What I Learned When I Blocked My Socks

My new super duper socks finally had a bath this week ready to be properly blocked … but disaster. The water went blue! Listerine blue! I didn’t know what to do and was gutted that my socks were ruined.

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However, this taught me a valuable lesson in yarns and how some are not as colour fast as others. In a way (despite the upset), I’m glad it happened to my first pair and not on a gift … not that I plan on gifting socks any time soon, and also not in a wash with other clothes.

However, once the sock had dried (and I’d calmed down) it didn’t look too bad. Not the crisp white I had imagined … but maybe these socks never wanted to be white. I’m still looking forward to getting these on my feet.

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After my sock “disaster” I was told that Drops Fabel is prone to bleeding like this and given some advice about soaking the sock in a distilled vinegar solution to set the dye before washing.

So my plan going forward is:

1 – Make a swatch of the yarn, a small granny hexagon, and soak that to test it’s colour fastness. I plan on joining all of these up to make a scrappy cushion – much like the Cosy Memory blankets … except crochet and smaller.
2 – Knit the sock.
3 – Give the sock a soak in a distilled vinegar solution for about half an hour to make sure nothing is going to run.
4 – Hand wash the sock with a colour catcher at the bottom of the bowl. Just in case!

Here are the swatches I’ve made so far … the two yarns that I made these socks with (to test my theory) and the two yarns ready for my next socks. I’m using West Yorkshire Spinners in mojito and chocolate lime.

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Surely with all these steps this shouldn’t happen again.

What do you do to stop the colours in your yarn from bleeding into each other?

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I'm a self-confessed yarnaholic from Essex, UK. There's a whole world full of yarny goodness out there ā€¦ remember to bring tea and cake

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7 comments on “What I Learned When I Blocked My Socks
  1. Leonor says:

    It’s so heartbreaking when this happens šŸ˜¦ As a yarn dyer, I know all too well this can be an issue, and trust me, it’s not a bad dye job – it’s just that some colours, to be vibrant, will always bleed a little. I’d suggest you buy some wool-specific washing agent, add some vinegar to it, and soak your skeins before you use them. This way you can at least minimise the damage. Here’s hoping your next pair of socks doesn’t bleed!

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  2. Beads and Barnacles says:

    It’s a shame about your socks but although it might not have been the look you were going for I think it looks pretty.

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  3. Shame about the dye running, but yes a good lesson leaned. Apparently blue dye molecules are larger than other colours and that makes it harder for them to stick to the wool. So the blue yarns are ones to be more wary of. Socks look great though!

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  4. Bessie V says:

    Aww! So sorry about that experience! I can imagine how upset you must’ve been. But that’s how we all learn, I suppose. At least that pair still looks good. And those colors on the swatches are beautiful! I must hand it to you for taking those extra measures to safe-guard your knits! I still haven’t learned to block my works fearing all sorts of accidents. I doubt I will recover if they all went to ruins šŸ˜€

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