This topic covers the differences between ombre hand dyed yarns with commercial ready-to-knit ombre yarns.
When I first decided to make my very own projects of ombre knitting I purchase an undyed superwash merino yarn online and prepared food coloring stuff. At the same time I came a cross skeins of Lion Brand® Scarfie Yarn brand in Michaels that had ombre effects. I decided to give it a shot before going further with hand dying techniques. Well the result was not bad at all. My projects turned out to be ombre as I knit. The hat and the neck warmer that you see in the left picture is the outcome of this yarn. However there were some downsides for this yarn that I believe would be the same with other commercial ombre yarns as well.
Quality: Generally speaking the main concern with commercial yarns is the quality of them. Most of the commercial brands are made of Acrylic blend which are less soft than cotton blend yarns. For cotton blends though the price is higher, the quality you get worth the price.
Gradient repeating: My other concern was the gradient of color that was repeating itself in almost one third of the skein. It means if you make a blanket out of a commercial yarn your gradient will be repeated three times. That was not what I was looking for. So I decided to continue with my hand dying projects. As I discussed it in the previous post, there is two way to hand dye the yarn to ombre. I selected the one that requires dying one skein of yarn only twice. The picture in the right is the project that has been made with that technique. (for details on hand dying click here) As it is seen in the picture the neck warmer has been worked with tortoise green then gradually turning to gold yellow.
Color selection: Last but not least, color selection in commercial brands are limited to some colors that the brand has made, while in hand dying you have wide variety of colors to select. Some people go crazy about hand dyed colors and create amazing job and sell them over the internet.
Conclusion: Having said about all negative aspects of commercial brands by comparing to hand dyed yarns it worth to consider the price, time and energy that you need to spend to make your unique work. Also the durability of both yarns would come to equal in my opinion, except that your hand dyed yarn might fade a little bit over time by washing. So if you still are interested to use hand dye techniques for ombre you can click here.