For this year, just in case I needed anymore excuses, I have entered into a competition to complete 10 shawls this year on Ravelry. I have three complete so far and two in progress, not bad considering it’s only March. I made both Gail and Swallowtail (both free pattern downloads on Rav) in January, both fairly small projects and a joy to work. It’s nice to start something for a change and realise that it will be finished in a few days. I have worn the Swallowtail but not Gail yet, haven’t decided what to wear it with yet I suppose. It is a gorgeous colour, a misty green-blue, almost opal colour. Very subtle and very loveable. The Jamieson and Smith yarn feels big to work with and then you block it! Such an amazing transformation, it becomes light but substantial, opens out smoothly and the pattern really does come alive. I love it. Blocking is almost my favourite part of the process. In fact I wax lyrical about it so much that my family have now taken to quoting me and my daughter insists on being part of the process. She helps me to wash and soak the shawl, to blot it with a large towel (she loves this bit, kneeling on a shawl encased towel to squish the liquid out, a bit like smushing grapes for wine) and then the stretching out on blocking wires and pinning. She oversees the last part mainly due to her age and her obvious enthusiasm, I’m afraid she’ll leave the room covered suspiciously in pins.
Half way there is my Unst Shawl which will be my fifth completed shawl this year. I’m on the second page of the border pattern and on my fifth out of nine balls of Jamieson and Smith Optic White Cobweb. I Have taken a few mini breaks from this shawl, mainly to do smaller immediate projects but I hope to be finished in the next six weeks. I think this will be my biggest shawl to date (72” square) and I’m looking for somewhere bigger to block it! I may have to leave the house for this one.