Today, I did a little experimental gradient dyeing with the WINGS shawl.
I used an asparagus steamer, which is a slimmish cylinder and nice and high, and also has a steaming basket which is handy for taking the item out of the dyebath to add more water. I used about half a teaspoon of dye and two cups of water to start with.
I wet the shawl and wrung out the excess moisture, and used a hair elastic to tie off the first section (the collar) that I wanted the darkest.
Then, I wrapped the rest of the shawl in cling wrap and twisted it around the handle of the steamer basket to keep it out of the dyebath.
I put the pot with the shawl on the stove, and simmered it for about five minutes.
Then I took it out, marked off another section with the elastic (by this stage I got rid of the cling wrap because it wasn't really achieving anything).
I added two cups of water to the dyebath, and immersed the shawl up to the new marker.
I did this twice more, taking it out, moving the elastic up the shawl a little, and then adding two cups of water. I also ditched the steamer basket and just draped it over the side of the pot once the length wasn't in danger of catching alight from the gas burner flame.
For the final section, I added another two cups of water and submerged the whole thing. At this stage I added a big splash of vinegar to fully exhaust the dye.
Then, I put it over the verandah railing and waited for a good looking person to
walk in my front door for a photoshoot!
Luckily, I didn't have to wait long, for my sister popped in at just the right time. Unfortunately, the shots I took didn't seem to show the graduation very well, so I took some more pictures in the bathroom.
All in all I was quite pleased with how it came out, except I accidentally had some of the folded shawl in the first dyebath so there's a bit of dark where it shouldn't be - but I learned from that and would be more careful next time.