The Charm of a Sock Blank

A sock blank is a piece of (machine) knit sock yarn which is then hand dyed by an artisan. The resulting piece can be knitted into socks, straight out of the blank.

This is a sock blank:

I dyed it myself yesterday, in a workshop at Wolop.nl.

It is a single thread blank of a soft Merino/Nylon mix and it measures 25 x 125 cm. You start knitting at one end, frogging the blank as you knit. When you have one sock finished you’re somewhere in the middle of the blank, right where mine has spots. So my toe (or cuff) will have some dark stripes and spots.

The second sock will then begin with the spots and end with the evenly coloured bit of the blank.
I may have to knit one sock cuff down and the other toe up to get two matching socks.

A sock blank is a special kind of sock yarn stash, it’s a bit of a present to yourself really. The stash “enhancement” itself is an item to be admired:

Mine is just a dabble but professional ones are dyed by the artisan, the artist, and takes hours. They are pieces of art. Here are some examples:

wolop-sock-blank-groen
Wolop and Strickgewand 


Yarn Over New York and Rosie’s Moments


MariegoldJen and AndreSueKnits

A sock blank a one of a kind piece of knit art and you will “destroy” it as you use it. I love to appreciate it for a while before do that. Just looking at the artist’s handywork for a while, studying her play with colours, her techniques of applying colour and dye. She really put a lot of work in this!

The socks themselves end up very differently from the blank, they are a whole new item, often stripey and pooling. This project by Jamiemacn shows this:

 Sock Blank created by AndreSueKnits.

It has the same atmosphere colourwise as the blank but otherwise it’s a very different. No echo of the kitten’s sentiments nor the giggles the artist shared with knitters when she offered this blank for sale. They are probably still in the socks when Jamiemacn wears them though.

As you can see she knits the sock straight from the blank. The yarn is all crinkly but that’s ok, it will smooth when the socks are blocked. I imagine keeping the tension right is a bit of a nuisance with crinkled yarn. But making the magic happen from the sock blank into socks, enjoying the colours, makes up for that.

Yes I think the sock blank itself is something to be savoured and enjoyed while you use it.
Enjoy it even before you use it! Have it laying around to admire. After all, it is the promise of some quality “me-time” and it’s a quality item in which a fellow human being put a  lot of work and effort:

Ohh, this is so perfect for my colour palette, I couldn’t have executed it better if I had planned it!
The truth is I didn’t plan this colour. It was meant to be greyish blue which was the colour the dye bath had but then some dye magic happened (because I was using left over dye? because I only applied very little dye?) and it became greyish purple. To which Lieneke of Wolop then mixed up the perfect dark purple to paint the stars with. These will be perfect winter socks for me!

Right now I’m displaying the blank in my own home. With me as its target audience.
I’m sure you agree that this Sock Blank portrays the inner beauty and tranquility of me as a knitter:

Ahh, a perfect internet life picture. Instagram worthy.

The internet, where we are all beautiful, collected and fabulous!

While you know how it is in the real life:

In the real life we learn to operate our blinders and focus on what’s pleasing. Such as sock blanks.

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2 thoughts on “The Charm of a Sock Blank

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