June 17, 2010

Fiber Fun Friday -- The Quest For the Perfect Brown

I want to make brown dye. Is that too much to ask??

I didn't realize it was going to be such a difficult thing when I started.

First I started by looking online. You can find anything and everything online, or so I'm told. This is what I found...

"Get a color wheel which shows primary (red, yellow, blue), secondary (orange, green, violet). and tertiary (browns, tans, etc.) colors. Mix yellow (primary) and blue (primary) to get green (secondary). Mix green (secondary) and red (primary) to get brown (tertiary). Another way to make brown is to mix orange or red paint with a small amount of black paint. If you need a darker brown add more black. To make a lighter, less saturated brown, ("milk chocolate"), add white."


I guess in theory I get it, but I was looking for something maybe just a little bit more directional.

On to Plan B.

I have the Greener Shades World of Color Dye book (really awesome if you want to dye yarn or fiber). It has pages and pages of dye formulas using Greener Shades Dyes (of course!). There are tons of colors in here, but none of them really looked all that brown. I'm sure it's because these were printed at home rather some professional printer, but I wanted brown!

Oh well. I picked one that looked sort of like brown and mixed it up. It used red, blue and yellow. Actually I realized that almost all of these color formulas used just those 3 colors. I never knew you could make so many shades by just adjusting the ratios.

(I sense a dyeing adventure in my future)

I finished the first one and as it started drying it was looking rather redish. Now as it gets even closer to being dry it looks almost orange. Oops. Next!

Trial #2.

This brown still used those same three dyes as a base, but mixed up the ratios a bit. I'm a math and science geek so this is actually quite fun for me. I'm pretty sure though that most of you won't agree that figuring out percentages and weights is exciting.

Anyway, brown #2 has more potential, but I'm not sure we are quite there yet. {Sigh}

Trial #3 will have to wait until morning.

Now I'm sure by now you are wondering why I want to make a brown dye when alpacas (and sheep for that matter) come in a wonderful shade of brown without any extra work.


I have some beautiful white yarns that have been commercially spun for me. That's great, but once they are spun the only way I'm adding color is to dye them. I've had this color scheme floating around in my head for days and it has brown in it. Hence the brown dilemma.

Since the brown is still a work in progress, I think I'll take a break and go enjoy a piece of my peanut butter pie.

See you soon!


  1. i read that whole post and then you mention peanut butter pie and it is all i can think about. mmm pie.

  2. Hopping by from the parade!

    Looking forward to connecting with you.

    Gigi & Mis

  3. Yep, I think that peanut butter pie break was a good plan! :-)

  4. You're making me hungry! I'm visiting from Friday Blog Hop. I already follow you.

  5. I am a new follower from Friday blog hop. This is a lovely site. I am glad I ran across you, since I am a fiber addict. Off to check out your store! Enjoy your weekend.

  6. Hello! I am visiting your site from friday follow!

    Feel free to visit any of my sites and follow:

    Jessicas Lil Corner: My family blog http://jessicaslilcorner.blogspot.com

    So Stylilized: Free Custom Blog Designs http://sostylilized.blogspot.com

  7. I'm stopping by from Social Parade & am your newest follower.

    If you have a chance, I'd love for you to stop by my blog, follow back and take a moment to enter any of the current 4 giveaways {low entries}.

    Have a great weekend


  8. I'm a new follower from Fun Follow Friday.
    I hope you'll come check me out at PS Mom Reviews and follow me too!

    Do you have a recipe for that peanut butter pie? I've been looking for one, and that looks just like what I want.


  9. im your newest follower from SP hop on over and check out my blog.

  10. Hi!
    I am now following you from the Social Parade

    Have A Great Week~end :-)


  11. Oh I am totallllly loving that you make your own yarn!
    I just started knitting! Love it!

  12. About that brown ... coffee is nice. Old, cold, concentrated coffee. Don't dilute it, just pre-wet your yarn, gently squeeze it out, and then soak it in the old coffee. The stronger the coffee, the darker the shade. At least that's been my experience. If nothing else, you'll end up with a lovely camel color. :)

  13. hi from your newest follower -- your blog is fun :)




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