Wardrobe Building: The Sock Drawer

This past week I did something I haven’t done in a long time – I cast on a pair of socks. When I first started knitting, socks were my ultimate goal. I wanted to be a competent enough knitter to manage their tricky construction. Though I no longer remember the first pair of socks I knit, I do remember feeling immensely proud of my accomplishment, and eager to move on to my next pair.

For a few years, knitting socks was my jam. I loved everything about them, from their interesting construction, to how amazed non-knitters were when I pulled out my double-points. I almost always had a pair of socks going, and was constantly endeavoring to try new things – lace, cables, heel construction, I wanted to try it all!

The past two years, I have moved away from socks, and concentrated all my efforts on sweater-making. Its been ages since I actually had a pair of socks on my needles, and perhaps even worse, its been ages since I’ve had any handmade socks in my sock drawer. Most of the socks I knit during my sock phase were either experimental (and therefore didn’t fit quite how I wanted or didn’t work with the yarn I had picked) or had been knit for someone else (usually my boyfriend). As a result, I have a dearth of handknit socks for my own feet. This is a situation I felt needed immediate rectifying, so after casting off my latest sweater, I dove into my carefully curated collection of sock yarn and cast on.

As I started knitting this sock, I began to think about my pledge for the year – that I would only make new clothing, not buy any. I had intended that pledge to extend to my entire wardrobe, but I hadn’t given any thought to whether underwear – as in socks, bras, and panties – would be included in that. “Wardrobe” is a broad term, and taken at its broadest, all types of underwear should be included.

This is something I feel doesn’t get a lot of air time in the conversations surrounding slow fashion. Certainly disposable socks and undergarments are just as much a product of fast fashion as cheap jeans and blouses. Making it a goal to knit all of my own socks is just as important as making it a goal to knit all of my own sweaters. So, in addition to one day wanting to be able to have all of my outer garments be handmade or otherwise sustainably produced, I want to be able to have all my under garments be created in the same way.

At the moment, I am nowhere near being able to sew my own bras or underwear (although the underwear thing is probably way more likely to happen since there aren’t any underwires involved), but I do have the ability to knit my own socks. So, in keeping with the promise to make all of my new clothing this year, I will be making all of my socks in 2017.

What about you? Are you a sock maker? Are you also working towards making your own undergarments? Or do you do so already? Share in the comments below!

PS. – Wanted to share this article on the environmental impacts of fast fashion. I thought it was a good overview of some of the ills associated with the fast fashion world.


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