Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Misadventures in Dyeing

A while back a bunch of us in knitting group decided to try dyeing sock blanks. KnitPicks started selling socks blanks a while back, and one of us bought one to see how it was put together. Eventually a bunch of us ended up buying hanks of their bare sock yarn, and one of our members knitted up blanks on her knitting machine.

We got together to dye the blanks on October 19. We used condiment bottles to apply the dye, which worked pretty well. Since some people wanted their colors to bleed into each other, we did not add vinegar to the dye stock. I did not really want my colors to bleed and someone said something about maybe spraying the blank with vinegar before applying the dye, so I gave it a try. I did my first blank in green and gray stripes. Once I finished applying the dye, I sprayed it with more vinegar. The green part turned out okay, but the gray is a bit darker than I intended. I over-saturated the yarn too.

Jaime took this picture--thanks Jaime!

The next blank I wanted to do black and turquoise stripes. I tried to be very careful and use the dye very sparingly, but it bled all over the place, and the blank was largely black. I also managed to over-saturate this one too. I kept rinsing turquoise out of it for quite some time. The next time I do this, I definitely want vinegar added to the dye.

There are actually turquoise stripes in the black blank, but it is not terribly obvious from that picture.

Some people wanted to knit directly from the blanks, but others of us wanted to wind ours. So the next knitting group after our dye session, a few of us brought our ball-winders. Since the blanks are double knit, two us wound at the same time--except when I was filming Jaime winding both. I wanted to try soaking the black blank some more, so I did not wind mine that night. I later unraveled the blanks, wound them into balls by hand, then used the ball-winder to make pull skeins.

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