One Orange to Unite Them All

It is not, as I have explained to Joe a million times, that I am picky.  I am not picky.  I am precise.  I like things done the right way (and it is totally a co-incidence how often that correlates to my way) and I like to give things a lot of thought before they happen to make sure that things do mostly work out and I minimize uncomfortable surprises.

This makes knitting pretty much the perfect hobby for me, since there’s nobody to tell me that I can’t have it my way the right way all the time, and pretty much no limit to the number of times that I can rip things back and mess with them to satisfy my own set of peculiar standards, and it makes me just about the worst person in the world to be whacking dye on things.. because it’s so hard to plan and I know nothing about it and I don’t understand how it works and all of that would be bad enough – but add in that dye is permanent and you get someone (that would be me) who’s really reluctant to dye yarn- lest I get a mess that I can’t fix. This is bad enough with regular yarn, but with handspun?  I would be less likely to take up emu plucking as a hobby than dye handspun.

Now my friend Tina,  she’s not afraid of dyeing anything- and if you’re as dye repressed as I am, I would bet you $5 that the amount of abandon she has around this topic would be as disconcerting for you as it was for me.  Tina dyes like nothing bad can happen.  She dyes like yarn won’t be ruined if you make a mistake, she dyes like there’s no limit to the amount of dye and yarn there is in the world… she’s just not worried about it at all – and this makes us an unlikely dye team.  I stand behind her and say "Are you sure you want to put that much dye on?" or "That seems like a lot" or "Why not one skein instead of two" or "Can’t we just dip a corner in?" 

When Tina hears this, she just smiles and says something subtle like "Me dyer. You writer.  Shut up."

I do.  Mostly.

This weekend, Tina and I spent a good long time trying to dye my handspun.  I had a specific orange in mind that I wanted, and Tina was determined to help me find it.  We started by looking at other oranges (oranges inferior to the one in my mind) and critiquing them.  When Tina had an idea what I wanted, she started testing. 

My job? Be picky precise.  We spent hours. We had conversations like this.

Me: Tina, that’s not right.
Tina: Not right how?
Me: It’s too blue.  The orange is too blue. 
Tina: Right.  The orange is too blue – so more red?
Me: No. It needs to be dirtier.
Tina: Dirtier? Like this?
Me: No.  Like that.  That over there. That bush has almost the right colour of orange flowers except for they are too rosy.
Tina:Too rosy? 
Me: Too rosy. And it should be fiercer.
Tina: Fiercer… like that? 
Me: No.  Now it’s an angry fierce.  It should by cozy. 
Tina: Cosy like brown or cozy like red?
Me: Cosy like brown.  But less pink.  Not a pink brown. 
Tina:  Of course not.  That would be ridiculous.
Me: Exactly, and it shouldn’t have cool yellow. Warm yellow.
Tina: Just warm, or warm and dirty?
Me: Warm and dirty.
Tina: Awesome.  Like this? Does it need to be cozy, warm and dirty or are we done with cozy.
Me:  Oh no. Still cozy.
Tina: Naturally.  Let’s do another skein.

On and on it went, with Tina making notes and mixing dyes and me describing (poetically) the sort of orange that I wanted and the general mood of the colour.
(Again, I point out that I am not picky, it is just that I care a great deal. I’m misunderstood as an artist.)  We went on and on and Tina… well.  She seemed to be having a lot of fun, which is interesting, because it’s sort of the opposite way that Joe seems to feel about the version of this that you play when you have to choose a colour for the kitchen paint job.

We knew we had it when we pulled out a test skein that had both of us gasping.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.  We duplicated it on another skein….  just to make sure it was repeatable…

and then my handspun had its turn. 


Perfect orange.  Just perfect. 

I still don’t know what I’m going to make out of it.. but the pleasures of a deeply personal orange can’t be underestimated.

I love this colour, and I think Tina must too, because in the last 12 hours-

She’s put it on everything.

220 thoughts on “One Orange to Unite Them All

  1. Nice orange. What you described is why I can’t quite move myself to dye any yarn -not even with kool aid!

  2. That has got to be the coziest, fiercest, dirtiest, warmest orange that I have ever seen. Just awesome.
    I wish I had courage of color. Seriously, I fear color. If left to my own choices, everything I knit or wear would be black, grey, or white, with a flash of some primary color thrown in just to keep you guessing.

  3. That’s a perfect orange. I hope it will be available for others who love orange. Maybe if it were called “Harlot Orange” it would sell?

  4. As much as I admire your perfect orange, I wonder what has happened to all those other not-quite-right oranges? A few look really lovely to me.

  5. I’m not an orange person at all–yet, I love your orange. All the words you used to describe it are
    Amazing. Congrats on finding the perfect orange.

  6. I have a friend who agonized over the colour of beige she was painting her house. There were several, nay, a dozen, cans of paint bought and rejected. I think she would enjoy this post.

  7. I love it! Your story reminds me of the process I used to go through when painting and searching for the perfect shade of whatever color. By the end of it I would always have a HUGE pile of paint from all the colors I had added, and then I would be forced to use it on everything!
    <3 for the perfect orange!

  8. I too am wondering what is going to happen to all the not “precise” skeins.
    I’m not a big fan of oranges in general (I’m more of a blue/purple person), but have relatives who are and I’m sure they would love your orange.

  9. What happens to the rest of them?! What happens to the REST OF THEM?!!! I like a lot of what I see in the mistake pictures! Where do they goooooooooooo?

  10. Orange is a personal favorite of mine, it is highly underused in the world. Looks gorgeous on blue-eyed folk. Love the yarn – it’s perfect for fall.

  11. Wow, that is so neat!
    Yes, that is surely a really fantastic orange.
    But what of all those other skeins? I think everyone wants to know what will become of them.

  12. Loving the orange! And hey, be as picky (precise) as you want. It’s your art, it should be just what you want. (As the Mythbusters say, “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”)

  13. Ha! I can absolutely hear Tina and you having that discussion…at least you can articulate what you like in words not like me when I helplessly described the skein of Kidmo that I liked as the one “with all the colours” at the silk retreat. I thought Tina might slap me.
    Great Orange.

  14. I love the final orange…and all the other ones too. I would also like to know what will become of them.

  15. umm, doesn’t Tina sort of have a relatively bottomless supply of yarn to test with? Bottomless compared to most of us. I mean I have a large stash but not enough undyed to supply very many test skeins.

  16. It’s a Toronto orange as opposed to a Caribbean orange – though I do like the suggestion to call the final choice a Harlot orange.
    Good post!

  17. Being an indie yarn dyer myself, I played along trying to ascertain the color. My guess was along the lines of pumkpin pie. I was close. Your final result is a bit closer to cinnamony persimmon. Wow, say that three times fast. Ooh. I think I have a new color name and a color to dye now…

  18. That’s the colour of my living room walls. And I’m not an orange kind of person. I like red. Deep, dark, perfect red. Womb red. Like my bedroom. But I love my orange living room. It’s kind of like terracotta, except more orange and not so brown 😉

  19. Does that mean we’ll all get to sport something in Blue Moon Harlot Orange someday?

  20. Very likely that it’s my monitor, but the color you ended up with is not orange. It’s peach, or salmon, or the-color-of-the-rosebush-I-ripped-out-of-the-garden-because-it’s-not-really-orange. Lovely, but definitely not orange.

  21. What an inspiration ! Just as I am preparing to dye for the first time this weekend!
    I want to use KoolAid…will see how it turns out….and I love the idea of laying the goods on the grass…what a smart move!!!

  22. That is a really nice orange, and this is from a person who doesn’t really like orange. Congrats!
    I’m jealous of the fun you must have had.

  23. I know exactly what you are explaining with your words. Perhaps Tina approaches it with a more ‘pure science’ bent as well a dyer might, but she understands us lesser mortals who use descriptive words.
    I would go for ‘Stephanie Orange’ or ‘Pearl-McPhee Orange’, as there are, believe it or not, too many ‘non-raised-consciousness’ knit suppliers out there who know not the sway of the Harlot.
    Perfect Stephanie orange, though I would quail at the thought of so much yarn being used to achieve it, if that yarn hasn’t yet reached its dye saturation rate, it can be re-dyed.

  24. LUVS the oranges. But that one – looks like *sheepishly* Crayola’s Red Orange 🙂

  25. I only wish I had that much undyed yarn laying around. my yarn never stays undyed for more than a couple days.
    It is a lovely orange

  26. “Orange” you glad it came out so beautiful!!! (you know, “Aren’t / Orange”..?)
    sorry :o} Seriously-Very Nice!

  27. I have one word for you. Balance. and a second word. Raffle. Think of the MSF donations to raffle off not quite precise orange.

  28. I dye willy-nilly with complete abandon – and pure joy. I understand a bit of the theory behind mixing colors so maybe that’s why. But I also believe that in dyeing there are few mistakes – unless you mix opposite colors and end up with mud.

  29. It’s clear to me that Tina wasn’t concerned with all the rejected skeins because she knew there wasn’t a loser in the bunch and they’d all sell. Oh to have her talent and experience with color.

  30. It makes me so happy to know that you feel the same way about dying that I do! I am happy to let those who love it and excel at it, like Tina, do it.

  31. There can not be a “wrong” orange, maybe I am biased because the Dutch blood in my veins.
    Shopping for yarn, easy, I go for orange.
    The skeins of yarn in the pictures makes me want them all!!

  32. Well, if my monitor is remotely accurate, that is a *fantastic* orange!
    Will Tina be offering that color to the public?

  33. When I go to fiber festivals, I try to narrow down some quests, to limit my purchases. I do this by looking for color. The past few years, I have been looking for orange sock yarn. Most of the choices out there are unsatisfying for one reason or another. This orange on the other hand? I would break any yarn diet for this orange.

  34. Your first paragraph describes me so very well. I think I will print it off and tuck it in my knitting bag. That way I can pull it out and hand it off to whomever is criticizing the fact that I’m pulling out my work yet again to correct something.

  35. My friend’s family refers to this as an “inner sense of personal rightness”. 😉

  36. You’re right, you know. It is, in fact, Perfect.
    I would never have the courage to dye anything, but I know perfection when I see it, and… that’s it!

  37. When you said you had “peculiar” standards, I’m sure you meant “particular,” right :-)?

  38. Oh, that’s beautiful! I am an editor (and proofreader, and oh do ballet for fun too — yah, not anal at all, am I?) and that’s exactly what I go through. Like, with everything. Makes me nuts, and I realized recently that’s why I can’t deal with knitting lace. Too much stress.
    But you and Tina totally rocked it!! And kudos to her for enjoying the process.

  39. Hey that’s the orange part of our black & orange school colors! Totally love it!

  40. You are lucky to have a friend that speaks your color language.
    Also, your orange is spectacular. The perfect fall/winter orange!

  41. Such a beautiful precise orange. Great job. Maybe it will eventually be for sale on the Blue Moon website as Stephanie’s Orange. Can you be that generous with your deeply personal orange colorway?
    It reminds me a little of a Terra Cotta pot. I like it too and I’m not even an orange lover.

  42. Love your orange…I know how you feel..when you see the right color in mind there is no changing..that is so very clear and beautiful.
    Tina, I want a skein..

  43. It’s nice to know that you and so many people like orange but not me boys. Orange to me is for oranges and pumpkins. Can’t wait to see what it becomes. Good job on getting the shade you wanted.

  44. How exciting, that you were able to describe your “perfect orange”, and that Tina was able to translate your words into a beautiful color!

  45. I don’t like orange. BUT I love the orange you made. It’s perfect. Also reminds me of conversations I have with my husband when we’re mixing martinis. . . .

  46. That sounds almost exactly like me and my mom and how we dye. I would be Tina and my mom would be you. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as a mistake – they are “happy accidents”. Mom is a much more careful dyer – but slowly, so slowly, she’s learning how to dye with abandon!

  47. Please send Tina to my house. You can come, too.
    I have had 5 pounds (!) of superwash merino hanging in my garage for some years now, just waiting for me to get brave.
    I need more than an encouraging push!
    Your work is terrific!

  48. Um, Steph? Could we ask Casey for a love(gigabillion) button? Love orange, love your orange, love your relationship with Tina, love you both…

  49. Steph’s Cozy?
    Harlot Orange?
    Dirty Harlot? 🙂
    Whatever it gets called, I wanna buy some. Can I? Please? Perfect orange,like a perfect red, is hard to get and if you’re pleased with it, I just know I will be, too.
    Hope Tina prepares lots and lots of it for sale…

  50. I’ve gotten an orange like that from madder. No, I never get red from madder. Part of the thrill of natural dyeing is that it’s even less certain than chemical dyeing – but the colors are rich and warm.

  51. Lovely orange. I would call it Light Persimmon. Persimmon is a very nice subtle orange.(Fuyu, not Hachiya persimmon.)

  52. reluctantly asking – how is this orange different from copperline? Because that’s a cozy fierce orange if you ask me. Also reminds me of TsockTsarina’s firebird color a little. Maybe only in the precision of the color, though.
    And also, I found that the answer to having a spouse who is ‘precise’ in his color preferences is to paint the kitchen while he’s away and tell him he can repaint if he doesn’t like it. I got it my way – or, rather, the right way.

  53. i have a comment and a question
    1) to me that is the color of orange pop.
    2) what are you going to knit out of this superior orange?

  54. You’ve got yourself mountains of yarn there! Is it all that you wanted, dreamed of, coveted?
    I’m scared to dye any yarn. No, petrified! I need some advice on being fearless from Tina.

  55. Nice orange. Orange is a funny color. I wasn’t a big fan of it as a kid, but now I love it. It was also my Dad’s favorite color…anything orange makes me think of him.

  56. ROFL! I surprised the two of you were speaking after the dyeing session. Hilarious.
    It IS an awesome orange. Seems like a soft orange to me. Is there any hope it might show up in the next Blue Moon sock club installment? I can only hope, I guess!

  57. As you said to me at the silk retreat when I showed you my dyed silkmo, “Shut up!!!!! That is awesome”!! That is a PERFECT orange and I’m not an orange kind of person!!
    LOVE IT!!! Me…….I’m like Tina…..I could dye all day every day!
    An aside….did you get the picture of my silk bonnet on a baby that I emailed you about a month ago? I just want to be sure you got to see it. I impressed my knitting group with it last week and have inspired others to knit with silk hankies!

  58. That last orange skein is beautiful, in a way that the other oranges weren’t quite. Although, they are beautiful in their own way, they really weren’t the same color as the final orange. It is hard to describe the “perfect” color! Don’t get me started on blue!
    My kids dyed some yarn, with kool-aid, in the kitchen. It turned out beautiful!
    What are you going to do with all the other yarn? Would be a pretty rainbow of colors on something!

  59. I LOVE orange, but most versions make me look a bit old and tired (think Color me Beautiful from the 1070’s). So your persimmon-y sort of red-orange would probably work for me. Lovely!!
    I can wear Raspberry rather than maroon, too, as long as it has the delicious chocolate brown undertones.
    Looks like you both had a blast.

  60. Now I know why I love you, Harlot! Only you and I know there is a perfect, fierce, dirty, cozy-like-brown-not-rosy orange to be had.

  61. i am in awe of your poetic conversations. and i’m sure i’d have just as much fun dyeing with you–i adore mixing colours!

  62. Oh, Mrs. Blandings! What a great gig you have…and a great friend! About a year ago, I was having a stash visit and came across a group of vintage (not old) Cascade 220 [strangely, it used to be much softer – go figure]. I asked my daughter: ‘what color would you say this is?’ and she replied, without hesitation – 1930s Palm Desert Summer House. I promptly made her a hoodie.
    Guess what color you made? Rock on.

  63. I love the orange. It reminds me of my search for the sunset mauve/grey colour search I had for my bedroom. I found it and smile every morning when I wake up to it.

  64. absolutely gorgeous, makes me jelous that i can’t wear orange or i’d make myself a comfy cozy sweater or shawl out of yarn that color!

  65. She should make some of that up on Socks That Rock and call it YarnHarlot OJ. There’s a “club” at Ravelry that cannot stop themselves from buying/making whatever the Harlot makes (me included)…that orange would sell out in hours. 🙂

  66. Magic Yarn Harlot Orange! Well done.
    You know… in the hindu/yoga tradition that is the orange of renunciation – ie becoming a monk. Believe, I know that orange ANYWHERE. I lived in a yoga ashram for three years. 🙂

  67. I’m united! (I’ll take that orange any day.)
    Speaking of orange, I recently talked my DH out of buying a warm-chic-modern-retro orange toddler bed that he thought would nicely match a sunny-bright-hippy-rainbow type orange quilt that my mom made us. Um. No. One orange is not the same as any other. ‘Course, after reading your post, I’m all geared up for dying my mom’s quilt!

  68. What is to become of the “inferior” colored skeins of yarn? Orange you glad you did this with Tina so she can transform them with her mad dyeing skills? The fruit of your labor, the handspun, is quite a-peeling.

  69. Awesome orange.
    And you might explain, as I told my “friend”, it isn’t picky and critical, it is discriminating and analytical. So there!

  70. So…if Tina’s putting this amazing orange on “everything,” does that mean the rest of us might have access to some variant of it in the future? Because I LOVE it.

  71. Responses to this post exploded with puns and worse puns. You have a way of bringing out the best in people and yarn! (Gotta look up that Ravelry group that does the same knit projects you do…’cuz I have been an unofficial member for years!)

  72. Visit any website about “Sandstone HIghway,” “Valley of the Gods” (Utah, USA) or “Window Rock” (Arizona, USA. Every time I am in the desert Southwest I wallow in that color.
    It is also the color of Southeastern American red-dirt soil. I just love it.
    I totally understand that much agony over color, but I am a fearless dyer anyway. Go figure.
    I seem to remember you having the reverse problem of this issue with “just plain white” not so awfully long ago. 😉

  73. totally get your description of wanting to plan and control it all. And every Stephanie needs a Tina. What a great combo you are. Your yarn looks awesome.
    As for what Tina does with all those “rejects”, can I guess that she combines them into some kind of amazing one of a kind multicolor combo yarn?

  74. TADAH!
    THE Perfect orange-red!
    Now…What to call it….
    Persimmon TART?
    Tarty Pumpkin?
    Orange Hussy?
    Sunset Pumpkin?

  75. Love that yarn and would definitely wear it too! Now I’m curious to see what it will want to become. Your story made me realise I’m probably more of a Tina (even though my middle name is Stephanie) when it comes to putting colour in stuff. But I can really appreciate the urge to have something ‘just so..’. This batch of yarn was well worth the effort I think. Maybe you could design some colourways to go with your patterns?

  76. I love finding the right color to match something for someone. It’s so much fun! Yes, it can be frustrating, hair pulling, and a test of one’s patience, but when you finally get exactly the right color, it so ROCKS!!! I had a friend who had an antique scarf she was repairing and it took me quite a while to finally match the color. There were a few times that I was so frustrated I could have screamed, but I finally got it. I was so excited and I learned a lot so it was all good. That’s why I love dyeing so much (and fiber arts too!) There is always something new to learn! Great color!

  77. I love finding the right color to match something for someone. It’s so much fun! Yes, it can be frustrating, hair pulling, and a test of one’s patience, but when you finally get exactly the right color, it so ROCKS!!! I had a friend who had an antique scarf she was repairing and it took me quite a while to finally match the color. There were a few times that I was so frustrated I could have screamed, but I finally got it. I was so excited and I learned a lot so it was all good. That’s why I love dyeing so much (and fiber arts too!) There is always something new to learn! Great color!

  78. Yesterday on my facebook I challenged all my photogaphy friends to take pictures of orange things.
    This morning I read your blog … and there’s orange things.
    Are we mentally connected? Strange coincidence 🙂
    Love the colors!!

  79. That is Ginny Weasley hair orange. I have spent over an hour in Webs searching for that exact shade for a doll’s hair. (I found something very close, eventually, but it was a tad too gingery.)

  80. Okay, I am not usually a big fan of orange, but let me say that when I saw the final orange I gasped! It is the perfect orange! I love it!

  81. It’s almost the same shade as the “Keep Calm and Carry On” book in your previous post. At least that’s how it looks on my monitor.

  82. Wow! Does that look like fun! I thought at first all those “test” skeins were your handspinning, and I thought “Stephanie never spun all that on just Tuesdays!” Your progressive skeins are lovely, and I want to know if Tina makes house call outside of Canada……

  83. Yes! I can’t dye either, too easy to “mess something up” permanently. And that really is a perfect shade of orange!

  84. Great colour!
    As I was reading I thought “She’s trying to find the the colour of my dining room curtains…” and sure enough you were and did. 🙂
    It’s the only shade of orange I like and like it I do, very much!

  85. Orange is a very easy color to get not-quite-right. Congratulations on making the perfect orange. It sounds to me like you and Tina make a great dyeing team, and perhaps the two of you should pick out your paint colors next time and let Joe get a nice surprise.

  86. Either that or she worked so hard getting it “right” that she might as well make lots of it in case you ever want yarn of that color again. You know, so she’d be prepared.
    Or she liked it too. Your choice! 🙂

  87. Beautiful Color!!! And I like a whole bunch of the trial pieces, too – especially the peachy colored ones down by the yellow!
    This is why Blue Moon has such wonderful colors and fibers. This much attention to detail, and this much love for it shows in every skein. Good Job Tina – Good Vision, Stephanie.
    Can’t wait to see what this beautiful string will magically be turned into.

  88. Bonnie Hunter over at would call you “control oriented”. Sounds much nicer than “picky”, doesn’t it?
    Beautiful color – I can’t wait to see what you make with your handspun. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing that colorway on BMFA’s web site before long. I still haven’t used my RSC discount yet, so yay for me!

  89. GASP! GASP!!!! I LOVE ORANGE! And that, Stephanie, is pure bliss in orange form. I would kill for such a gorgeous skein of heavenly orange. Ohhh to be so lucky to have Tina as a friend. I may cry from the beauty of that most perfectly cozy, warm, fierce orange. *sigh*

  90. Steph, I love you like my stash of sock yarn, but… As someone who works in the printing industry and has dealt with customers who use similar terms to describe the color moves they want on their printed pieces… I think I would have pushed your face into a warm, dirty, cozy, vibrant, soft, brilliant, popping dye pot of orange yarn. 🙂
    But then I’m also the type of dyer who doesn’t take notes when I dye.So all of my skeins are one of a kind.

  91. Oh, how I can relate to your “control issues”! LOL Don’t know if I will ever have the courage to dye my handspun. You and Tina make an awesome team! The yarn is beautiful.

  92. I know *exactly* what you mean. Yesterday I thought I might treat myself to some yarn, to make something (at least one of *3* possible projects) in the Nora Gaughan book I’d just bought. Do you think I could find the right shade of rosy pink? I mean, not too brown, not too muted, but not too loud, either. And in the right weight (sport or light DK, not lace, not regular DK, not sock…not striping…) And a wool/blend, not cotton. Sigh….And if, judging by your experience, dyeing isn’t any easier…?!

  93. Orange, the edge of the spectrum that I adore (from
    orange-violet). Orange, especially worn with
    purple, bliss. I know I liked your writing, (and
    Tina’s skill in dying), now I know why. Orange.

  94. Ooh! Perfect orange (and I am precise as all get out, and orange is my favourite colour). Can we all have some?

  95. I don’t even like orange, and I like that orange.
    To be able to dye yarn… or spin… I have a laundry list of fiber related “learn to do’s”. 🙂

  96. If you subsitute William for Joe in the first paragraph, it’s the same converstion I have had a million times with my spouse 🙂

  97. You and I could by dyeing twins. I have the exact fears as you, the permanence of it all scares me away from it. That need for perfection keeps me away from spinning also. I keep myself busy with knitting and trying new techniques, that I enjoy and can do! It’s not just in dyeing yarn, I have a pack of 24 “Sharpie” permanent magic markers I have yet to open, I stick to the black and red for now.

  98. Gorgeous! I’m exactly the same way. My husband just can’t understand. It was so fun reading about the process and seeing all of that beautiful dye. I love dyeing! 🙂

  99. Ok, your handspun is gorgeous…but I also think something crazy-awesome should happen with those test skeins!
    Having now met Tina and taken a dye class from her, reading this post was like a flashback. I could almost hear her LOL. She is one special lady 🙂

  100. After reading this post, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tina has to book paid appointments with knitters like you who are in search of that perfect, elusive shade.

  101. I had to laugh when my boyfriend came up behind me as I was looking at the orange skeins. He asked what was going on, I explained you two were trying to find the right orange. “Honey your people are strange, orange is orange.” I just laughed.
    He may think we are strange but he does think knitting is magic and the first gift he bought me was a sweater pattern I had been admiring.

  102. That color is Beautiful! I also would love some in a sock yarn; can’t wait to see what Tina will do.
    And see what you make out of your handspun!

  103. That is a really nice orange. I like all the others too though. The thing I love about dyeing is the serendipity. Also, if it ever does come out ugly, you can overdye it and get something gorgeous. You really can’t go wrong.

  104. That color, in Colombia, where I lived for almost 20 years, is called “Zapote”. A delicious tropical fruit. I looooove that color, good job!

  105. This from the woman who still feels it was unreasonable for the paint store guy just to give her “white” paint.

  106. That yellow, all the way at the end? THUD. Love it. Adore it and want to have its little sunshiney wool babies.

  107. That orange is a KNOCKOUT. I try to be wabisabi about dyeing–treat it like it’s Noro, and embrace anything weird that happens–but it is still pretty scary!

  108. Absolutely beautiful orange. I like “Harlot Orange” for the name. The dyeing advice I got at my local yarn store is “Dye like noone is watching!”

  109. Dude, where can I get my own personal sure. I’m a bit like you in the dye department. I really like all your oranges!

  110. That may be the awesomest insight I’ve had into the dying process. Afraid you can’t get the perfect color? Start with lots and lots and lots of white yarn, and look for a perfect color. ’cause really, all the wrong oranges are also pretty, and if I started trying for the perfect periwinkle and got lots of not-perfect blues and purples… that’d be awesome! And, obviously, lots of notes, so that all those colors are repeatable. If only you’d done this in June- I know it’s only August, but I’m not sure I have enough dyeing-outside-season left to go as nuts as I want to…

  111. OMG. Dirty Harlot Orange! Does the best suggested name for the color get one of the so-called “mistakes” as a prize? You gals most certainly do rock. Enjoyed this post.

  112. I’m not an orange fan. (You’re very rarely going to catch me buying anything orange, apart from the fruit.) But that’s quite a nice orange, not so hard and bright as others I’ve seen. I agree with the commenter who said it’s a persimmon colour. (If nothing else, the word persimmon is a lovely one.)
    I’m a bit colour obsessed at the moment. I loved the dyeing class I did recently; I came home with over a kilo of merino-alpaca-silk to play with! I also got a book to help me get the colours I want (Basic Colour: A Practical Handbook), which was really helpful. And I think I was pretty successful, well, apart from getting green rather than blue.
    Your fellow knitblogger Kate wrote about colour at the weekend too:

  113. OH! Pretty!
    I always figure, when making colors, that, even if I don’t particularly care for it, someone will… and have sold the damnedest combinations (like the turquoise and blue purple, who’d know that would turn out so well? My friend snatched all of it for her sister, the new grandmother, whose new grandchild is going to have a bright and colorful sweater).
    Usually, though, my favorites among the dyes, sell first… telling me that either my customers all have excellent taste or I’m a very common person (I think it’s the excellent taste 🙂

  114. I went yarn shopping & saw a skein in on orange that was just awsome. At the time I couldn’t justify the cost & reluctantly left the shop without it. Later I went on a mad spree looking for it, yarn with ‘just exactly the right orange’. Finally at Md S&W I found it… Cherry Tree Hill in Tangerine. I searched for just the right pattern and settled on Kalajoki and cast on for my amazing orange (traffic cone) socks. They are done and lovely-the pattern rocks!

  115. I love your perfect orange, as well as all the test skeins! Orange is one of my favorite colors, and happens to look good on my son, so I’m always on the hunt for orange yarn. Like others, I’m curious what will happen to all those beautiful test skeins in the background? =)

  116. I thought of “Siam Sunset” a movie I have seen many years ago and now own on DVD, too.
    That man there wanted to create the perfect sunset red-orange and went mad searching for it.
    You and Tina were a great team finding the just right dye solution, and I am looking forward to the finished project in the perfect orange.

  117. Lovely Orange!
    I totally get both sides of the color conversation. Why you make good friends… one has the words the other the picture. 🙂 Enjoy your orange.
    Funny enough I need some orange in my life for my good friend. I think I’ll have to see if I can hunt up this lovely shade.

  118. Gorgeous, just orange goodness. Now what are you going to make out of it?
    Any chance that we can get our hands on the other stuff? (I love the yellow at the top!)
    Pretty pretty please? (With an orange on top?)

  119. That’s a gorgeous orange!
    One of National Geographic’s wildlife photographers was asked how many pictures he took to get the five in the article. Something like 50 made the almost-final cut, of the 2000 he gave the editor, of the 100,000 photos he took — all for a few articles.
    Tina must know that guy.

  120. Maybe a new definition of friend should include and puts up w/your indiosyncracies patiently. p.s. One of those oranges is my definition of the perfect orange.

  121. Perfect way to whet our appetites for autumn knitting projects. Warm brown and cozy-fierce orange.

  122. I’m with Elisa – Fall Tart
    I’ll admit that I like the undyed yarn more, but I love the color on the cream base yarn.
    And seriously — how many test hanks does Tina have!?!

  123. OOH! Had to laugh! I’ve never dyed but I do go into Home Depot or wherever and make them alter their formulas for me. The constant refrain of course, when I say “Three less units of burnt sienna and two more of cobalt blue” is always “Hey lady, we can’t guarantee the color, ya know!” Hey, I got it. Please, just do what I asked! It ( knock on wood) has always come out right!

  124. It’s a little hard to be sure on a computer, but that looks to me exactly like Texas Tech’s “burnt orange”. It is a unique color.

  125. I love that orange! Well, I love orange, not as much as I love, love, love blue, but then, being a Baltimore Oriole fan, of course I love orange. That orange is like a burnt orange, or the color of the rocks, arches and canyon walls of Arches National Park. Just beautiful.
    I understand the obsession with color. My dear, devoted and patient husband painted my kitchen and then repainted two more times until I got the shade of yellow I wanted.

  126. It’s warm and cozy and fierce and worth the effort. I love reading your posts outloud to my family.

  127. My husband loves orange. I’m not overly keen on it (orange and yellow and teak and black kitchen in the 70s?). But your orange is beautiful!!!!!!!

  128. You are lucky to have found your yarny soul-mate. And the color is gorgeous! I hope Tina makes lots and lots of it 😉

  129. Orange. I plant orange flowers, but for me, orange is an “only on my cold dead CARCASS” color. It makes me look like a cold dead carcass or like my liver enzymes need to be drawn.

  130. I never thought I’d say this: that is one perfect orange (and several almost perfect).
    Could have used it when I was making carrots!
    Tina and you have something very special and it’s more than making great orange.

  131. that is amazing. when I saw ‘the’ orange I gasped – that was it. you two are goooood.

  132. This is hysterical – couldn’t help but laugh – really brightened my day. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  133. I know that you’re a vegetarian, but can I just point out that (at least on my computer screen), that last picture looks like the yarn equivalent of a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs?! 😀

  134. “I just want it the way I want it. That’s all. And I want it the color of the goldfish I had as a child. Thank you very much” -Seems perfectly normal to me.

  135. I’m with those who wonder what happens to the rest of the multitudes of oranges. With all of the variations in color they would make amazing hats and scarves and sweaters for those who were inclined to do the work.

  136. Stephanie, Tina! OMG! That is MY Orange! Orange is my favourite colour and that is EXACTLY my favourite shade of orange! 🙂

  137. Love it! When my husband and I got marred 2 years ago, that was my precise color of orange that I just “had” to have for everything….. right down to hubby’s tie & the shoes I walked down the aisle in. I won’t begin to speak of the time spent searching for this exact color….. so glad it’s been put in this yarn. Maybe Tina would consider dying some for the rest of us???

  138. OK – I completely understand this – DH husband left me in the paint store once after I had stood there for 6 hours trying to find the right green for the home office (he walked the two miles home to clear his head and left me the car.) I closed the store down that night and went back the next day for another three hour search/sample discussion, but in the end I found my green (think light granny smith apple with a touch of lemon grass – Spring in a can.) Love the orange – it’s rich and beautiful.

  139. OK – pumpkin from the garden on a late fall morning orange. Definitely to be named Harlot Orange or Toronto Orange. Meanwhile, I’ll take ALL the trial skeins, especially the peachy one and any that went too “rosy.” Yes indeedy. Fun with fingerpaints.

  140. I get the precise thing,which is totally different from picky. Picky is willfulness. Precise is having a vision and trying to see it realized.
    I want you to know that I have been packing up a house for the past few weeks, and it is a mind numbing job at best. Every single item must be handled and decided about. Every. Single. Thing. Big house, lots of kids, ‘nuf said.
    When I am sick of packing or can’t force myself to look at one more empty box (mocking me!), I sit down and read your blog. I’ve been working my way from the start to now. (Might have a little problem with packing avoidance, but that is not what I am here to talk about).
    I want to say THANK YOU for posting about your life, passions, family, house, knitting, worries, beliefs, joys, triumphs, stumbles…all of it.
    It helps me as I trudge along wondering why I did not get a better domestic gene (or maybe I only got one and a person needs two?).
    It helps me feel connected to a bigger pool of people who knit and care about each other and the world around them. It is necessary for people to connect and share.
    Thanks!! for taking the time and being generous with your life and way of looking at the world (including the brilliant days and maybe especially the crappy ones). It helps the rest of us…or at least me…feel inspired, and like maybe we are doing ok too.

  141. Wondermous orange!
    And those not-quite-right skeins would be perfect for a progressive-colorway project. Just imagine a coat or big blanket going from sunny yellow to orange-brown. Nom!

  142. Very interesting. I have often said that I appear to be a pretty mellow person because I take all my control issues out on my knitting. I get 40 sts to 10 cm when everyone else gets 30, I refuse to work with self-striping yarns because *I* will decide when to change color, I refuse to take a perfectly respectable shortcut if it will make the pattern look ever so slightly different, and so on. Yet when dyeing I just wind up and let go; if it turns out wrong I can always overdye it. This might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never dyed my own handspun.
    Now you have me wondering, though… what if I took a whole bunch of different shades along one side of the color wheel, similar to your last pic but one, and overdyed them all the same color? (That color would most likely be blue, or possibly purple. Chacune a son gout.) And then knit a sweater in vertical stripes?

  143. As Carol Soderlund is known say, when it comes to dyeing, it’s not over ’till it’s black.

  144. Yummy yarn! Makes me want to take up spinningand dyeing.
    I might need to anyway…..last night while I was counting stiches my husband suggested a sheep hunt. Translation he goes to shoot sheep, I as dutiful loving angelic wife…ok I might have expanded there a bit hehe…does camp chores for the menfolk. I commented I better get some yarn outta that trip and he says, “Well duh babe you can have a whole sheeps worth.” Then he thanks me for agreeing with his plan and scampers off before I even fully realize what has just happened. Ahhh gotta give him points for ingenuity.
    Anyway, you should do a shawl with it….maybe something condo knit. The open knit would bring out the warmth of the color I bet.

  145. Someone mentioned tangerine; completely forgot about the gorgeous Fleece Artist Tangerine in my stash!
    Guess what color my next pair of socks are going to be?!

  146. I’d love to know what kind of dye to use, process, and how to set the color so it won’t run. I dye mostly cotton clothing and have heard about synthrapol. Advice would be most appreciated. Thanks.

  147. Damn, I had this plot to dye some yarn for you your own personal orange but in sock, not in that way awesome handspun you’ve got there. I was thinking I could give Tina some yarn of her own also.
    Now I’ve got some thinking to do.

  148. This cracked my shit up…maybe because I can relate. Finding the perfect peacock blue-teal-green is quite an adventure, too (though a *completely* worthwhile endeavor).

  149. “Tina dyes like nothing bad can happen. She dyes like yarn won’t be ruined if you make a mistake, she dyes like there’s no limit to the amount of dye and yarn there is in the world… she’s just not worried about it at all . . .”
    I love it. That’s how I want to live my life. :o)
    ‘I stand behind her and say “Are you sure you want to put that much dye on?” or “That seems like a lot” or “Why not one skein instead of two” or “Can’t we just dip a corner in?”
    When Tina hears this, she just smiles and says something subtle like “Me dyer. You writer. Shut up.” ‘
    LOLOLOL I love it. :o) It sounds like you two had a wonderful day on this, with awesome results. Way to go! I can’t wait to see what happens with your handspun . . .

  150. I had my ‘orange period’ about two years ago. Currently seem to be in the green phase. I like the shade you developed.
    Hardest shade to get the right shade: red. HAS to be a bluey red not an orangey red.
    Generally, I avoid most yellow altogether except for the very rare lovely soft buttery yellow. Acid yellow as seen in one particular manufacturer’s sock yarn…yechh! (Though respecting that there are those out there who love it.)

  151. That is the perfect University of Texas Longhorns “I Bleed Orange” Burnt Orange! As an alumni I LOVE IT! Kudos to your perseverance in getting just the right color.

  152. That is a gorgeous orange! I know that you spun the skeins that you were testing to get the perfect colour for, but where did you get the test skeins? I’ve been looking everywhere for yarn that I can dye myself that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg since I’m new to it.

  153. Gorgeous! Kinda between salmon and terra cotta. I see all colors as one of the DMC floss numbers. 🙂 All those skeins look like one beautiful peaceful sunset somewhere, too.

  154. Ok, Stephanie, to each their own orange (not my color of choice either as was mentioned several hundred posts ago).
    We do, however, understand the color descriptive riff out here in the blog. I’m not sure what THAT says about the state of the world, but it can’t be a bad thing.

  155. Awesome dedication. And you are so funny! I love reading your blogs. You feel a lot of what I feel, but you’re WAY better at putting it into words. Hang in there – we love it!

  156. EZ is the queen!
    I rave about her to everyone I know (and many I don’t know.) I need the book so that I can carry it around and recommend it to all of the libraries in my area and her knitting know how can be spread far and wide.
    (I’m glad you’re out of your funk, too.)

  157. I like your orange. I’m not a dyer, but sometimes it’s a convenient route to take. I knit a pair of alpaca gloves, but knew I wanted them darker. I dyed them in grape Koolaid and got a muddy brown colour, totally wrong. So I put them in Fruit Punch for a second run and got a lovely fox brown colour. I’m stopping there.

  158. Wow, you’re a riot to read ~ but I can’t seem to find a way to subscribe to your blog. Am I dense? Or is there really no way?

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