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Getting good sox

May 18, 2009

Now this is a serious matter. Decent socks make all the difference this time of year, especially when your best chance to recover from a cold is to stay warm (it’s also a good way to avoid them. It’s called a cold for a good reason.)

The trouble is though, the majority of socks on the market these days at the low end are made of acrylic/cotton blends with minimal amounts of wool. This makes them cheaper, but they wear out really rapidly. This results in the need to buy more socks, and you might just as well have bought flash woolen ones.

I’d solved this conundrum by going the middle ground but for one fact. The art of darning socks seems to be rapidly disappearing. Certainly I could condemn myself or my partner to an hour of sock-darning, but seen as neither of us is skilled in this matter it’s simply not worth the needle-pricks.

But… +$30 for a pair of something like Norsewool is just so damn much. Especially when you need at least 3 pairs to get through a week of sitting in shonky office airconditioning.

Tips? On either decent value socks? Or on getting darning up to scratch (including on the cheap Farmer’s ones)

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8 comments

  1. I darn. The toes of my kids’ cotton tights and socks wear out quickly. I can’t find wool for kids. My husband won’t wear darned things so he buys more expensive wool socks.

    I do need a decent darning mushroom though. I use a jam jar at the moment


  2. If you can wait until July (or whenever it is), the Kirkcaldies sale is one option. I picked up some good socks for half price last year.

    Other than that, I have been keeping an eye on Farmers sales but for some reason the good wool socks aren’t often on special.


  3. Kathmandu’s sales. You can get wool socks that work well in a business environment for about $20.

    I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that I’ve worn a lot of socks in my life. I walk and cycle a lot, and I think I can reasonably claim to be pretty hard on socks. And overall, I’d have to say that DeFeet’s air-e-ator socks are easily the best socks that I’ve ever worn. Yes, they’re expensive; but I’ve had two pairs in heavy rotation for five years now and they’re in perfect order. That’s more than I can say for most socks I’ve owned. Plus, they’re ludicrously comfy.

    YMMV, of course; but I find that socks are like shoes, beds, and chairs – you’ll be spending a lot of time in them, and it’s really worth spending the extra money to get something comfortable and long-lasting.


  4. I like simple cotton socks. I tend to buy Bonds, and when I see them at less than $10 for 3 pairs I go out and buy 12 or so pairs, which lasts me about a year. Nothing nicer than having fresh new socks on your feet.


  5. farmers have woolen socks
    i know i brought a stash, and they always have red dot sales

    you just have to hunt through things,
    and you can always turn your used socks into something else (i’m working on 3 up cycling projects right now)


  6. If you are ever up Levin way, there is a sock factory on the main highway. They make great socks and factory prices are good. There is also all the outlet stores in Otaki


  7. if you do want to learn to darn, there are plenty of vids on the interwebs, but many take some basic knowledge for granted e.g. – to darn successfully and enjoyably, you need the right tools. As well as a darning mushroom (or equivalent), actual darning needles make the job much easier – they are long have a bluntish rather than sharp point, both of which make the needle weaving easier (you don’t want to split the existing fibres, but work into the natural holes in the weave). The yarn or thread you use to darn should be as close in composition and weight as possible to the yarn in the sock (natching colour is optional though!). And if you are darning in wool , leave your weave a little loose to allow for shrinkage when you wash (otherwise you end up with a stiff uncomfortable darn and throw the sock out any way). If you see your socks getting threadbare, you can reinforce these areas before they turn into holes, which is even more fun and statisfying than darning – if that is possible!


  8. My husband won’t wear darned things

    So… a vociferous nudist?



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