Today I’m talking about – of all things – odd socks. The good thing about textiles is that they are highly recyclable. Old jeans and jackets can be used to make bags, or re-cover chairs. Odd socks, not so much. Old textile products can be ground up to make insulation and wadding, so there is that option. But let’s see what else we can do with them.
A permanent feature in the Romeis household is The Singles’ Club. This little basin is the repository for socks which inexplicably emerge from the laundry without their mates. When it starts to get a little full, someone (usually me – it’s my favourite chore) will go through it and perform a mass wedding ceremony, as long lost partners are reunited.
When the children were little, I used to make up stories about the socks as I paired them up. Sometimes socks would look as if they belonged together, when they didn’t. And sometimes I would find that I was inadvertently trying to match up one of Mommy’s white sports socks with one belonging to one of the boys. All of this would get woven into the narrative. If Mr Namasi was in earshot, there might be a carefully ribald joke or two that would – in the manner of children’s theatre since time out of mind – sail right over the head of the youngsters and occasionally (if Mommy was very witty) cause coffee to mysteriously emerge from Daddy’s nose.
Inevitably, some of the socks are never reunited with their partners. And what do we do with those?
If your family is anything like mine, wearing mismatched socks is an option. I know one young lady who just slings all her socks into a drawer and wears the first two that come to hand each day. But I find wearing socks of different thicknesses irritating, so I don’t do that. That said, a black sock with red heel and toe can safely be worn with a black sock with yellow heel and toe from the same 3-pack. No-one is going to see the heels and toes, after all. A yellow googly-eye sock can happily be worn with a pink googly-eye sock from the same pack. The socks are daft to begin with. Wearing different coloured ones is somehow within the bounds of acceptable eccentricity – even with a suit, if you do it with aplomb.
But it’s the socks that just can’t even be ‘mismatched up’ that are the problem. So here are some uses:
- If they’re made from natural fibres, you could use them to buff your shoes. This works particularly well if you stuff one sock with a few others.
- Adopting the same approach of popping a few socks inside another one, will give you a great defogger for the inside of the car windscreen. Once again, it’s best to go with natural fibres here, or you’ll just end up smearing the condensation around inside of wiping it away.
- They also make great duster-gloves. Just pop one on your hand and wipe down the various surfaces that need dusting.
- Any sock, natural fibres or not, can be used to protect shoes when packing.
- Pop a bar of soap inside a sock and tie it to your outside tap for washing your hands when working outdoors. Just remember to cover it when it rains, and you should probably bring it indoors in the rainy season.
- Socks make great covers for golf club heads.
- Or how about a pair of kneepads for your crawling infant?
- I have a friend who makes a nifty hair bun using socks. I never acquired the skill when my hair was longer, but then I have never been able to ‘hair’ very well. Here’s a link for those with more skill than me in this area.
- If you have a very small dog and a large sock, you can make a jacket for your pooch with little hassle.
- Then, of course, there are the myriad sock dolls and puppets to be found on Pinterest. I’ve had a go at a few of these myself, and they are rather cute. The one shown here is one I made.