I mentioned yesterday that I had been given not an advent calendar, but a sockmas calendar, a new pair of festive socks and a hilarious (mostly) joke for the twelve days leading up to Christmas Day – or I guess it could have been on the twelve days of Christmas instead of partridges, pear trees, calling birds and leaping lords I guess. I mentioned that advent calendars had been a thing since the mid 1800’s, socks, however, have been a thing for much longer.
If anyone had asked me before I had looked into it, when socks were first made and worn, I think I would have probably said the early middle ages but that before then no doubt people would have had some sort of cloth or wool round their feet and inside their shoes – for comfort, warmth and protection. Maybe strips of cloth would have been wound round feet… but no! I would have been wrong! Who can really tell when it first occurred to fabric craftspeople to contrive an item which would snugly fit round a foot?
Her are some contenders and other information about sock history:
- knitted items of clothing were probably invented in Jutland about 1500 BC.
- however, some sock-like articles dating back 1500 years were found in Antinopolis on the east bank of the Nile in graves
- sock like items of footwear were made from animal skins – pieces of which were tied round the ankle, and matted animal hair were fashioned in various colder places where warmth was necessary as well as protection to the feet. In Greece these were called piloi; the Romans started sewing fabric to make udones
- in various parts of Europe holy people wore holy socks (maybe even holey socks) called puttees, but I can’t make out whether these puttees were the ancestors of the wrap around leg covers from India adopted by the British Army
- in England during the middle ages, leg clothing (not exactly trousers) and socks were all one, rather like tights; however it became more practical to have them separate – easier to wash more frequently!
- from the 1500’s knitted socks began t be made commercially in England and Elizabeth I was presented with black knitted stockings, but does not seem to have been much enamoured by them
- the Huguenots were probably most responsible for the knitting loom – luckily they were welcomed to Eng;and and industrialised sock knitting began. Note to those who are not in favour of immigration!!
I share six jokes from my sockmas calendar yesterday, here are the remaining six:
- What cheese do you use to coax a bear out of the woods? Camembert X))
- What do you call a woman setting fire to her credit card bill? Bernadette 🙂
- What part of a turkey is musical? The drumsticks! 😉
- Two snowman standing in a field. One says to the other: “Funny, I smell carrots too.” 🙂
- How do you approach a seriously enraged cheese? Caerphilly! X))
- Who is the bane of Santa’s life? The Elf and Safety Officer! 😀