This method can be done using any width of blank so it’s ideal for using commercially produced blanks. There are two things to think about with this method. The width of the stripes and how much yarn you are likely to use knitting your socks.
• If you have knitted the socks before you can weigh the left over yarn to roughly work out how much you’ve used.
You could try and calculate exactly the amount of yarn needed if you wanted to but personally I prefer to spend my time dyeing and knitting so I accept that happy accidents will happen and I learn as I go along.
Prepare the blank and the dyes ready for painting. You need dyes of varying strength in one colour for a graduated effect and rainbow colours, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo and violet for a rainbow effect. Paint equal width stripes horizontally across the blank.
Other ideas for this method include mixing up different strengths of dye of one colour, using two colours and allowing them to merge in the middle, painting random width stripes or painting a rainbow of random colours.
• If you want clean crisp changes between the stripes don’t get the blank too wet with the dye. The wetter it is the more the colours run. This can create a nice blended effect with rainbow blanks but if the colours run too much it can look messy and the stripes won’t be clearly defined in the finished socks.
• When painting random coloured rainbows consider the colour wheel and how the colours will blend into each other. For example primary colours (red, blue, yellow) are likely to give a small line of a secondary colour (orange, green, purple) if the dye runs long the stripe’s edge. If a primary and secondary colour stripes are painted next to each other you may get a brown line.