But -- I've recently run across a merino/alpaca top in a natural brown/gray that fits the bill perfectly. The first photo shows raw fiber on the left and the merino/alpaca top on the right. You can see that they're close enough in color to work for my purposes.
The next photo is a yarn I made several years ago, charcoal gray merino plied with dyed magenta silk.
And this next photo shows samples of yarns I did a number of years ago using this technique -- those are on the left -- and a sample I just did up this morning on the right, showing the merino/alpaca blend plied with silk hankies I dyed a few weeks ago.
I love this technique because the gray really tones down the bright colors that I probably wouldn't use alone. Here's one last photo of a scarf I wove a few years ago out of yarn I'd spun thusly. The gray fleece in this case was a New Zealand roving that was quite a bit browner than the charcoal fleeces I used more recently.
Well, that's the creativity report for the day. A bit later I'll be looking at a possible studio space in Fortuna. (It hasn't escaped me that I'm moving to Fortuna -- possibly to find my fortune?)