Ombré is when color is shaded or graduated in tone – which means it transitions from dark to light. This is a beautiful effect in yarn that can often work up to create stripes and pools of color in knit and crochet. Today on the blog we are going to be dyeing up a purple ombré using Latte – a soft and squishy baby alpaca yarn that is perfect for a hat or sweater!
2 skeins LATTE
2 grams Deep Purple Dharma Acid Dye
Dash of citric acid or vinegar
Your usual dye set up (I’m using a slow cooker here)
Zip ties or shower rings to loop around the yarn
First, presoak your yarn. While your yarn is presoaking, measure out two grams of dye. Make sure you wear a respirator when working with acid dyes. Dissolve the two grams of dye into a bath of 4 quarts of water. Here I am using a slow cooker. A large steel stockpot would work as well. Add a dash of citric acid and dissolve.
Squeeze out all of the excess water from your presoaked yarn. Holding the two skeins together so that they fall straight down, dip four inches into the dye bath, and leave the rest of the yarn outside of the dye. Drape the extra yarn outside of the dye bath and use a bowl to hold the extra yarn. Add heat and allow the yarn to sit this way for at least thirty minutes to one hour.
Important note: keep the undyed yarn above the height of the dye bath. I accomplished this by setting a bowl on another bowl flipped upside down. If the yarn outside the dye bath is below the height of the dye bath it will act as a straw using gravity and suck water from the dye bath down the yarn and make a mess.
After about an hour has passed, dip four more inches of yarn into the dye bath. The color will continue to soak into the yarn. After this next band of four inches of yarn has been in the dye bath for thirty minutes to an hour, continue to lower three more inches in every hour until the entire skein is submerged. This whole dipping process takes about 4-8 hours so it is a good project to have going on while you do other things throughout the day since most of it is hands off.
This slow addition of undyed yarn to the dye bath will give us a beautiful gradient when we are finished! The dye absorbs into the yarn as it is added and the amount of dye available in the bath decreases as more yarn is added. This makes the soft darker to light ombré that we are going for! Once all of the yarn has been added, allow the yarn to sit in the hot dye bath for at least 30 minutes. Remove the yarn from heat and allow it to cool completely.
Once the yarn has fully cooled, rinse it fully with cool water. After the yarn has been rinsed, squeeze out all of the excess water and hang it up to dry.
Once your yarn is dry, you are ready to cake it up for your next project! Be sure to tag us with #knomadyarn on Instagram. We can’t wait to see what you make!