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Ocean Blue Ombre with Food Coloring

By Amy Reader on July 29, 2021

The new SNOWDRIFT MINIS are the perfect size to dye up an ombre colorway. In this post we will be adding one mini skein at a time to a dye bath. This process will mean that the dye bath will exhaust as skeins are added, making each skein lighter than the previous skein. This method creates a perfectly even ombre and is a great use of the new SNOWDRIFT MINIS! 


We will also be using food coloring to create a beautiful, bright blue. Food coloring is kitchen safe, non toxic, and easy to use. The SKY BLUE gel is a very bright, mid tone blue and adding the VIOLET deepens the color making this ombre colorway feel like the deep ocean. Mixing the food coloring gel adds a rich nuance and depth to the final color that really shines on the SNOWDRIFT MINIS. 



  • Five SNOWDRIFT MINI skeins (total 100 grams of yarn)
  • Wilson’s gel food coloring in SKY BLUE and VIOLET
  • Citric Acid
  • Tongs
  • Gloves
  • Large bowl
  • Your usual dye set up (here I am using a slow cooker)
  • Glass jar
  • Measuring spoons
  • Zip ties


Loop a zip tie through each of your mini skeins to keep them from tangling in the dye bath. Fill your large bowl with cool water and submerge all of the skeins to presoak the yarn. The yarn takes about an hour to become fully saturated.


Put on your gloves. Fill the jar with the hottest tap water you can and dissolve two teaspoons of SKY BLUE gel food coloring and one teaspoon of VIOLET. The gel can take some time to dissolve so keep stirring until there are no longer little chunks of gel dye at the bottom of the jar. 

If you want to increase or decrease the amount of yarn you are dyeing, just keep the dye in a 2:1 ratio for the right color – two parts SKY BLUE one part VIOLET. This recipe is written for 100 total grams of yarn and has three total teaspoons of dye. 


Fill the dye vessel with cool water leaving about two to three inches of space from the top. Dissolve the dye concentrate into the dye bath stirring while you pour. Add a dash of citric acid and stir to dissolve.


Gently squeeze out the excess water from one of the skeins and add it to the dye bath. Add heat to the dye bath and cover. The water should be hot but not simmering. Once the water is hot, leave the yarn for 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes, gently squeeze out the excess water from a second skein and add it to the dye bath. Wait another 30 minutes and squeeze out the excess water from a third skein and add it to the dye bath with the two other skeins. After 30 more minutes, squeeze out the excess water from a fourth skein and add it to the dye bath. Wait another 30 minutes and repeat the process for the fifth skein and allow the dye bath with the yarn to sit for a final 30 minutes. 

The total time for this portion is 2 hours 30 minutes. At the end of this process, the dye bath should be fully exhausted. This means that the water around the yarn is completely clear. When the water is clear, all of the available dye pigment has bonded to the yarn.


Turn off the heat and all the yarn to cool fully. Rinse the yarn.With the mini skeins, it is easiest to rinse the skeins one at a time. Squeeze out the excess water and hang the yarn to dry. 

Now that your yarn is dry, you are ready to create your own ocean ombre socks, or a scarf, or a whole variety of things! Don’t forget to share your dyed yarn with us on social media using #knomadyarn. We can’t wait to see what you make!


Amy Reader

Amy Reader is a fiber artist based in Portland, OR. She learned to sew when she was six years old and quickly fell in love with textiles of all kinds. With the help of her grandmother, Amy learned to knit and crochet shortly thereafter. Amy started dyeing with kitchen safe dyes and was immediately hooked. She loves working with bold and playful colors and primarily dyes yarn for her line of hand-embroidered jewelry.

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