Friday, October 3, 2008

September Sock-Mania

I hope you had the chance to take part in one of the many classes that were offered during the last month in celebration of September Sock-Mania at Kiwi. The shop offered wonderful classes in various sock patterns and sock-knitting techniques, as well as several different sock heels, and Marianne's own wonderful sock design. I got to teach my modified version of the Sherman Heel and had a great time. You should be beginning October with at least some of these incredible projects and techniques under your belt, ready to take on any sock pattern that happens to catch your fancy.

My inner two-year old, I must confess, quite often looms larger than the not-inconsiderable bulk of my outer 50-year old, and my idea of a great time is when I can regress to my mud-pie-making days in the process of creating something both beautiful and practical. And the Paint Your Own Sock Yarn class on Saturday, September 27th with Heather Ordover looks like it was my kind of fun.

Armed with various flavors of Kool-Aid, glass canning jars, rolls of plastic, sock yarn and sock blanks, everyone had a fun, creative afternoon and walked away with their very own custom-dyed sock blanks and sock yarns. For those unfamiliar with sock blanks, they are a large piece of knitted fabric made up with a doubled strand of sock yarn. I've seen some that are pre-dyed but in my mind that takes half the fun out of it. How much better to dye your own and have custom socks! Once you have dyed your sock blank, you knit your new socks straight from the knitted fabric, unraveling it as you go. When I talked to Lynn on Tuesday she was showing off her beautiful green and blue sock blank and looking forward to tackling knitting two socks at once.

They began by mixing the Kool-Aid dyes in jars of water, with labels left near them to remind them which was which. Don a pair of gloves, an apron or an old shirt, and you are ready to dive in.

Here you see Judith playing with the dyes while Heather takes notes about their choices as they go. The table gave them plenty of room to spread out the dyes, yarn and blanks.

Judith paints her blank with yellow Kool-Aid.

It looks like Linda is having great fun working on her very colorful sock blank.

Lynn gets into the act, using my favorite colors on a blank of her own.

Judith with another blank.

When the painting is finished, the dyed blanks are rolled up in plastic wrap, ready to heat up and set the dyes.

They also dyed some sock yarn.

The blanks and yarns, dyed and cooling down after setting.

Some of the finished yarns and blanks, laid out to dry.

All in all it looked like everyone had a great time and I can't wait to see the finished socks that will come from these beautiful custom-dyed yarns. I hope they will allow me to share them with you here.

Many thanks go out to Linda McKittrick for the use of these photos!

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