I’ve been keeping a huuuuuuge secret, and I suck at keeping secrets! I have been up all night too excited to sleep because…
Today is YarnBox Sock Box reveal day!!!
Last July YarnBox approached me about being one of their monthly featured dyers! Ummm, YES PLEASE! YarnBox is this really great concept, it’s basically a yarn of the month club, which is just the coolest thing. Every month the subscribers get surprised by a new box featuring an Indie Dyer just like me! What a great way to find new dyers to love. I’ve found some of my favourites this way, and am always inspired by what I see in the boxes! And not only is March Yarn Enabler Wool…I also designed the sock pattern that is included this month! It’s kinda awesome, if I do say so myself!
But let me tell you this – dyeing 1000 skeins of wool was hard work. I don’t just dye skeins of wool, because that would be easy and I don’t do anything the easy way! I did gradients, which involves first knitting the skein into a “blank”; which is basically a big long tube.
I had loads of help knitting the blanks. My husband, the best man ever, not only mechanized my knitting machine to make it go fast fast fast, but he spent his evenings knitting at the kitchen table!
And my friend Jenn, theyarntherapist, knit half the blanks in her basement yarn cave!
Once I had my greedy little hands on the blanks, I would soak them in big tupperware bins with my pre-dye solution. I went through so much vinegar, i think my hands got pickled, lol!
Meet “water”, for the blues lover
Water was dyed by using turkey basters in Mason Jars, with the blank laying flat on my very super special custom dyeing surface (ok, ya, it’s a bin lid. but it’s perfect! haha!)
Tornado, Sunset, and Paradise were all dip dyed, which involves literally dipping the blank into the dye. i use small clear plastic bins all lined up in a row to do that.
I tackled the 1000 blanks one colourway at a time, so at least my hands would stay the same colours for a few weeks, lol! … Just kidding, i did finally give in and wear gloves. i was getting way more than my average weird looks! (this was my hands after doing sunset. sunset was not my favourite for a while, lol!)
And because I was doing the sock box, I dyed each blank so that the ends were mirror images of each other, so the knitter has the choice to knit one, or two-at-a-time socks! Ya that’s right, I’ve got your back 😉
I did four colourways,and I still have my favourite. I tried hard to make each one different so there’d be something for everything…i know my love of big bold colours isn’t universal, haha! (what’s wrong with you people?!)
Dyeing 1000 skeins doesn’t take up a lot of room though….DRYING 1000 skeins in the middle of a Canadian Winter sure did! Each batch took about 3-4 days to dry completely, so I was really stuck with how fast I could actually dye them!
Once these beauties were finally dried, then came the winding! You can only unknit from one end of the blank, so I did the hard work for you! Well, me, my husband and my kids, and my friends, and my friends husbands…it was a group effort, lol! TheCozyKnitter brought home more than a few boxes of blanks to wind! Her husband is a baseball pitcher, and we made sure to put that pitching arm to work at the winding machine, haha!
and then…came the most exciting day! SHIPPING DAY!! 1000 skeins of wool are heavy. and took up a lot of boxes. The poor Purolator man laughed so hard when he found out if was all wool! It was all I could do not to ask to take a selfie with him. Turns out, even I have lines I won’t cross, haha! Although I did take one of the truck :p
and then….I slept for about a week. PHEW!
So that, my dears, is the big secret I’ve been keeping!