I put the shawl aside. And felt guilty. Really guilty. See, I'm ethnically Italian. I get the Catholic guilt thing. Add to this that I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood, and I have a lot of Jewish guilt, too. Guilt is a funny thing. It makes me procrastinate. The guiltier I feel, the less likely I am to do whatever it is that is weighing on me. You could almost think I enjoy wallowing in the guilt. Sort of like a luxurious bath.
Eventually, I found another yarn, mostly bamboo, with a bit of silk. That stuff was fine. Pretty. And the silk gave it that sheen that catches the sunlight. So I knit that puppy up in almost no time! Well, no time for lace. It took a few weeks, and there were setbacks. Like the time I was visiting my friend, Miss Caroline's daughter, and was working on the shawl. I put it down for a moment, and when I came back to it, one of Miss Caroline's grandchildren had taken it off the needles. Ninety-nine stitches of a 32-line pattern on small needles had to be put back on. No, I hadn't used a life-line. I had bought the mercerised cotton for lifelines, and even carried the spool in my knitting bag. But I had never actually used a life-line. Yes, there was tinking that night.
Eventually, the shawl got finished. Hooray! But it had to be blocked. I had a mental block about blocking the shawl. I'd read all sorts of things about how to block a shawl. You needed wires, or had to run a string through it and I was, frankly, intimidated. Finally, I just blocked it like I would a sweater. No strings. No wires. I just pinned it to my blocking board, spritzed it and let it dry. It worked. I finished knitting the shawl in October, 2009. I blocked it in July, 2010. Miss Caroline got it shortly thereafter.
Of course I forgot to take pictures of it. So my friend took a couple of pictures of it for me before she sent it to her mother. Naturally, she photographed it Right-Side-Down. Here are a couple of pictures of it that she took. She's promised me when she sees Miss Caroline over Thanksgiving, she'll take a few more.
The pattern is Upstairs Shawl, by Michaela Behrends. It can be found on Ravelry.
*wicked in the Boston sense, as a superlative.