Sock It To ME: a community public art project to raise awareness and funds.

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What is a community public art project to raise awareness and funds? Think AIDS QUILT. Something kinda like that. Only this one is for ME/CFS and instead of quilt panels, people send in personalized socks!

Sock it to ME
for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Background:

I'd been impatient to DO something, to get more public awareness of ME/CFS, like, along the lines of how ACT-UP drew attention to AIDS.

I found Phoenix Rising and started feeling optimistic from the first day here. I knew I would find a project.

I was talking with talkingfox. She told me this:

Hillary Johnson, author of Osler's Web, has said that we need something like the AIDS quilt: something engaging and colorful and big to get positive attention.

And then talkingfox said, what about socks.

SOCKS??? :confused:

SOCKS!!! :cool:

Dr. Bell, as talkingfox pointed out to me, has this saying when there's some really great research making him happy. He says, "It makes my socks go up and down."

So talkingfox was thinking, personalized socks, like regular socks you would wear or like Christmas stockings, would express the idea of comfort and coziness, caring for ME/CFS patients.

They can be as easy or as elaborate as the makers wish. Anyone can grab a sock and draw on it with a Sharpie, but some people will make socks by felting, quilting or of course knitting. In fact, talkingfox's hubby is knitting socks with the XMRV virus molecule shape in them.

This morning talkingfox and I suggested the idea in a chat and the people there thought it was good, so I'm making this thread (with talkingfox's blessing) to carry the idea to you all and get feedback.

How socks would look:

Anyone who wants to could send in a sock in honor of a person with ME/CFS. The sock should have the person's name or nickname on it. Its decoration can express something about the person. Like AIDS quilt panels; which incorporate photos, embroidery, patchwork, beads, jewelry and all kinds of stuff; the socks can be wildly varied, and as simple or complex as their makers wish.

For display:

The individual socks would be attached to clothesline, like a garland. This could then be hung up at a conference or in a public place (with legal permits obtained, of course) the same way the AIDS quilt has been displayed laid out at the Washington DC mall and in 12 x 12 blocks at various venues worldwide.

Fundraising Potential

Just to start with, people might donate to the project, and small donations could help with everything from paying for shipping the sock-line here and there, and for display permits, to hosting a web site to publicize and coordinate the project. Additional funds raised would be donated to research and patient services projects. "Sock hops" could be held, where healthy people dance to raise funds. We would be "socking away the funds" for ME/CFS. Also, sale of socks with the XMRV virus (if appropriate) or other ME/CFS related logos could raise additional funds.

Grass Roots

This doesn't have to be a big huge project. It can start small and it can even stay small. I like it because it gives us something we can do. Those who can't decorate even a ready-made sock could submit their names, and people with lots of sock-making energy could make socks on their behalf. The image of the clothesline strung with bright, colorful, varied socks fills me with happiness and I hope will engage others, too.

Growth Potential

Given the number of people with ME/CFS in the world, this could grow huge. If it does, that's fine, too. We could have multiple clotheslines traveling the world, the same way the AIDS quilt has multiple quilted blocks traveling the world. Healthy friends and family, and occasionally-energetic PWCs, can contribute time and effort to keep it going.

Example

Check out the AIDS quilt for an example of how this can work. http://aidsquilt.org/index.htm

To Do List

Identify a point person to send socks to: must be willing to handle shipping.
Identify a venue for the first display of socks and arrange permits.
Create a website for the project.
Get the word out to advocates.
Make an email address for further info on the project: DONE! sockit2mecfs@gmail.com
Get feedback from Phoenix Rising folks.

Feedback

I now open this topic for your discussion. Please freely post suggestions, reservations, objections and wild enthusiasms.

Love,
Creek
 

gracenote

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Wow, Creek.

This sounds exciting. I'm thinking of people right now who have no voice. I'd love to send in a sock for them, or send their names to someone with "lots of sock-making energy."

Those who can't decorate even a ready-made sock could submit their names, and people with lots of sock-making energy could make socks on their behalf.
Very cool.
:victory:​
 

sarahg

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Can I send a half finished sock that is unraveling? cause that's about where this disease has left me. Also would be great to have each sock have the name of the person whose honor it is in written inside. Also great to get permission from families of those who have passed away to make or submit socks in honor of their loved ones.

I have more ideas but it is time to lay down again
 

starryeyes

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This is a great idea from our clever Talkingfox. :D Nice post too, creekfeet. I love this idea. I want to do a Christmas Stocking and decorate it with glitter glue and glue on some sequins etc..

I hope this project really takes off, then we can let Dr. Bell know about it. :Retro smile: And then we can let the world know about it!

I think this is a great project for kids with ME/CFS too.

tee
 

gracenote

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I think Dr. Bell needs to donate a pair of his socks.

If nothing else, they need to be preserved for a future Heroes of CFS Hall of Fame.

Or put up for auction to raise funds for CFS research.

;):tongue::innocent1:​
 

talkingfox

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Creek: thanks so much for putting this idea out in such a clear and concise manner! There is no way that I could've expressed it so clearly. You rock!

I think the idea of posthumous socks is awesome and YESYESYES names inside or out! I think it's very important that decision makers and healthy ppl who can help fund research understand that we are people not just anonymous patients or cohorts.

and awwww thanks teej....I dunno how clever I am, just fond of textiles and whimsy I guess.:ashamed:
 
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So many fabulous ideas. Sounds like people are liking the idea, or if not, they're not speaking up. XD

gracenote, we could start the list of people who want sock and the list of people who are willing to make extras any time, right in this thread, I suppose.

sarahg, I love the unraveled sock idea. That would be downright poignant.
Names inside is a very good thought. I had thought of them all having a name or nickname as part of the outside design, but additionally labeling names inside would help us keep track.

teej, your Christmas stocking sounds bedazzling, and yes, we should rope Dr. Bell in on this as early as we can (soon as we look good and solid online with it I guess) so he can help publicize it! We'll tell Hillary Johnson that she helped inspire it too, with the same ulterior motive of publicity.
And yes, excellent project for kids: kids with ME and kids whose loved ones have ME.

gracenote, I think it would be great to have a pair of Dr. Bell's socks, but the way I'd like to use them is on a flag. Then every time we raised or lowered the flag, it would make Dr. Bell's socks go up and down! XD

Dreambirdie, the year illness began, too, yes! Excellent addition. And yes to posthumous socks, as well as post-recovery socks for people who got well.

The information on the tag inside each sock: name, date, anything else? should also be entered in a database and each record should include a photo of the sock in question. Because. The AIDS quilt website is searchable so you can view the quilt square of a loved one. It's like going to the Vietnam War Memorial and finding a loved one's name on the wall. We would want to set up that sort of ongoing and accessible connection with each sock and the project as a whole.

And talkingfox, you are so brilliant! It's a wonderful idea and we all could use more whimsy.
 

talkingfox

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I think so creek..in blue perhaps? or tied at the top w/a blue ribbon?

And DB I think hte date thing is great...and ages possibly if parents of sick kids feel comfortable sharing such. The public NEEDS to know that kids are getting this.
 

gracenote

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gracenote, I think it would be great to have a pair of Dr. Bell's socks, but the way I'd like to use them is on a flag. Then every time we raised or lowered the flag, it would make Dr. Bell's socks go up and down! XD
I don't know creekfeet. I think Dr. Bell's socks need to be mechanized so they roll up and down by themselves. Or at least cartoon-ified for the web site.
 

starryeyes

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IMO

I was just thinking that maybe if everybody sends a pair of socks it might look cuter. I'm picturing the socks up on a wire as you say and I think pairs might look more reminiscent of an actual person. Like a pair of big socks would belong to an adult next to a pair of little socks that would obviously belong to a child. I'm seeing toe socks too. :Retro smile:

What do you all think of that? It would be fine to have some single socks too as there are usually lone socks when you're done doing your wash. :Retro wink:

And of course Christmas stockings could be single.
 

gracenote

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Just some inspiration.

I like how they have loops sewn on the socks. It would make the whole project more stable than if you tried to use clothes pins.

 
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Yes, teejkay, pairs could be good. I don't really have a strong preference myself for pairs or singleton socks or mix and match between the two. What does anyone else think?

Gracenote, yeah, I wasn't thinking clothespins, more like sewing them securely. Could be with tabs or just with a few strong stitches of thick thread. Would tabs be more secure? Maybe matching tabs would make them all more coordinated in a way, to give more the feeling of one piece of art made of lots of little pieces? Or stitches be less obtrusive and thus better? Another one where I want to ask what everyone else thinks!

creekfeet =/= seamstress
 
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Am I going nuts, or did I post one more idea in here last night and get a response to it? Both those posts are gone now. :eek:

Anyway, what I thought I posted was:

Would a tiny pair of socks make a good lapel pin, for raising awareness?

And what I thought was posted back in response was talkingfox saying yes, and with a blue ribbon at the top.

Is there any reason why those two posts would have been removed?
 

jace

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Creekfeet, I think your posts are back. The sock badge with bow is greatl

It's a lovely idea, and more important, an achievable idea. I'll help!

The attachment system needs thinking about - you don't want the socks all sliding together along the rope.

Stitching would do that, but be more time consuming and not so pretty.

Loops could do it, if just the right size for the rope.

Or if you use three strand rope, you can open the lay (between the strands) and insert a corner of the sock, it should be well trapped. I'll play - I've got socks and three strand.

String, sewing, my thing. Report back later.

Giant socks, tiny socks, socks of many colours,
Toe socks, Christmas socks, long socks made of flowers.
 
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jace that's fabulous! I am so glad that the idea pleases you, especially since you're able to figure out that important display stuff.
Another textiles question will be, what is the best way to make a tag for inside each sock with info specific to that sock?
 
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Am I going nuts, or did I post one more idea in here last night and get a response to it? Both those posts are gone now. :eek:

Anyway, what I thought I posted was:

Would a tiny pair of socks make a good lapel pin, for raising awareness?

And what I thought was posted back in response was talkingfox saying yes, and with a blue ribbon at the top.

Is there any reason why those two posts would have been removed?
Dee dee dee... found them. They're on the bottom of page one. Oh, what a muggins I am! Where can I put my face?
 

jace

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It takes a hefty pull to get the sock loose, but for ultimate security, the close up shows that there's a button trapped in the corner of that sock. But they wouldn't blow off without the button.

To make the tag, you could staple on a label of any kind of tape, it would want to be about 3/4" wide tape, could be vinyl, or cotton, marked with embroidery or marker pens.

Vinyl 'slit tape' is cheap, if bought from car trimmers or cover makers suppliers.

Hmm, think the tag needs a bit more thinking on.

'Scuse my scruffy socks from the airer - I think maybe ours should be oversize, scaled up versions. Cartooney socks you could hibernate inside... ?
 

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jace

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I don't know why I can't edit...

The thumbnails show socks on a line, and a close up of the through-strand attachment suggestion.

They showed as pictures in the preview.