as I have yet to find a better way of 'blocking' a shawl. For any non-knitter who happens to be reading this 'blocking' is an essential part of the finishing process. You soak the item you have knitted. (I do this in lukewarm water with a dollop of the sort of shampoo that has conditioner in it.) Then you gently stretch and pin the item to shape - or you use blocking wires.
I have blocking wires but this shawl was circular and I prefer to pin each of the 72 points around the edge with a separate pin.
I designed this damn thing. I had to. There are plenty of shawl patterns around of course. I have several hundred myself. I will almost certainly never use them except as inspiration. Designing my own however is both a challenge and a necessity. My shawls get given away - often to be raffled off for something or other. It means I have to have an original. I cannot use someone else's work.
So, yesterday morning I placed the polystyrene boards on the floor of our lounge and set to work. This shawl is a very pale cream, almost white. It is mixture of wool and silk. It was difficult to see against the white of the polystyrene. Eventually, done to my satisfaction, I left it. Later in the morning one of the neighbours came in to pick up the little table my father had repaired. She saw the shawl pinned out and went back to get her Mongolian boarder. They investigated it closely. I have now been promised some yak wool next time Alimar goes home.
This morning it was dry so I have taken the pins out and put the blocking boards away. I will take the shawl up for the bookshop group to see this afternoon. We share projects so 'showing off' is not as bad as it might be.
I never thought I would learn to knit lace. I can still remember the first project. It is the only occasion on which I have followed a pattern from beginning to end. I only did it because I was not confident enough to change anything. It was a Pacific Northwest shawl for my mother. I have no idea what happened to it. She never wore it. It was not among her things when she died. She did wear the other things I made for her.
I do not suppose it really matters. What does matter is that my paternal grandmother had the patience to teach me to knit.