Well, it’s finished being knit–in this case that’s not the whole way to “done.” Woolen pieces, especially ones with Aran designs like this, don’t come to life until they are blocked.
That means water, a bit of Dawn blue, some pins, a few beach towels, a bulletin board, a dining room table, and about an hour. If you’ve never blocked a piece before, here’s the basic sequence:
First, a bath. NOT a washing. This is a gentle soak to let the fibers settle nicely into their new configuration. Twenty minutes in cool or room temperature water with a smidge of Dawn blue. Rinse until the water is clear, making sure the water stays the same temperature.
Then, after oh-so-gently squeezing the water out of your newly bathed baby, lay it out on a bath towel and roll it up. Stand on it to squish all the excess water into the towel. Remember to take your socks off or you are likely to end up with wet socks!
For pieces with straight edges, I like to lay my work out a striped bath towel so I can utilize the stripes as guidelines. Nudge and pin until you get the shape you want. I use an oversized bulletin board that used to hang in my kitchen. Everyone knows this is the real purpose of dining room tables, right?
I expect this piece to be dry and ready in a day or so, easily enough time to show it off at my Live Audiobook Knit-in at Crafty Hands in Bowling Green, KY. If you’re in the area Friday April 19 at 6pm, come on by! I may even let you try on my shawl.