What is a sock blank? Some of you are sure to be familiar with those and others maybe not so much.
A sock blank is a machine knit “blank” or a piece that looks like a short, wide scarf. A sock blank can be knit single or double and it is important to know which type you are buying because this will determine how you can use the blank for your knitting.
A single knit blank will be twice as long, more or less, than a double knit blank. But the most important difference is that a single knit blank means that you only have 1 thread to work with which is fine if you are knitting one sock at a time or one mitten at a time or something like that. However if you were planning on doing a TAAT sock project or something similar you will want a double knit blank where you unravel 2 threads at a time and can thus knit 2 separate pieces.
Dyeing sock blanks is a challenge I feel. You can do different things and maybe more with some regards versus dyeing a hank of yarn. However you should keep in mind that the pattern on your blank is not going to be reproduced exactly in your pair of socks for example. If you have a striped design, your socks will be striped but the final patterning will be different as everything depends on your needle size, the amount of stitches used and of course your pattern. Also if you design has dots or geometric designs for example, these will translate into a more sort of varigated design in your socks or other small circumference knit.
Here’s a picture of a pair of simple socks that I’m currently knitting using a blank that I dyed a while back. This was one of the first blanks I did and I first dyed each half in a different colour. Then I decided to overdye by doing a sort of dot design on top of the main colour. And on the picture below you can see the blank and its design and how the pattern then translates into the actual socks that I’m knitting. These will be simple afterthought heel socks and the front is 3×2 ribbing.
You can see the dots in the blanket and how this gives a varigated end result. This is a double knit blanket which enables me to knit 2 socks at a time.
I will be selling some of my hand dyed sock blanks at the show in London this weekend and if you are coming I hope you will come by my booth for a chat and maybe even purchase something you like 🙂
Does that name sound at all familiar? If not, then I’m so happy to be able to introduce you to this fantastic sock designer! A while back I was browsing Ravelry for some Sock patterns and I found this amazing designer that has a lot of gorgeous sock patterns and they are all FREE!
You can check out his Ravelry page here and he also has a blog on crafting which you might enjoy reading and for a peak just click here
I really admire his work and he does both colourwork and patterned/cabled designs and also has a few socks with innovative or unusual construction. So far I have not had the pleasure of knitting one of his socks but since I’m looking for a new sock to knit (yes I know, What a surprise!), I’m going to choose one of his designs. Actually, I think I’ll choose 2 because I have my latest Knitcircus Gradient Yarn Sock Club yarn waiting and then there is the upcoming show in London and I really can’t be seen there knitting with a yarn that is not mine 🙂 So as for the socks using my own yarn, I’m thinking of using a sock blank that I have dyed.
This is a sparkle sock blank, 75% super wash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. This is a yarn that I adore! I love the sparkle and it is just so super soft and wonderfully comfortable for next to skin wear be it for socks or any other accessory. I just recently got theses sparkle sock blanks so this will be my first time knitting with one of those although I’m very familiar with the yarn itself. I dyed this with a new method of kettle dyeing where I left parts of the blank in the simmering dye pot for different lengths of time which in turn gives me a blank with different tones of fuchsia which I quite like. I did dye a few of these and will be selling them at the I Knit Fandango Show this week (May 15th and 16th) in London.
Now as for the pattern I chose, it’s called Maudie by General Hogbuffer of course and here is a link to the pattern on Ravelry
And here’s a picture of the sock I love the “braid/cable” design on the side.
As this particular blank is knit in single, it means that I will not be able to do a TAAT knit but as I have chosen a detailed pattern that is maybe for the better.
Anyway, I’m going to have to cast on today so that I have some rows worked before leaving for the show and I’ll be showing you some pictures next week. I may not have made much progress between casting on and then but that will just be a good thing as that would mean I was way to busy selling stuff in my booth to do any knitting:)
That’s it for today, take care and have a wonderful day