Ombre dyes are so satisfying to create because you can create so many different colors just by varying the saturation of one pigment. We have covered other ombre applications before, like the dip dye ombre, the Snowdrift Minis ombre, and even a variegated ombre.
Today, we are going to be using a different application to create this ever-popular colorway – by hand-painting it! For this project, we will be using one of our new bases, Biana, a soft, light, and airy base that really shows off the color variation created by an ombre color application. Grab your skeins and let’s get started!
Fill the bowl with cool water and dissolve two tablespoons of citric acid into the water. Submerge both skeins of BIANCA undyed yarn into the bowl. Allow to presoak for at least one hour. A thorough presoak is essential because it allows for an even application of color. Protein fibers like wool have a protective outer cuticle layer that swells and opens during the presoak. This allows the dye pigments to deposit at the core of the fiber.
Using the masking tape and permanent marker, label each of your jars with 1 tsp, ½ tsp, ¼ tsp, and ⅛ tsp. Put on your respiratory protection, apron, and gloves before handling dye powders. Fill each jar with one cup of water using the hottest water from your tap. Dissolve the corresponding measurement of Emerald Green dye into each jar. Stir slowly to avoid splashing, and gently scrape the bottom of the jars to ensure the dye dissolves fully. Dissolve a dash of citric acid into each jar. I used one tablespoon for all four jars.
Protect your work surface with newspapers or trash bags. Roll out several sheets of plastic wrap on your work surface, covering an area of about 2 feet x 3 feet. Ensure that each sheet of plastic wrap overlaps by at least 4 inches.
Gently squeeze the excess water out of the two skeins of BIANCA undyed yarn. Lay the skeins on top of the plastic wrap. Spread them out in one evenly distributed layer.
Work from left to right to apply the dye, starting with the highest dye concentration. Starting at the far left, use a foam brush to apply the dye solution with 1 teaspoon of Emerald Green. Using gloved hands, lift sections of the yarn and apply the dye to the underside to ensure even coverage. Apply the dye to about one-fifth of the skeins. Continue to work in fifths by applying the one-half teaspoon dye solution to the next fifth of the skein, followed by the one-fourth teaspoon solution.
Once you have applied the one-eighth teaspoon dye solution, there should be one-fifth of the undyed yarn.
For this last section, I filled the jar that contained the one-eighth teaspoon solution back up to the top and stirred it to dilute the color saturation further. Apply the dye with a light hand to the remaining section to blend out the lightest portion of the ombre.
Fold the extra plastic wrap over the top of the dyed yarn and fold it up. If there is not enough extra plastic wrap to cover the yarn fully, you can cover it with an additional layer of plastic wrap over the top before folding the yarn.
Place your steaming rack at the bottom of your dye vessel and fill the bottom of the pot with an inch of water. Place your plastic-wrapped yarn on the steaming rack and the lid on top of the pot. Turn the heat on medium-high and allow the yarn to steam set for at least one hour.
Once the yarn has set, turn off the heat and allow the yarn to cool fully. Remove the yarn from the plastic wrap and rinse it under cool water until the water runs clear. Hang the yarn to dry.
Bianca yarn is a light and airy yarn with a beautiful twist. The ombre dye highlights the delicate weight and delightful texture of the yarn. Ombre dyes are a fantastic way to show off all the different intensities of your favorite color in one skein. Hand painting yarn usually has some soft, subtle variations to show off the hand-applied nature of the dye, and this pairs so nicely with an ombre.
What color would you use for a hand-painted ombre? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share your projects with us on social media by tagging @knomad_yarn and #knomadyarn. We can’t wait to see what you make!
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