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Two color kettle dye on STRATUS

By Gina Rockenwagner on September 17, 2020

extra fine merino wool

When KNOMAD launched, STRATUS instantly became one of my favorite yarns in the whole collection. Made from 80% extra fine merino wool and 20% nylon, the merino in STRATUS is some of the softest available. The small nylon content doesn’t noticeably affect the feel of this plump and round, 4 ply fingering weight yarn, it simply adds a touch of strength to the luxuriously soft merino! 

We can’t think of a single fingering weight project that would not be beautiful in knit up in STRATUS. Perfect for next to skin wear, STRATUS would make a beautiful sweater, shawl or scarf. You could even use it to make a delightful pair of socks!

You might be accustomed to dyeing superwash yarns, which have been treated with a special process that makes them washable. This process also makes superwash yarns absorb dye more quickly. Because STRATUS is not superwash, it might take a little more time on the heat to fully absorb the dye. 

Today we’ll use STRATUS to make a pretty, kettle dyed yarn with lots of subtle variations. Kettle dyed yarn has tons of dimension. It almost looks hand painted. Its multifaceted appearance belies how easy this technique is. Grab some skeins of STRATUS and lets get dyeing!


MATERIALSextra fine merino wool, stratus bare

  • 2 skeins of Knomad STRATUS yarn – 80% Fine Superwash Merino Wool, 20% nylon. We designed this project for STRATUS, but it would also work well on any of our yarns with non superwash content, like ASPERITAS, IVORY, EGRET, and LATTE
  • Dharma Trading co dye for silk and wool. We used two colors: Peach Blush and Persimmon. 
  • Gram scale
  • Two cups to mix the dye in
  • Citric acid powder
  • Metal chafing pan at least 3 inches deep 
  • A measuring spoon. Any size will work.
  • Your regular set up for heat setting yarn
  • Optional: zip ties



Loop a zip tie around each skein of yarn, if you are using them. Soak the yarn in lukewarm water with a dash of citric acid for about 1 hour.


Make sure to always protect yourself with gloves and a respirator whenever you work with dye in its powder form. A dust mask is not enough protection to safely work with dye powder!

Use the gram scale to weigh out the dye and citric acid in a cup. Measure 1 gram of Peach Blush into one cup and 1 gram of Persimmon into the second cup. Add 1 gram of citric acid powder to each cup. Add 2 cups of hot water to each cup. Stir with a spoon.



Remove each skein from the soaking liquid, gently squeezing the excess liquid out of the yarn. You want it to be damp, but not sopping wet. Place the two skeins side by side in the pan, pressing them down and spreading out the skeins so they fill the pan.  Add 6 cups of soaking liquid to the pan.

extra fine merino wool, dye yarnWorking quickly, pour the Peach Blush dye stock over half the pan. Then pour the Persimmon dye stock over the other half. 

Cover the pan and heat the yarn for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cover and allow the yarn to cool completely.



Rinse and dry the yarn as you normally would. Enjoy your finished yarn! Make sure to tag us using #Knomadyarn so we can see all your fabulous projects.

extra fine merino wool, dye the yarn

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Gina Rockenwagner

Gina Fama Röckenwagner (she/her) is a color-obsessed knit designer and textile artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been featured in Vogue Knitting, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Purl Soho’s eponymous blog. She founded her line of soft, comfortable, and size-inclusive clothing, SOFT HAUS, in 2015. When not working on yarn-related endeavors, Gina can be found quilting, biking, baking and watching trashy tv with her cats, Paloma and Blooper.

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