Pattern: Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise [Ravelry link] Yarn: Cotton-ramie blend recycled from one of my favorite sweaters, lost to a stain I couldn't get out Yardage: best estimate, 987 yds Needles: US 5 Size: 78" wide x 38" deep Would I knit this pattern again? Given its size, probably not! But the pattern itself was fairly well written, with lots of alternate instructions for customization, so I would definitely recommend it.
Because I missed this beauty during its time as a mystery KAL, I jumped at the chance to participate in a KAL for it hosted by the Lace is My Bitch 2010 group on Ravelry. Because I have another KAL that started yesterday, I got this done a week ahead of schedule, so I may be the first one done!
The knitting itself was finished on Friday, and after I got home from work (12:30 Saturday morning) I spent nearly two hours finishing the crochet bind-off, washing, and blocking the shawl. I'm a fan of wet-blocking, so I tried that first, even knowing it was a cotton-ramie blend--I was hoping the fact that it was mostly cotton would mean it would take to wet-blocking well.
It didn't. By this morning, it had sprung back considerably, looking nearly as kinked and rumpled as while it was on the needles.
Lesson learned, I pinned it out dry this afternoon and proceeded to "kill" it, something I didn't even know you could do until a few weeks ago. I set my trusty iron as high as it would go without using steam, and patiently pressed my shawl. It worked! It's got magnificent drape now, and there's a slight sheen to the yarn that wasn't obvious before when it was kinky. I'm in love.
Blocking it once before, I had the opportunity to decide to try a different way the second time, and not doing it at two in the morning also made my mind a bit clearer. I didn't like the effect of having every chain loop in the bind off pinned out, so when I redid it today, I pinned each scallop out at the center, then added one pin on each side of the center until I liked the way it looked...three wasn't enough, seven too many, but five, well, I liked five just fine.
Hooray for learning new things! Now that I can make lace out of man-made fibers, the world of thrift shops is my oyster....