The giant aran weight shawl is finally free from the blocking wires. It took the full 24 hours to dry. Of course it's not like there is any real rush on for a new aran weight shawl on a beautiful sunny June day - but patience has never been my strong point.
(Am I the only one who worries that when I take the pins out that the blocking magic will end and the shawl will return to its shapeless former self?)
I'm really pleased with the final product -- despite more than a few reservations while I was knitting it. The wool Rowanspun Aran weight (discontinued - but on sale at www.cucumberpatch.co.uk ) softened nicely with washing and blocking.
I used 450ish grams of the wool and the finished measurements are an impressive 96 inches across the top, and 52 inches at its longest point. Pre blocking it was a puny 80 inches by 38 inches.The blocking wires really made blocking this much easier than it might have been otherwise. The wires kept the long side firmly anchored and let me stretch each of the points easily.
The pattern was free - and as they say worth every penny! I'm being a bit harsh - but unfortunately although the shawl itself was easy enough the pattern wasn't written particularly well. If you've had experience knitting another shawl and understand the basic shaping, and incorporating repeats as the number of stitches grow you'll be fine. If it's your first shawl experience and you don't have someone to help you along I think you'd be frustrated.
The shawl was knit on circular needles - starting with 4.5mm and moving up a size every 50-75 grams of wool so the final repeat was knit on 8mm needles. It was a relaxing knit and I enjoyed working on it while watching tv (most notably the Apprentice and Any Dream Will Do) (sad but true).
As for my next project I think I'm suffering from an overload of inspiration!! My yarn stash is overflowing and I have so many things I want to do.
PS - still no sign of the Grafting Fairy -- not even Hotel Chocolat can lure her to finish off those dang socks.