Monday, February 7, 2011


Doing things differently is always fun. You get to see how far you can push the limits to get the results you are looking for.

I recently purchased a hand dyed sock blank to knit a pair of socks. If you have not seen those yet, they are basically a knitted rectangle that you take apart to knit a pair of socks (or whatever else you can knit with sock yarn). They are usually knitted with with two strands of yarn so that both of your socks will be identical when you knit them. What makes them fun is that you are not quite sure what your socks will look like when they are done. Clic here to see an example sold on Etsy.

I decide to make a blank of my own by using the same technique but with the sleeve of a wool sweater I took apart to recycle the yarn.
In th next picture you see one of the sleeves on my dogs grooming table. I already started to apply fushia dye to the cuff of the sleeve.

I continued to add dyes of different colours all the way to the top. Now my problem was that the 'sleeve' was really saturated with dye because I wanted the colours to be vibrant. I knew I could not move it or the colours would mix and I would end up with a muddled mess. How to add heat to fix the dyes? I knew that the microwave was not the answer, nor was the steaming pot of hot water.
I thought I might have another option, something that I have not seen elsewhere I covered the blank with plastic wrap to test it out.

Then I went in the garage to get a few work lamps and set them up over the soaked blank to see if they would produce enough heat to set the dyes.

It actually worked. It took a few hours, as I moved the lamps around to make sure every section was heated through. After a while, I started to press the blank with a paper towel to see if the water left was clear and it was!!

Here is the first dryed blank.

And here is a second one I made the same way.

Of course, these blanks are not knitted with two strands of yarn so I intend to knit a scarf, cowl or hat with them. Yarn is more like a DK or a light worsted yarn. Now to find the perfect pattern!


  1. Great experiment and great use of an old sweater (hey, that's not your unfinished sweater you were knitting, is it?!). Love the colours.

  2. I did buy that sock yarn,I found it a little expensive,but the result was nice.I really like your experiment.I don't have enough room to do something like that.

  3. LOL! The unfinished sweater is still in it's bag waiting for me to get back to it! ...someday soon.