Now that the knitting is finished its time for my favourite bit, blocking! It's like magic and completely transforms a pile of knotty yarn into a beautiful shawl. Blocking 4-ply is not quite a magical as blocking laceweight but it's still pretty special. The pictures above are of my Gigantic Orchid Thief that I knit during last year's KAL.
You can see that straight off the needles the stitches aren't very well defined and the edge curls in.
After about 20 minutes, gently scoop out the shawl using both hands being careful to collect it all in your hands. When the yarn is wet it's much heavier and delicate fibres can be damaged.
Gently squeeze out the excess water before laying it out on a towel. Roll the shawl up in the towel and squeeze it again. I walk up and down on mine so the towel soaks up as much water as possible.
Next, lay the shawl out flat to dry. You could use blocking mats, a spare bed, or the carpet. You'll probably want to find somewhere you can leave it for a day or so to dry, as it's a lace shawl it won't take nearly as long as a sweater to dry, especially if you've rolled it up in a towel and stomped out the water.
After blocking - crisp well defined stitches
Ta da! Stand back and admire those beautiful stitches! Once your knitting is completely dry carefully remove your pins or wires and wear your shawl with pride. There's now a thread in the Ravelry group for finished shawls in the KAL, so remember to post a picture there so you can be entered into the draw.