Days 14 & 15: Finishing and Blocking

Last night, I watched Lesson 7 of Lucy Neatby’s My First Socks class. It covered ways to neaten up the grafting, including sewing in that little ear you get with Kitchener stitch or the sock toe chimney technique. You simply thread through the toe to the inside of the sock, as if to begin another stitch, but do not thread it back out to the public side. You can darn in the end from there, and nobody will notice!

Today I read more about blocking, which I admittedly rarely do, though I should. I’m also not great at, hence my decision to learn more. The few knits I have blocked, I did in cool water, since I was worried about felting. I learned from two separate articles today that the temperature of the water doesn’t matter if there is no agitation. I already knew not to agitate my woolens, so that was no surprise.

I also read about setting dye so that colors won’t bleed or run by adding 2 cups of vinegar to 1 quart water, but this seemed too easy, so I did some more digging and found this site. On the site, Paula notes,

“Wool is a fiber made from the hair of sheep. Other animal hair fibers, such as angora, mohair, cashmere, and camel’s hair, are in most respects dyed the same as wool. All animal fibers are made of a class of chemicals known as protein.
Proteins are made out of different combinations of the twenty essential amino acids. They are more complex than cellulose, which is made out of repeating units of a sugar, glucose, and thus there are more ways in which different dye chemicals can attach to them. There are, therefore, many more different substances which can be used to dye protein fibers.
All animal hair fibers, such as wool, are sensitive to high pHs.”

She goes on to explain numerous options for dyeing and setting wool and fiber…I have a lot more to learn, but won’t depend on just vinegar and water to set the dye in my knits!


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