I keep gazing at the #mdkknittinggetaway photos and laughing. More pix to come tomorrow, for sure.
I haven’t even begun to process the weekend we just spent at the MDK Knitting Getaway, part of Shakerag Workshops at St. Andrews-Sewanee School.
I have, however, begun processing one of the projects that were a highlight of our time with 100 fellow knitters.
Donna Brown was our fearless leader through an ocean of cochineal, madder, logwood, and marigold—more than a dozen colors in all.
Our target for these gentle, sustainable dyes, made with natural extracts?
A piece of merino wool, machine knitted. Knitted double, in fact, so as to allow the intrepid knitter to dye up one of these sock blanks, then unravel the knitting in order to knit a pair of socks with matching colors.
Yes: a sock blank.
Wacky, right? Seems like a crazy thing to reknit something that has already been knitted. But remember: I did not knit the sock blank. A machine knitted the sock blank. This is going to be the first time I personally, Ann Shayne, have knitted this merino wool. So it’s not like I’m some kind of a freak who reknits something I already knitted. Gah.
The colors were glorious. Some people went with a palette of two or three colors.
I just started slapping down stripes and blocks of everything. Donna said natural dyes all go together, so I was going for the ultimate test of this theory.
Donna explained that we needed to steam the sock blank for an hour to set the color. Here’s what mine looked like pre-steam:
Note that the colors are completely different from the final piece. Nature is so awesomely amazing.
Now that my sock blank has finally dried (Tennessee humidity is for real), I need to wind my yarn so I can start my journey toward a pair of hand-dyed, natural-dyed socks. Dying of curiosity to see what happens!
There were dozens of sock blanks created during the MDK Knitting Getaway. We’re going to be posting our knitting efforts with our sock blanks at #shakeragsockblank on Instagram, so if you’re curious to see before and afters on a large number of beautiful sock blanks, be sure to follow along.