Thursday, April 23, 2009

State of the Socks

I've made it to the heel flap on my St. Peter Port Stripes. The sock is coming along swimmingly.

picture of black and white striped socks

Last night, I was preparing for a 2-day conference, and naturally I needed some knitting to make it through. I've learned through experience that heels are to be turned only at home (except for road trips), and so I couldn't take my St. Peter Port Socks. Unfortunately, my Hiiumaa socks haven't been ripped back yet, and when they do get ripped back, the first thing to be knit will be a heel. So they were out, too.

I needed some mindless knitting, so I decided my sock-blank socks would be perfect. Unfortunately, my sock-blank socks weren't finished. They were yellow, awaiting further action.

picture of a yellow sock blank

So I soaked the yellow blank for an hour, and then utilised the same methods as I did for the volcano pants. Except that I didn't have strawberry koolaid, so I used cherry instead.

picture of yarn being dyed

Well, it turns out that the 2 packets of cherry koolaid that I had weren't enough. The dye exhausted well before I was done with the process. Fortunately, I had some very old orange DrinkAid stashed about. I pulled the blank out of the pot, stirred in the orange powder, and then gradually lowered the blank back in. The old drink crystals didn't mix well, and there was white powderish goo floating about in the pot. Oops. But the results were still good.

picture of a gradated dyed sock blank

I started knitting as soon as the yarn was dry enough. Turns out that you can only knit from one end of these blanks, and I dyed the red on the wrong end. So trying to knit from the red end was a disaster. I had to untangle at every edge, pulling out enough yarn to stuff the socks through. It was insane. So I had to unravel the blank, starting from the yellow end. The resultant cake is very pretty!

It seems, though, that it takes some work to get the dye to saturate these blanks. My dye job did not properly saturate it, and the yarn is therefore quite spotty. I'm not a real fan of spotty yarn.

But irregardless of the spots, I still need to knit up the yarn into socks, right? I selected the Milanese lace pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Between knitting in reinforcement strands under the ball of the foot, and knitting in the pattern, it was hardly 'mindless knitting.' But I managed to work on it and enjoy the conference. Socks are coming along nicely.

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