I finished something!

Right, so two weekends ago (oops) was a long weekend here in Ontario. I made it even longer by taking the Friday off, and it's just as well I did, because all I did that day  was knit my mum's birthday shawl.

The birthday brunch was the following day. The shawl got finished around 10pm Friday night, took a trip through a cold soak wash and a spin in the washing machine, and then got pinned out on some foam safety squares I keep just for such occasions:

The squares (you can't see them because the entire width and length of the shawl covers them) are just over 60cm wide. The shawl was supposed to be blocked out to 55cm, but I figured with the strong vertical rib, it would shrink back once it was off the blocking wires, so I overstretched it slightly.

Before the trip through the wash, I was worried that the shawl would be way too narrow. When I was working on it in public, not a few people stopped me and admired it, but they always thought it was a scarf. After washing, the fabric went "limp" (ie: none of that knitted springiness at all) and it was very easy to stretch it out. I could have gone a few more centimetres if I'd had the space.

The shawl was pinned out by 11:30pm, at which time I crashed into bed. I was (and still am) sick with a sinus/walking pneumonia thing that makes me cough and feel tired. I wound up sleeping through my weekly Saturday morning chiropractic appointment for the first time ever, but had enough time to unpin the shawl, fold it up, and toss it in a gift bag before my brother Steve picked me up so we could carpool to the birthday brunch.

The shawl is one of those patterns that one appreciates more in a finished state than in the knitting, I think, although I'm glad I made it. The secret seems to be to go like hell — go as fast as you can, working on it as often as you can, and take it anywhere you might plausibly have five minutes to knit with. Like many simple knits, it's a great excuse to push yourself to learn to knit faster.

Speaking of knitting faster, I have eleven more days until my niece's tiger jacket needs to be done, so I need to get cracking on that. And then the entire family is cut off from handmade gifts until next year!