Thursday, February 21, 2008

Odd Ideas

I really wanted to try dyeing my own yarn using some food coloring as the dye (I don't think acid dyes are a good thing to jump into with curious little ones in the house). I read everything I could get my hands on about dying wool with Kool-Aid, and Wilton's food coloring, and I found a great article on that inspired me. I decided I wanted to make socks with a gradient, white at the top and a dark color at the toe. But I want some variation on the way.. so maybe a side-to-side gradient as well to give it a ripply effect.

I figured the best way to get this (or maybe some other effect) was to go with a method some of the women in my knitting group had used, by creating a knitted "blank" of fabric. The blank is made with two strands of fingering weight yarn. You dye it however you want, and then unravel it and make two socks as you go. This makes two identical socks, with the same color patterns--pretty cool!

But that would require a blank. I blithely began to knit the yarn from both ends of the ball---lalalala..boooring. And how frustrating, to be knitting something once, to unravel and knit again. I struck upon the idea of machine-knitting it. But machines are cost-prohibitive.

I ended up getting a cheep hobby knitting machine and giving it a whirl. After several false starts, and about a foot of decidedly funky fabric, I finally got the swing of it. It knit FAST. It knits nice and even. I have a 5' by 9" strip of fabric ready to meet dye. I hope it works!

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