July 2017 YarnBox Socks

July 2017 yarnbox.com socks shipment

A month or so ago I signed up for yarnbox and I received my first shipment a few days ago.   What attracted me to the service was that it sent me yarn (yassss!) and second, they had a sock box (double yassss!).  I also hoped it would be a great way to get the yarn I either wouldn’t normally get for myself or get yarn that isn’t available to me locally.

This month’s “box” was a generous 434-yard skein of Corrie Sock yarn from Flying Goat Farm.  I say “box” because it was really one of those gray bags that many magazines are sent in.   Most box services I see are done really cute and presented well, but this was very much just yarn in a bag.

The yarn itself is not something I would normally buy, which made this even more interesting.   I have nothing against it, but this is not something I would consider my style.   So, I guess I got exactly what I was hoping for!  I also wouldn’t buy this because it’s $28 and I’m more of a $5/pair of socks type of guy.  My socks are for utility and allergy relief, not beauty, though I do like when they end up looking unexpectedly nice.   Since the sock box is about $20/month and this is a $28 skein, I think it’s still a deal.

I also noted that the yarn was noticeably thicker than any sock yarn I’ve used, so machine knitting could be problematic but I was sure I’d get through it.  I’d just be pushing the limits of my 72 needle setup.

I cranked away at the sock machine with only a few issues and I was pretty happy with what I saw being knit:

I was surprised how the striping came out and now I’m even more glad I ordered sock box.   I definitely never would have picked this skein up off a shelf or internet store, but now that I have the sock in hand I can say I’d totally wear it… and I will.   Tomorrow, most likely.

More Tie-Dye Fun

One thing you may not know about tie-dye is that once you mix it, you should use it all up within the hour.  According to the instructions, it will become less effective as time goes on.  I didn’t realize that until further into dyeing yarns, so I went and grabbed a shirt and used up my dye.   I’m glad I did, I really like the how it came out!

tie dye shirt

For my next round of dying, I had a friend over and we tie-dyed some shirts.   As we each took turns dyeing, the other would look through Pinterest and figure out what to try next.  We had stopped off at the store earlier in the day and I grabbed some XL t-shirts to use as giveaways.   He, on the other hand, made shirts for himself.  Selfish, I know!

I ended up making 3 giveaways:

I stuck mostly to spirals.  My friend seemed to enjoy rectangular and striped designs more. Here’s some of his:

I plan on dying more yarns (since I have so many undyed skeins), so I’m sure more dye projects will be popping up soon.

Fun with Tie Dye

hand painted rainbow yarn being wound

Skeins of Undyed Lace Yarn

I recently ordered a bunch of skeins of lace yarn with the intention of dying it myself.  I had been watching a lot of YouTube on the subject and decided to give it a shot.  Even if it didn’t work out, I would still have a bunch of natural/almost white skeins to make socks with.

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I decided to try the Tie Dye method since it didn’t require simmering on the stove but I knew going in it would be a lot more time-consuming since it’s a 6-hour wait period while the dye does its magic.

I got out a marbling tray that I had bought a while back when I was planning some other projects (which I never got to, but we’ll ignore that part).   I covered it with plastic wrap to keep things clean and got to dyeing my yarns.

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My main goal was to make rainbow yarn.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful rainbow yarns out there but I wasn’t willing to pay the high price for most of these hand painted yarns.  I started squirting color on the yarn but all it did was bead up on top on top of the yarn and wouldn’t soak in. Tapping/Dabbing it into the fabric seemed to work but took forever.   Most yarn dyeing involves pre-soaking your yarn in water, but Tulip’s instructions didn’t say to do that.

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Since I prepared a bunch of skeins I was planning on trying a bunch of different methods.   On the second skein, I presoaked the yarn and dyeing went very quickly and the color bled very easily through the fibers.

I also tried soaking a skein in the dye (see bowls in the picture) but that really didn’t turn out.  It dyed the outermost layers, but the inside of the skeins was completely untouched and dry.  So yeah, don’t do that.   I’ll have to re-dye them later in a darker color and see if they can be saved.  Right now they look awful.

After 6 hours of waiting, I rinsed them out and hung them up to dry.  I’ll show you two of my favorites.  The rainbow yarn turned out amazing:

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While pushing the dye into the yarn took a long time, it gave me a great amount of control.  The dye didn’t bleed at all, so the color only went where I put it.

When the yarn is pre-soaked, it pretty much does its own thing, but that can also be amazing.

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The picture makes it look pretty dull, but in real life, it came out like a shiny oil spill.   I don’t know how well that will translate into socks, but it was still fun to create.

Last, I got to unwind these knitted ‘blanks’ and turn them into balls of yarn ready to knit.

hand painted rainbow yarn being wound

multicolor "oil spill" yarn being wound

Once I saw them being wound I got pretty excited to use them.  Unfortunately, the sock machine is still being used for sock yarn and I’m not ready to switch over to lace yarn just yet.   So these are being put aside until I work my way through the enormous pile of sock yarn still waiting to be turned into socks.