There is a very odd-looking pair of wool socks in the V & A Museum: Ankle socks with a split toe. What makes the socks so strange to look at, is the fact that they are old. Very old. In fact, 1,600 years old.
They do look old, yes, but not that old. In fact, they look barely worn at all.
What strikes you though, is that they are bright red. Really bright red. There’s something so satisfying to think that someone in Egypt some time between A.D. 250 and A.D. 420 was about to start work on a new pair of socks and thought, mmm let’s go for red.
So yes, socks have been around for a really long time, yet we barely take notice of them.
Considered the most boring of Christmas presents, they’re dismissed as just something to fiddle about with before you can get your shoes on and go.
They are most annoying when in their singular form; they hang around and keep offering themselves up to you when you are rooting about in a draw looking for a complete pair – you having hung onto one, in the vain hope that the other will eventually turn up.
Yet you only need to snuggle up in a comfy chair with a pair of warm, hand-knitted socks on a cold winter’s afternoon to appreciate them.
Being at home, drinking coffee with friends or family, and good conversation, or just relaxing with a good book or watching a black and white movie, will give you that feeling.
A feeling of contentment, inner peace; that sense of well-being. The Danes have a word for it, Hygge pronounced “heu-gah”.
I am sure you will have seen it everywhere, it’s the latest trend. But the feeling it describes is timeless and universal, something that dates back to the beginning of mankind.
If I could knit – and believe me I’ve tried – I’d knit a pair of warm socks. A special pair: ones reserved only for the pure joy of wearing them.
Socks that would warm my toes when the temperature outside has dropped and I can see frost beginning to form through the window.
Although I can’t knit – well, not anything that goes around corners – I am happy to say I do have such a pair: my favorite Riobamba Sofa Socks by Pachamama.
There is something special about these socks and it’s not just that they look so different from the standard mass-produced ones that you can pick up on any high street. They actually are special.
They have been skillfully hand-made by home-workers in Nepal, who supplement their farming incomes by knitting, working around their planting and harvest times.
Pachamama, the company, who employs them, either pays the knitters (above average) wages in advance or supplies them with their raw materials, ensuring that no one incurs any debt through their working relationship with the company.
Pachamama, meaning “Earth Mother” in Quechua, also places year-round orders despite the seasonal nature of their products, providing a much-needed steady income for the knitters throughout the whole year – and of course, they ensure that no children are exploited.
So you see, these are feel-good socks in every sense of the word. They come in an assortment of styles and patterns, all super cute and very chic, and they are just so cozy and comfortable to wear.
They also make fabulous bed socks for those frosty nights when your ice-cold toes make it hard to fall sleep.
They are the ultimate in comfortable attire when working from home or after exercise.
I love the stripy ones. I have two pairs. Mine are the ones in the top image. Some long Chamonix ones in “oat” below are on my Christmas wish list.
I mean what could be more hygge on a Christmas morning than coffee, mince pies, and warm, cute hand-knitted socks?
Of course, it can get just as chilly at just about every other time of year too, so you will always want to keep them close by.
The best thing about these socks is that unlike slippers, they are perfect for tucking your feet up on the sofa, but they are practical too because they are so hard-wearing.
This makes the longer ones ideal wellie socks, warming your toes on cold, rainy, or snowy days.
Don’t think these are just for the ladies, though, they are also available for men!
All Pachamama socks are made from 100% wool, are available in most sizes and because they are designed to be roomy, they can easily be worn over a normal pair of socks.
So what could be better than these cute warm sofa socks to help you relax at home, and when you fall in love with them – and you will – why not check out the hats?.
Click on any of the photos on this page, to view that style on Amazon.