Sunday, February 28, 2010
Sock blanks are lots of fun to dye, but the knitted results are often not predictable unless the blank is painted in broad stripes. That is, unless the blank is dyed using a method I read about in the Grrreat Tiger Wool Experiment group on Ravelry.
Blanks dyed using this method have a predictable thin stripe of one color with other colors between the stripes. This is achieved by painting one side of the blank in a solid color, and the other side can be painted in a different color or several colors.
This photo shows my Go for the Gold Socks in progress on top of the dyed sock blank. Notice the blue on the blank has turned into thin regular stripes on the socks.
There are many other possibilities with this method. Faux fairisle can be put on the non-stripe side, or you can have the faux fairisle interrupt the striping for a ways. There are lots of photos in that Ravelry Group to get more ideas from. Check out the thread called Experiment #6
The distance between the stripes is determined by the width of the blank and the width of the solid area. To get a complete stripe, the solid area needs to contain a complete round of sock yarn. For me, this is just under 30" for a 60 stitch sock. Thirty inches translates into 40 knitted stitches at the stitch and row gauge I used to make this blank, so, my solid area needs to be 20 stitches wide down one side of the blank to get one solid row. The wider the blank is, the more rows of knitting I have between the solid stripes.
Now that I know the math, my next sock blanks will be machine knitted with this dyeing method in mind so I can get wider spacing between the stripes.
This was a really fun way to dye a blank, and the resulting socks got me a Gold Medal in the 2010 Ravelympics Sock Hockey event.
I dyed another blank at the same time and have those on my needles now. They will be knitted in the Skew Pattern from Knitty Winter 2009. Skew should show off this type of sock yarn to great advantage.