I finally completed the Echo Flower Shawl at knit night last Thursday, and washed and blocked the shawl as soon as I got home.
It was the first time I blocked anything so fast, I usually keep putting off blocking because I don’t have the space, the time or any excuse really… I love the magic of blocking, but I’m always a bit put off by the process. But this time I’d been wanting to wear the shawl every time I was picking up my knitting for the past couple of weeks, so I couldn’t wait for it to be blocked, and had to do it immediately.
I tried a couple of things I’d never done before, and which I’ll definitely do again. First, after washing the shawl and finishing it with a vinegar rinse (the water was a beautiful turquoise after the wash), I put it in the spin programme in the washing machine. I’d never even thought of doing that, fearing it might felt the yarn or something similar, but Eddie told she did it all the time with her handwash only knits. It was magical, the shawl came out ever so slightly wet but dried so much faster than usual because most of the water had been spun out of it in the machine. Definitely will do that with all my hand washing in the future.
New thing the second: I blocked my shawl on the floor, on my carpet (with a layer of towels to protect the shawl from any dirt that might be in the carpet and the carpet from any dye that might still come out of the shawl). This worked out well too, except for the fact that I couldn’t find my T-pins anywhere which are my only pins sturdy enough to keep my blocking wires well in place for a taut blocking. The shawl was dry in time to take with me to Crafty Coffee, even though I hadn’t even yet woven it the ends. I did that there and wore it all day but I have to admit I didn’t think it was open enough and I decided to block it again.
I’ve been wearing it almost every days for almost a week now, and it’s shrunk back quite a bit… That’s made me realise a second blocking was not just a good idea, but a necessary step. I’m not very patient, and not a great fan of putting pins in, but a full size shawl represents so many hours of knitting it deserves a tiny bit of patience in the finishing stages.
Just another close-up of the nupps just before I finished the shawl, because I can’t help it:
I’ll try and take more pictures of the second round of blocking, if my camera behaves…