Magic Two Colour Stripes

This method is dependant on the width of the blank. You need to create a single width blank so that 1 row unravelled from the blank will knit 1 round of your chosen sock pattern. It can be made with a single or double stranded blank as the pattern is the same all the way down the blank with no variation 2 socks knitted from a single stranded blank will match.

Dyeing the blank is incredibly easy, you won’t believe it until you knit it but all you have to do is divide the blank in half vertically then paint one half one colour and one half a different colour. Yes, that really is all you have to do!

It all comes down to the way the blank and the sock are knitted. A blank is knitted flat, and the yarn goes back and forth but a sock is knitted in a spiral, the yarn goes around and around (with exception of the heel shaping). By painting the blank in 2 vertical stripes you create a pattern repeat which is long enough to knit 2 rounds of the sock. The pattern repeat starts with colour 1 at the centre of the blank, goes to the edge and then back to the centre again which is equal to 1 row of the blank and will knit 1 round of the sock. The pattern repeat finishes with colour two which goes from the centre of the blank to the opposite edge and back to the centre again, which is enough yarn to knit a second round of the sock in the second colour. Voila! 2 colour single row narrow stripes!

Prepare the blank and the dyes ready for painting. You need 2 colours or 2 different shades of the same colour. Divide the blank in half vertically. You can do this by sewing a line of contrasting waste yarn vertically up the centre of the blank. You need to remove this line after the blanks dyed and before knitting it.

If your calculations were a little out or your dyes bled along the centre line you may not get perfect single row stripes, there could be an overlap where a few stitches on the next round are worked in the previous colour. This is only to be expected. If you want perfect single row stripes you have to do it the hard way using 2 balls of yarn in different colours but where is the fun in that?

Two Colour Wide Stripes

The principle is exactly the same as two colour narrow stripes but you need to use a double or triple width blank.

Now I bet some of you are thinking hang on a minute, where's the magic in that? I can get the same effect my making a long skein and dyeing each half a different colour. Well with blanks you can take the idea one step further and create graduated colour changes in the stripes. If you paint one half a solid colour but dye the other half in different shades of the same colour or even different colours then you can create truly magical effects that will get everyone wondering how on earth you did it.

In the pictures shown below I knitted a double width blank and dyed 1/4 solid green and the other 3/4 in wide stripes of red, orange and yellow.  The knitted effect is a varigated sock with a narrow green stripe every 4th row.  When I tell people I knitted the sock from a single ball of yarn they don't believe me.  It really is magic!