The mindless knitting on the shawl was perfect for the cold, blustery days we've been having. It meant I could listen to the hockey game while chatting with family and without paying a lot of attention to a fancy pattern. The shawl was large enough that it rested on my lap and kept me warm and cozy while I was knitting it.
I did have to forgo the last two rows of the bottom ruffle as my circular needle was full and there was no way that many more added stitches would fit on my needle. I almost wavered on the top ruffle but decided to do it anyway. I'm glad I did as it really does make the shawl that little bit different. It was only 2/3 of the bottom ruffle stitches, so not only did it fit on the needles but it seemed to go very quickly. The pattern is very intuitive and easy to remember, so no need to check the pattern every few minutes.
By the time I had cast off the last stitch, it was quite late and I decided to wait until the morning to block the shawl Knowing Kevin kitten's ability to get into mischief with the project du jour, I thought it safer to keep the blocking mats and pins out of temptation. Yesterday morning, I popped the shawl in a sink of warm water, with a few drops of dish soap and a glug of vinegar. I let it sit for about 20 minutes, then drained the sink. I refilled it with like temperature water and let it sit for another 20 minutes. Then after draining and carefully pressing out as much water as I could, I lifted what was now a monsterously heavy and large shawl out onto a heavy bath towel and rolled it until it was damp.
When I was done the shawl, I worried it was going to be too small. However, it grew in the water and in the end, I had to only block lightly, patting it to stay within the confines of my blocking mats. I could have easily used another 2 or 3 mats, and another packet or two of T pins to properly block this shawl. It required no stretching, only gentle shaping. I had to balance it on a laundry rack and a spinning wheel in order to have enough space in front of the woodstove to help speed drying on a cold, blustery day. I did have to chase K away from it several times as the long ends dangled off the mats and he thought they were a very awesome new toy!
We had a 4 minute break in the snow, with a flash of sunshine though the bleak clouds. I grabbed my camera and took the shawl outside for a photo shoot. This shawl may be plain and simple, but it is comfortable and cuddly. I'd highly recommend the pattern Milk Run Shawl and it's free too! The only thing is that this shawl desperately cries out for an uber cool shawl pin.