Rainbowllenics

Every time there’s the Olympics, the people on Ravelry are celebrating it by doing a huge KAL. It used to be called the Ravelympics, until there was some sort of dispute about the name (basically, in 2012 the U.S.O.C. threatened with suing Ravelry for using the term), so now it has changed the name to Ravellenic Games.

Even though the Olympics are supposed to be un-political (right?), this year again there has been some issues, as Russia (where the Olympics are held) has some anti homosexual laws which brought uproar to a lot of Western countries. – And, which made knitters participating in the Ravellenic Games be all “let’s do rainbows!” as a protest.

I’m not much for politics, and I have (most of the time) no desire in mixing into the discussions, apart from observing (I do have my opinions, but I’m not one to want to discuss it in public).

In any case, I do love rainbows – and so many people knitting rainbows this year, I wanted to do it too!
Two of the knitters I know here in Copenhagen were even knitting rainbow striped socks, so I wanted those too.

I didn’t have the patience to buy self striping sock yarn online and waiting for it to arrive before I could start knitting. So I figured I had to dye the yarn myself – it couldn’t be that hard, could it?

I contemplated many methods. I mean – it’s not as easy as dipping one part of the yarn in the dyepot, then another, until you have a rainbow – if you want stripes instead of a variegated yarn, you need to either follow the (very tedious) method I did the last time I made self striping yarn, or do something else so the color repeats become longer.

So I thought up this method: I wound the yarn up to as large a circumference as I could muster, in this case the distance from the window sill to the door in my living room, which is 4 meters, and thus gives a circumference of 8 m.

I then had to think about the dyeing – and thanked my teachers, parents, and creative interest for installing the color wheel and -theory solidly in my mind. Layering colors was the solution!

So I divided my huge circle in 6 (almost even) portions, preparing to dye.
It would take 3 dye baths in the primary colors (yellow, red, blue), each time overlapping with the others. See my illustration below:

Rainbow dyed self striping yarn

Does that make sense?

It was actually quite easy, and very fun. The only things were that I think the purple turned out a bit too dark, so if I did it again I would try to take more care of that. Also, the orange is more of an orange-y red, so it’s hard to distinguish from the solid red. But hey, whatever – it still looks like a rainbow ;)

Knitting up the socks was quick and fun – it’s amazing what self striping yarn does to speed up that process!

Self striping rainbow socks

And even better? They’re exactly identical. That was accomplished by winding up 2 50g skeins of yarn (or I could’ve split a 100g skein), then winding those two strands i the big circle together and making sure that the beginning/end was at the exact same spot. Oh yeah.

Rainbow self striping socks

Rainbow self striping socks

The socks are plain stockinette, 58 sts, with a very ordinary short row heel.
I worked them toe-up using Judy’s Magic Cast On (CO 2×13 sts), and bound off using a 1×1 rib and tubular bind off.

I love them.

Rainbowllenics socks on Ravelry.