Ombré-Dyed Sweater

I’m so excited about this sweater! I want it to get cold in Texas so I can wear it now!

In this two-part tutorial, we’re going to learn how to do something very unique. We’re going to knit this sweater using undyed yarn, then dye it (as a completed garment) to get the Ombré effect. Ombré dyeing gives us a very light color at the top of the sweater, gradually getting darker toward the bottom.

There are two videos to accompany this pattern. In the first video, we talk about making the sweater itself. In the second video, we go on location with my friend Doug Upchurch, at his White Bear Fibers dyeing studio, where he shows us how to do the dyeing. (Both videos are at the bottom of this post.)

I love the look of this sweater. Not only is the dyeing a fun project on its own, but it gives us an effect you can only get when you dye the finished sweater.

In the dyeing video, we use acid dyes, but any dye that works with yarn will do. Here are three tutorials for using different kitchen-safe dyes: Kool-Aid , Food Coloring, Wilton’s Icing Gel.

Detail of the lightest part of the sweater (the neckline) next to the darkest (the sleeve cuff).

This is knit with sock yarn for a lightweight sweater with a nice drape. The style of the sweater is simple, to really show off the color gradation as the “thing”, or the prominent design feature.

You can, of course, make this sweater using sock-weight yarn that is already dyed. (I’m pretty excited to see what you knitters do with this.) The pattern is sized from XS to 3XL.

Sizes: XSmall, Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, 2XLarge, 3XLarge [to fit actual chest measurements of 28” (32”, 36”, 40”, 44”, 48”, 52”)]
Needles: Size 6 US circular or straight needles
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Yarn, 462 yards/hank, 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5) hanks
Additional Materials: stitch marker, tapestry needle, row counter
Gauge: 5.5 stitches and 7.5 rows per inch in stockinette. (Stitch gauge is very important, row gauge is less important. Base your needle size on stitch gauge if you’re having difficulty matching both.) Be sure to measure gauge after you’ve washed and blocked your swatch.

Note on Sizing – The measurements above are for the actual chest measurement of the sweater wearer. The finished sweater includes “ease” for a casual fit. The measurements of the finished sweaters are 32 (36.5, 41, 45, 49.5, 54, 58.5)”.

Pattern + links to 4-part instructional videos $8 US via PayPal

Video Part 1 – Making the Sweater:

Video Part 2 – Dyeing the Sweater:

60 comments on “Ombré-Dyed Sweater

  1. Simone – thank you for the note. I’m afraid the only way I know to ease hand pain from knitting is to rest your hands, and stop knitting for a while. I’m sure you can find some YouTube videos from physical therapists who can offer advice on stretches and exercises – but I’m no expert in that!

    Good luck –
    S t a c i

  2. My favorite colors! I’m a fellow Texan (San Antonio) I love your tutorials and this will be my next purchase

  3. Am unable to connect yo web you provided (white bear fibers look it’s a very pink white bear). It brings up hundreds of combinations of things and cannot find your pattern for this ombré dyed sweater. Any suggestions for mr finding this pattern. Thank you

  4. I would like to knit this sweater for summer in Comfy Fingering Weight yarn, which is a cotton/acrylic blend. Do I have to make any allowance for the different yarn fiber? Also, is it possible to knit this sweater without the “standup” collar? I have looked at 16 pages of cotton sweaters on Ravelry and can not find anything I like as well as this sweater.

    Any help is appreciated, thank you.

    Shawn Ocker

  5. Shawn – I haven’t test knit this sweater in anything but wool…you could see a difference in the drape using a cotton blend, since cotton has more weight to it than wool. I’ve used Comfy plenty of times, it should be fine.

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with pattern modifications, and changing the collar isn’t really a simple thing in this pattern. If you’re comfortable with rewriting patterns and making modifications it can be done. Good luck!

    S t a c i

  6. Staci,

    I love your YouTube videos and thorough explanations of how to’s. I’ve admired this sweater in the background for a while, so I’m happy to have found the pattern and video. At a sale, I purchased three 600-yard skeins of KFI Kookaburra Extrafine Merino, Silk & Linen blend yarn (64% wool). It is very fine, and the sleeve recommends US 2/3, which should make 28-32 stitches/4 inches. I’m 5 ft. 2, and normally wear size 6 clothing. My bust is 35. Somehow over the years, my diaphragm and waist have ended up about the same (haha) 32. I usually knit scarves and shawls, but this yarn seems to be calling for a garment, and I want to knit your pattern. Two questions: 1) Do you think this yarn is too fine (though it is a bit thick and thin), and 2) Do you think 1800 yards will be enough for me? I kind of want to have an educated guess before I purchase the pattern, though I’ll probably do that anyway because I really like the neckline.

  7. Hi Pauly – thank you for the note. I’m unable to find that yarn on Ravelry to get it’s exact listed weight. If it’s fingering (sock) or close, and you can get gauge, then the pattern sizing and yarn amounts should fall into place correctly.

    Good luck! I look forward to seeing your sweater post on Ravelry!
    S t a c i

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