Blending Natural Colors at the Wheel


I had a student recently ask me, "Do you ever use natural colors?" And she didn't mean naturally dyed colors.

I do use naturals and there are some I'm quite fond of, humbug BFL and oatmeal BFL, have always excited me. Greys and browns make me quite swoony.

I've been spinning a bit of commercial Shetland from Dashing Mouse, and I recently ordered some moorit Shetland - the lighter redish-brown in the photo.


It’s gorgeous by itself, but I got the idea of blending the moorit with the other colors. I drafted it with white, grey and dark brown Shetland (bottom to top) into chunky 2-ply.

The moorit makes an nice accompaniment to all three of the naturals but the dark brown and moorit is my favorite today.

The white is too much contrast for me and I wish the grey were darker, more like oatmeal BFL.

white grey dark brown collage.jpg

Here’s a close up of the white and grey (left) and the grey and dark brown (right) all drafted with the moorit.

What I really like about all of these, and why I like drafting fiber together rather than carding or combing into a new color is the randomness of the color placement.

all three.jpg

I like the visual motion that the random placement gives the knitted fabric. It’s like the colors are skittering across the swatch.

I do want to spin some of each of these thinner to get the colors to blend more and then knit and weave them. I’m dying to know if the colors skitter in woven cloth too.

As a last fun thing, I drafted the moorit, grey and dark brown together. It was just a whim, but I think I like it the best of all.