(A little obscure sci-fi humour, there). A few months ago we attended a "rummage sale" held by a couple of SCA costumers and picked up, among other things, a nice Medieval wool hood. Unfortunately, the color was sort of "My Little Pony Violet": gag. Today I finally bit the bullet and tried the Kool-Aid dye method, with 50% Lemon Lime (green) and 50% Black Cherry (raspberry red), hoping for a muddy ochre color. The cherry totally overpowered the lime! I ended up with a dark, rusty raspberry color...not quite medium burgundy. Ick. I added coffee and tea and onion skins, then had a sanity attack and dumped the dye bath.
A little research on local plants turned up the fact that the noxious weed that grows in our pasture (and the horses refuse to eat) is "curly dock" and that its root makes a great brown to greenish brown (depending on the mordant) dye. A bit of digging, washing, and chopping later, and I now have a big batch of dye going on the stove. The hood is sitting in an alum/cream of tartar mordant, and I think I'll do some touch up henna on my hair while I wait for it all to percolate. Might as well make a big mess as a little one (especially since I JUST cleaned the bathroom...o well).