a tiny zigzag seam, but eventually they wear through again. It seems so wrong somehow to toss (bin) a sock that's still 99% whole. I have had good luck cutting sock legs into hair scrunchies - cut into 2" sections, they make very soft, non-binding ponytail holders.

  6. Parlous. What a wonderful word! I am looking for some long stripey socks to wear around London this weekend. I am afraid that all our socks end up in the bin. Non-parlous ones might go into the cash for clobber bag that goes up to Good Shepherd's collection bin, but that's it. By the time they reach their demise, our socks are more than dead!

  7. According to the weather I saw this morning, this is the weekend it starts to go properly autumnal. Will have to give in and go for the tights and socks as well.

  8. IoOOOh, socks as dusters is a GOOD one!!! I must try that! Your style of writing does remind me of Elinor Brent Dyer! I have many widowed socks- they live in the 'Lonely sock' bag I was once given!x


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