Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"Ankle Warmers--Reclaim and Repurpose Sock Tubes"
Got worn out socks, say, athletic or thick dress socks? Do they have worn out toes or heels? Maybe the Achilles part just above the heel? Chances are good that the part NOT worn out are the tube part, often referred to as "crew" or "cuff". The part that I'm referring to for reclaiming starts at just above the start of the heel the top of the sock.
A few weeks ago, I went to an outdoor event for several hours. Although I bundled up in several layers, my ankles felt really cold. The coldness continued even during the heated car ride that lasted for over an hour. Recalling that I had run across some worn socks that I'd forgotten about and kept, I decided to create some ankle warmers with the still-usable (and cute!) crew tops, which I can wear for future cold stays.
YouTube video to watch the step-by-step process.
- Find two socks that you definitely no longer wear because they're worn out.
- Cut off tube parts just above the heels.
- Turn tubes inside out, then fold about 3/4" at cut end parts.
- Prepare a large-eye needle with doubled-over thread and knotting the ends together.
For visual contrast, I'm using a contrasting color twine-ish thread.
- For each tube (as in diagram), sew stitches in line with the tube (crew "lines") direction (about 1/2" long and 3/16" apart).
The reason to stitch in the same direction as the tube is that the additional thread length allows for stretching the tube around the heel and up part of the leg.
- Reload the needle as often as necessary till finished stitching.
The closest basic stitch type I'm using is a whip stitch, but offset from images I've seen. Per Sidney Eileen's article about whip stitch as a basic medieval hand stitch,
- Turn the tubes right side out and try them on. You'll appreciate the additional warmth during cold times!
It is extremely handy for tacking things, hems, and for seams where you want to preserve bias stretch.