I got to join in the dye-along, even though I’m in the computer geek department rather than the creative department. But that also means that I managed to do pretty much everything wrong. It turned out well, anyway. At least, I like how it is going so far. So for anyone who has never dyed before, I think it will probably turn out ok, even if you do everything wrong, like me!
I used 3 different flavors of Kool-Aid to dye my sock blanks – Watermelon Cherry, Cherry, and Black Cherry. My husband and I are adopting 3 teenagers, so I wanted to make pink socks for Liza (12), as that is her favorite color, and red socks for Dasha (14), as that is her favorite color. And in the interest of fairness, though I’m not sure he will wear them, I wanted to make dark red socks for Max (16), since red is also his favorite color, and dark red seemed a bit more macho than the bright red.
I made a very concentrated water bath with 4 or 5 packets per sock blank, and added about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to help set the dye. (Not sure I needed to add vinegar, but better safe than sorry.) Since my stove only has two burners, I put the sock blanks in baking pans and baked them in the oven for about 45 minutes.
I was amazed to see that the water was completely clear when I took the dye blanks out of the oven.
I twisted as much water as I could out of the dye blanks (still clear!) without agitating them too much, and hung them up to dry in the basement for a day or so.
Wrong thing #1: I didn’t wear gloves when I was squishing the yarn in the dye water. Though this was nothing that some serious quality time with a nail brush and some soap didn’t fix… eventually. (I feel sorry for surgeons, now.)
Wrong thing #2: I didn’t pre-soak my sock
blanks. Oops. It never occurred to me! So the dye didn’t penetrate the
pre-knitted sock blank completely.
My first pair of socks are nearly done, though, and the speckled effect from the failure to pre-soak looks pretty good.