Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recycling Socks

This is our sock pile (*sigh*).  The sad pile of lonely, mate-less socks, socks that have holes that I have no time or desire (translation: I'm too lazy) to fix, and the socks that don't have feet that fit them anymore.  The pile seems to grow and grow and grow (along with my annoyance with it)!  It would be so easy to throw them out, but it seems such a waste.  There must be something that old socks are good for ... but what?

We have tried cutting them up and using them to stuff little cushions (when the boys wanted to learn how to sew) ...

we made a toy for the dog (he really does like it despite the indifference shown in this picture)...

... but we still have quite a pile.

Well, since the arrival of winter, there has been a regular complaint around here when playing outside ... snow getting on wrists because of mittens that don't stay tucked into coat sleeves.  Could my ever-growing, towering pile of socks actually be the solution?  Some years ago, a very experienced mother (now she is a great-grandmother, but not my own) told me how she used to send her kids to school with socks on their arms under their coats and mittens.  At the time, I didn't really see the point, but as I pondered our current challenge, I remembered these wise words and it all made sense.

So I went to our pile of socks and, as I considered how I could tweak (just a little bit) the sage advice I had been given to suit our needs, I pulled out some of the longer socks and started cutting and sewing.

After measuring the socks so that they would reach almost to the wearer's elbow (that should be long enough to keep out the snow, no matter what they are doing outside!), I sewed the socks right onto the cuff of the mitten.  It was so simple and easy -- but the advice from generations past usually is, isn't it?  The owner of the mittens was so pleased that I quickly had requests to do more.  So I improved 3 more pairs of mittens (with plans to do more, but that was all I had time to do before supper)!

And on the weekend, during our sledding outing, I didn't hear one complaint -- not one! -- about snow getting in under the cuffs.  Hooray!

So, one challenge met, but my sock pile still looms.  I still have the bottom of all those socks, plus the smaller ones that needs a new purpose.  I found this mat which is supposed to be made entirely of socks -- I love the look of it!  But it presents two problems ... the first - our sock pile is much less colourful (some dye would fix that, if I was so inclined, I suppose); and the second problem - I'm not sure that I have enough socks to make it -- now there is something I never thought I would say about old socks!


  1. Peggy, I was looking online to see how to make a braided sock rug, and came across this site. Amazing. I'm going to try #47 tonight during the boys baths..... Thanks for the ideas, my pile is half a laundry basket so far!

  2. So, how did it go? I'm very interested to hear ...


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