Want a subdued palette reminiscent of dyeing with plants?
Overdye light gray yarn with your food color.
Almost every commercial yarn line carries gray, and thrifted sweaters are easy to find.
Here are photos of light gray colored wool yarn overdyed with Kool-Aid, McCormick Food Color drops and Wilton Icing Color.
A. Yellow McCormick = golden rod
B. Red McCormick = bubble gum pink
C. Blue McCormick = blue jeans
D. Green McCormick = leaf
E. Neon Purple McCormick = dusky French lilac
F. Neon Pink McCormick = watermelon bubble gum
G. Neon Blue McCormick = bluebell
H. Neon Green McCormick = duckweed
I. Blue Wilton = peacock
J. Brown Wilton = teddy bear
K. Burgundy Wilton = aster
L. Copper Wilton = burnt orange
M. Gold Wilton = corn
N. Kelly Wilton = grass
O. Lemon Wilton = duckling
P. Sky Wilton = sky
Q. No Taste Red Wilton = tulip
R. Red Wilton = bittersweet
S. Violet Wilton = pale royal purple
T. Yellow Wilton = dead grass
U. Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid = celery
V. Black Cherry Kool-Aid = maple leaf
W. Strawberry Kool-Aid = lipstick
X. Grape Kool-Aid = violet
Y. Berry Blue Grape Kool-Aid = sky
Z. Orange Grape Kool-Aid = orange
Samples are 1 yard of Lion Brand Fishermen's wool.
The amount of food color in each dye bath was 1 drop McCormick, a trace of Wilton coating a toothpick or 1 tablespoon dilution of Kool-Aid (1 packet Kool-Aid to 8 ounces water).
The samples were soaked in the dyebath for a full day before heating.
Notes on why to overdye light gray yarn:
Overdyeing gray yarn is the easiest way to dull and deepen colors..
Here's why other choices aren't as good.
Adding Wilton Black - This brand of food color tends to lean green, and you have to add the vinegar slowly to prevent breaking. Here's a video about breaking black on purpose.
Adding McCormick Black - McCormick tends brown and is very concentrated. For small amounts of yarn, you need to dilute the black.
Adding Wilton Gray - There is a jar of gray in the Transformer Cake decorating set. We have an unopened jar. A silly little voice in my head says "don't use me, you may never find another jar of gray." Maybe we will celebrate our hundredth page by finally opening it.