Last tuesday we finally had our sock dying night. Instead of meeting at our usual Club for knitting night, we gathered at mine for an evening of winding, eating (and drinking) and dying. My friends had never dyed anything before and had asked me how I did it. We started with 10 balls of elann sock it to me 4 ply sock yarn in natural. Each 50 gram ball is 210m, 75%superwash wool and 25 nylon for durability. It takes 2 balls to make a pair of socks (knit on 2.5 mm needles) and each ball costs around $2.50. Perfect price for me and my newby dyers.
We started by taking the balls and winding them into skeins. The photo shows 2 swifts, one umbrella style (mine) and one antique winder (Susan's). You can see Susan's moves so fast, that the yarn is a blurr. Wow. When we had 5 skeins (2 balls in each) done, we paused for some food and wine, then setup the kitchen for dying.
Plastic covered everything and I mixed the dyes (I used Rit as it is readily available in this area). Then they wet the skeins and lay them on the plastic. With sponge paintbrushes, off they went. We ended up with 5 skeins, all with different colour combinations. What a blast. All skeins were then rinsed thoroughly and put to dry. The last word...remember the long winding of the self striping yarn from here... The end result is four colours, each 10 feet long, which will result in approx. one inch stripes when knit into socks! Yellow, blue, tan and burgundy.