Friday, August 14, 2020

Sock Blank Update - how I dyed my wool

This is part of my Sock Blank blog series

If you missed the first post about Sock Blanks - click here.

In this blog post I tell you how I dyed my sock blank, but this method works for also dyeing wool and finished items. This method is easy, great for small batches and for those who like to experiment.

A few days ago I dyed my two sock blanks. I ended up using things I already had in the kitchen, which was food colouring, white vinegar, water and the microwave!

My long thin blank is a mixture of purples and greens:

The second blank I made wide, and did my best to keep one half a magenta, and the other half a rainbow mix. This one had a few dropped stitches in the middle, but I don't think it will present a problem. I have seen some other sock blank makers use dropped stitches to mark out the centre, which would be good for those who want to dye their blanks more precisely than I did. 

My process uses things you might already have in your kitchen, and if not; you'll be able to get easily at a grocery store.

You'll need, food colouring, white vinegar, a microwave safe dish, and a microwave. 

Vinegar works as the fixing agent. This method works for wool, and can work for acrylic/wool mixes. It's always good to try a small swatch first.

First step is to soaking the item in a mix of water and vinegar,  (1:1) Then I painted a mix of food colouring and vinegar on. 

If you don't want the colours to bleed into each other, miss the soaking step. I wanted the watercolour look, though. If you aren't painting the wool, try dipping or submerging the item in a bath of your dye mix. The best thing about this method is that it works well with experimenting.

I left the blanks for a while (I didn't time anything) then rinsed out excess colour. 

Then, in a microwave safe bowl, I microwaved for 1 minute, sat for a minute (about three times each) to help set the colour. Then I hung outside to dry, and I left overnight.

Next day, I gave each 2 more minutes in the microwave (they were still damp) If they were dry, I probably would have skipped this step. 

At this point, no colour has come off on my hands, but I will most likely rinse out once more before using. 

Each blank has 'waste' yarn on either end, but next time I may secure it better 

Hopefully next time I post, I'll have the start of some socks! 

Happy crocheting,


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