Sock Sorting Day

By Liesl Clark

Sock Singles Party on Our Floor. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock Singles Party on Our Floor. Photo © Liesl Clark

We all know about sock-hungry dryers. Well, I believe drawers are sock-eaters, too. Somehow socks go into dresser drawers in pairs but come out as singles, forever abandoning the sacred union. We started a box of single socks a few months ago and decided it was high time we searched the house for all socks to take a full tally of the situation.

Sorting Socks is Sorta Fun. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sorting Socks is Sorta Fun. Photo © Liesl Clark

It was the perfect task for a 7 year old, searching through every drawer in the house and coming up with nearly 100 single socks! The laundry room coughed up a few more. Then, we got to work with our matching game. Thirty pair were reunited! But sadly, about 40 odd socks now have no mate. What to do?

Reunited Socks After Nearly a Year. Photo © Liesl Clark

Reunited Socks After Nearly a Year. Photo © Liesl Clark

I’m vowing to have a moratorium on sock-buying for at least a year, or until our dryer and drawers have consumed them all. This family has way too many socks. In the meantime here’s a list of what we’re doing with our 40 odd socks:

1) A few special unions have been created, and we look forward to showing them off at school as soon as possible.

Do you approve of this union. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Hey, mismatched socks are in! Photo © Liesl Clark

Do you approve of this union? Speak now or forever hold your peace. Hey, mismatched socks are in! Photo © Liesl Clark

2) I put one in the freezer to use over our ice pack. It’ll protect a child’s skin against that cold pack.

Single sock turned ice pack cover. This penguin motif seemed appropriate. Photo © Liesl Clark

Single sock turned ice pack cover. This penguin motif seemed appropriate. Photo © Liesl Clark

3) The 7-year-old, has her sights set on a few sock creatures, like this adorable sock hippo named “Emma” that she made the other day.

Sock + Rubber Bands + Bits & Bobs = Sock Hippo. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock + Rubber Bands + Bits & Bobs = Sock Hippo. Photo © Liesl Clark

4) I invented a new type of yarn, like T-shirt yarn, but it’s….Sock Yarn! This stuff is easy and kinda cool to make.

My new favorite "ribbon." Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

My new favorite “ribbon.” Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

First, find a single sock and cut strips into it without fully reaching the edge. A great photo that explains it in a tutorial for T-shirt yarn is here. You’ll then cut diagonally, linking the strips together in a spiral cut as seen in the french tutorial above. It’s easy!

Cut strips into your sock but not all the way to the edge. Photo © Liesl Clark

Cut strips into your sock but not all the way to the edge. Photo © Liesl Clark

Then stretch your sock yarn out so it curls in on itself:

Stretch Your Sock Yarn to Let It Curl. Photo © Liesl Clark

Stretch Your Sock Yarn to Let It Curl. Photo © Liesl Clark

You might attract a feline in the process. Sock yarn makes an excellent cat play toy.

Kitties live for soft sock yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Kitties live for soft sock yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Willa. Ready to Wear Her Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Willa. Ready to Wear Her Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Roll your yarn into a ball and you’re done!

Sock Yarn. Try It. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock Yarn. Try It. Photo © Liesl Clark

5) A travel utensil holder is a sock reuse I’ve been meaning to do. Now it’s done.

Sock Travel Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock Travel Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Just use a piece of your sock yarn to tie it shut.

Sock Ribbon to Tie Up Your Sock Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock Ribbon to Tie Up Your Sock Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Socks make excellent pencil holders too, just use an extra thick sock.

6) I saved a few socks for our rag box, for dusting and other fine-rubbing I might need to do on furniture or countertops.

7) The rest went back into the sock box under the bed in waiting for sock sorting day next year when I vow yet again to never buy new socks and then learn how to darn the odd ones that remain.

Do you combine unmatched socks, in an effort to stave off buying yet another pair? Or is there another reuse you’d love to share? We have a few hundred more you might want to check out at our Trash Backwards app!

Click Through for Sock Reuses at Trash Backwards.

Click Through for Sock Reuses at Trash Backwards.

IMG_3444 Photo © Liesl Clark

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Categories: DIY, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff

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5 Comments on “Sock Sorting Day”

  1. March 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Ah I hate orphan socks – so seldom happens to me with matching toes in black socks etc, but it did this week! I like to use ‘onesies’ for wrapping sweaty cold water bottles, and also for dusting. Thanks for the yarn idea, not seen or heard of that before!

    • March 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Hi Sarah. Love the onesy idea for cold water bottles. Just like we do for our metal travel coffee mugs. Perfect. I’m thinking I should patent the yarn from socks invention.
      — Liesl

  2. March 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    You have some really great ideas here, I am going to have to try the sock yarn. I would get so frustrated by the odd sock remaining that I began to buy just one color (white) and style socks for each boy (they each had a particular style they liked so they were different in that respect) and bought all white, then when one was too worn I paired the remaining good sock with a stray. It really did help. And I always knew which socks belonged to which boy.

    • March 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Lois! I think all one color for all members of the family makes great sense. We’re struggling because we have deep winter wool socks, light running socks, breathable hiking socks, pretty pink little girl socks, men’s dress-up socks, women’s all-purpose socks, peds, knee highs, oh the list goes on! So, we’ll just keep getting creative. Just wait till you see what we have in store for gloves!

      • March 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

        Looking forward to your ideas on gloves, some how that is the one thing in my house that keeps growing. I have more pairs than any one person could wear. People give me gloves that were given to them but are too small, they think of me because I have very small hands.

        I was fortunate with the socks, I don’t wear them, and the boys wore the same kind no matter what the weather. What is it with boys who only wear what they feel is “in” no matter how uncomfortable it may be. In the summer months only my eldest wore socks, so even that made things a little simpler.

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