Sunday, January 13, 2013

Over the Rainbow

I know, I know... I've been promising ever since this post that I would be dyeing up another two stranded sock blank - RAINBOW STYLE!  I came across a wonderful de-stash on Ravelry for several skeins of Wool 2 Dye For "Platinum Sock" yarn (75% superwash Merino/25% nylon).  I divided one of these skeins in half by weight, and then knit up a 90 stitch wide, two-stranded sock blank at the lowest tension I could get away with on my Bond knitting machine.

After soaking my blank for about an hour in a mixture of tepid water and vinegar, I spun out the excess water using a salad spinner, and painted on my chosen rainbow colors:  Wilton Icing Colors in(Christmas Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, Sky Blue, Violet).  I ended up dissolving about 1/4 of a teaspoon in about a cup of hot water (in squeeze bottles).  The dye solution was applied with foam brushes in a chevron pattern to help color mixing in the final knitting. 

After the dye solutions were applied (and massaged into the blank with glove-covered hands), I then used an old towel to gently blot excess moisture (to keep the colors from bleeding into each other during the heat set process), and then I wrapped my blank with the plastic wrap to make it into a tube, and coiled it into a into a tidy little package.  Instead of steam setting, this time I used my microwave, and microwaved the blank in three 2 minute intervals with 5 minute rest times.   After cooling, the blank rinsed clear, indicating that the dye had been set.

I prefer to knit from center pull balls rather than straight from the blank (I don't enjoy the curly tangle of yarn I can get from the blank), so I reskeined the yarn into two separate skeins while it was still damp, and then hung them to dry. 
I cast on for 2-at-a-time magic loop, top down socks, and knit away!  There is something very satisfying about knitting with your own hand-dyed yarn, especially watching the color blending and anticipating the next new color!  They are hard to put down.  The W2D4 Platinum sock yarn is very cushy and soft, too!
Here is my darling daughter modeling the finished socks (with orange/red afterthought heels).  They are just a tad too big for her (hence the wrinkles, lol!)
Happy rainbow knitting of your own!

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