I wish I'd taken a photo of the shawl before it was blocked! It was this small, wrinkled, lumpy bit of knitted fabric. I tossed it in a sink full of warm water and let it sit for about 20 minutes, swishing it gently once or twice. Then I squeezed out the excess water and rolled the shawl in a large towel. If you wring out the water, there is a huge risk of damage or distorting the knitted fabric. However, if you lay it on a dry towel, roll it up tightly and squeeze/roll it, you can get most of the water out of the fabric, without doing any damage.
The soaking relaxes the stitches and they miraculously even out. Then I assembled the blocking mats and set them on my fibre drying rack, which was close to the woodstove and had a fan running over it to move the air about. The pattern said to block "aggressively", so I used lots of T pins to pin out that shawl out so that the lace pattern would show. Even in our cool house, it only too a few hours to dry.
Kevin and I had an argument over whether he should be allowed to play with the T pins and drying shawl. He lost that one, though it took a bit of persuasion on my part. He sulked afterwards and I found him hiding under a piece of loom packing paper he'd dragged off. It was full of little Kevin claw and teeth marks when he was finally done and happier.
I I dug through a bin looking for fabric and found a lovely piece of dark, natural brown wool twill which had enough yardage for a skirt, which was exactly what I was looking for and had forgotten about. I also found these 5 skeins of plied yarn from who knows how long ago. Of course I didn't label it, so I've no idea for certain, what kind of fleece it is. I'm guessing Shetland as it's easily available from multiple sources locally and the spun yarn is medium soft like Shetland. However, with 422 grams, 16 wpi and 844 yards, I think it would be good yarn for a shawl. I haven't decided whether I'll use commercial yarn or handspun to pair with it. I have that grey from the started knitted plain shawl that I could frog. There is 450 grams of it and only slightly thicker grist. I also have some rather nice commercial wool/silk blends and a plain wool in about the same weight as well. The fun part of starting a project is figuring out all the details!