A couple of posts ago I was telling you about the fabulous dyeing workshops I attended and how I got to dye my first ever sock blank. Up to that point I had only ever heard of sock blanks but never actually taken much notice.
Why would anyone unravel something that is already perfectly knitted, only to knit it up again? that’s exactly what I thought too, but let me tell you a little more about it:
So, what exactly is a sock blank? In short, it is a rectangle knitted by a machine designed to be unraveled in order to knit from the unraveled yarn. The edge of the sock blank is not cast off, it’s loose so that you can knit from it, pulling the stitches out as you go. To me a sock blank looks a bit like an unfinished scarf with live, loose stitches at each end and they are a perfect canvas to try all manner of dyeing methods: gradients, stripes or random splashes of colour, the list is endless.
There are two types of sock blanks available to purchase:
- A regular sock blank with just one strand of working yarn
- A double knit sock blank with two strands of working yarn — perfect for knitters who like to knit two socks at a time
In essence a sock blank is no different than a skein of Yarn except that you can start knitting from it straight away, no winding of yarn required whatsoever – you are just pulling the working yarn right from the blank.
It’s important to know that sock blanks can only be unraveled on one side. The other side has a lock stitch and won’t let you smoothly unravel. The best way to know which side is the right side for unraveling is to give the yarn a tug. If it pulls freely, then you’ve got the right end.
The yarn will be crimped as it is released from the stitches in the sock blank and your finished piece may look a little “rustic” or “textured”. I quite like this look but any unevenness disappears after the first wash.
Sock blanks contain the same amount of meterage as the average skein of sock yarn, about 400m and like other yarn sock blanks have labels to indicate the fibre content.
Have I got you interested yet? I am totally smitten and must say that these pretty blanks may just be my new best friends!
They are easy to throw into your knitting bag and take on the go without the worry of the yarn getting tangled and as they are not in a ball form they won’t roll off tables and under chairs either. And don’t let the name fool you, socks may well be the most popular choice of what to knit from them, but cowls, mittens, hats, shawls etc. are all great possibilities to enjoy working from a sock blank too.
Have you ever knitted from a sock blanket? or have I tempted you to give it a try? Either way, I would love to hear about it.