I wanted to capture the gradient by hand dyeing from pink to coral to intense pinky-orange. Easy enough to do with the fiber, but trickier to get sock yarn to go from cuff to toe in a gradient. More about that later…..
This month, the fiber of choice is Corriedale. It is a beautiful soft fiber that is a little bit more sturdy and longer stapled than merino. I love to spin it, as do many spinners….it is my best selling wool. Single clubs received a 5 oz braid as shown below, and double clubs received a braid that is dyed from light to dark and back again.
The yarn is also Corriedale wool, but this time a blend of 75% and 25% nylon. It’s a nice soft sock yarn that should wear well. I’m trying it out myself and I’m looking for your feedback also. I’m looking for a nice smooth and sturdy sock blend with nylon to join the lineup.
If you are new to The Painted Tiger, you may be wondering what this is. Why would I send you a ‘scarf’? Well, this is a Fillet of Sole (which refers to the prep, not the yarn base). It is a sock blank consisting of two strands of yarn knitted together, and then dyed together. You’ll get socks as identical as you can get from hand dyed yarn.
But what do you do with it? The Fillet of Sole is set up for two at a time sock knitting. Simply remove the waste yarn and cast on your two socks (toe up or top down, depending on your preference). Don’t know magic loop? That’s ok, just use two circulars or sets of DPNs.
Don’t want to knit them both at once? There’s some options. You can knit one strand and ball the other. This is a great option for using the yarn in a shawl or scarf….you can knit up to the middle, and when you are ready to knit the second half you’ll have the ball all ready to come down the other way with the gradient making a mirror image. If you want your second sock to match, though, you’ll need to reball to get the right end out (unless you made a center pull ball).
Don’t care for the kinks? You can relax them. You will need a swift with a fair amount of post room (you will be separating the yarn into two separate skeins on the posts). Or you can walk around a chair or two. You may need a helper to turn the swift. Put your finger between the two yarns, and unravel the blank, keeping the two yarns separate.
Once you have separated the two strands, tie the new hanks tightly in at least 4 places with waste yarn. They will boing up and look like a clown wig when removed from the swift or chair, so lots of ties will keep the tangles from appearing. Give the hanks a bath, and hang to dry with weight. A soup can suspended in the loop works well, or hook a full spray bottle on it. Allow to dry, then ball and knit.
I hope you found the June Tiger Clubs to be as beautiful as I did! As usual, sign ups are always open. We’ll be exploring a ‘cool summer’ fiber for July, don’t miss the boat!