Cambria's finished, and I love it.
It was fitting that I finally put the final touches on this project on our recent vacation because I was working on this the last time I visited my parents and completed the knitting sitting on that same couch. I had been avoiding blocking because there were about a million and one ends to weave in and I don't have a big enough blocking board to pin out something this big. Turns out if you do things like weave in ends on a plane while hopped up on Dramamine, not so bad. It was the very first thing I got out of the way after takeoff. Clever girl.
Mom has a big foam play mat set that is just what I've been wanting to get myself to serve as a blocking board. Sadly, it did not come back with me in my suitcase however tempting it was. Still, not wanting to waste an opportunity, I took advantage of the floor space, that gargantuan set of mats, and the lack of mischievous cats and set to pinning and blocking my shawl. I'll admit this was quite possibly the easiest blocking job I've ever done. I don't know if Mom is my lucky charm or what, but I managed to pin quite a straight line across the top and the curves along the bottom edge basically set themselves gracefully into place with minimal pinning. Magic!
I am so happy with how it turned out. The piece really grew with blocking and the stockinette opened up into a breezy lightweight fabric. After wearing it once, I can say that even the lower edge is behaving nicely and not curling. Since I started knitting again I'd always had in mind a piece of this scale but ended up a little disappointed with my first projects because I simply didn't have enough experience to realize they wouldn't turn out that big. Plus, I may knit a little on the tight side. This one is perfect. It's cozy and big enough to wrap up in.
Maybe triangle shawls are my thing -- I'd always thought they were a little more old-fashioned compared to other shapes but this is truly my favorite piece I've knitted so far. Dave thinks so, too. When it was drying after the steam block he said "I think this is the nicest thing you've made." I originally wanted to make this in neutrals, but that seems impossible given my love for saturated colors. On a trip to Cambria to see Hearst Castle last February, we ended up in a little yarn shop. I had the brown in my hands and Dave waltzed up with a skein of variegated yarn so pretty I couldn't say no. I like to think of this combination as the sunset over dark sands and bright surf, a slant rhyme to light and airy beachy neutrals. Whatever it is, it's a great memento of a wonderful trip and a piece I shall love for a long time!
Pattern: Litchfield Shawl (by Laura Aylor)
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Alegria in 'malvin', Anzula Squishy in 'sexy', and Baah La Jolla in 'maldives', about 950 yards total
Needles: Size 6 to cast on and size 8 to knit the body
Dimensions: 76" across the top and 38" from top to point