The last stitches were completed on The Victoria, AKA the purple shawl of death, within the past week. Did you hear my primal scream??
This was an interminable project. It sat idle for months at a time, and at one point I wondered how I'd ever summon the fortitude to make it around the perimeter with that devilish border. The answer was to take a few cleansing breaths and get down to business. That happened this fall.
My window of opportunity for lace knitting (before I get tired and prone to stupid mistakes) is about one border repeat per evening. So slow and steady--as many evenings as I could, I knocked off one border. Enough evenings, and voila--a completed shawl. You know the Days of Our Lives line about sands through the hourglass? Well, here are the days of my life, all laid out in yarnovers and DOUBLE yarnovers of purple Kidsilk Haze.
Ends have been woven in, and all that remains is the blocking.
I get impatient with the blocking process. (The knitting is done and now this s..l..o..w process has to be done too? ) Don't we all want instant gratification? (Instant? I've been knitting on this thing since March of 2009!!) But of course it only makes sense to take the time to do it right. Blocking magically changes the character of the piece.
I first dunked the shawl in cold water; it's amazing how it soaked up the water. I let it soak for 15 minutes or so--wanted to make sure it was saturated.
A couple years ago, I invested in a set of blocking wires, which are worth every penny. Anyone thinking of knitting a shawl--bite the bullet; buy the blocking wires. I think these cost about $40 US.
The set has wires of two sizes. These are the shorter ones.
You can weave the wires along an edge and the edge will dry straight and true. Without the wires, pins are needed every half inch or more and the edge would still no doubt end up with wiggles. With the wires, only occasional pins are set to hold things square and straight.
This shawl's border has points. I stretched each point out and pinned it.
Here's the whole thing laid out on the floor on beach towels--hence the odd colors floating up from underneath. I sprayed the whole shawl with water when it was all pinned--just to make sure none of the points had begun to dry.
Now just to wait a couple days till it's all dry.