I finished the garter lace shawl yesterday. I am thrilled of course, but before I go into detail, I have two observations:
1. Yep, blocking lace is magic, as often said by lace-knitting aficionados.
2. It is also a massive pain in the ass, which is occasionally hinted at by lace-knitting aficionados, but is seldom said plainly. You heard it here first.
Let's rewind a bit. I had started an edging (Little Bit O' Lace from an obscure book of otherwise undistinguished patterns called 101 Knitting on the Go Projects**) what seems like ages ago. I knitted and knitted and knitted on it and made... some progress. I was about 3/4 of the way down one side, having, the whole time, worried that I had too many picked up stitches and the thing was going to be all wavy (I was winging the edging - as written, the shawl was not edged).
Unwilling to face the music, I picked the shawl up reluctantly here and there, knowing the edging would be all wrong, knitted a few desultory rows, and put it down again, in favor of my lovely, welcoming and non-judgmental poncho, or one of many small, quickly-finished projects.
Sunday, I cut bait. Sunday, I frogged the edging. I did a little subtle crochet around the edges and blocked it. After much fussing, pushing, shoving and, yes, swearing, it is now pinned out on my favorite beach towel, and two more towels, because the shawl is now quite large. Eminently wearable, but large. After gazing at it for a while, I realized, not only was frogging the edging a good decision in general, a big shawl like this one only needed a little something on the edges, not a major edging. Upon blocking, I am now sure that "Little Bit O' Lace" would have turned into "Ginormous Swingy Curtain of Lace."
I plan to knit lots more lace, this time with borders and edgings, all properly picked up. I will probably continue to swear during the blocking phase, but I can't deny that it is magic.
* You know? I hate that song. But it seemed an apt title.
**I am actually planning to do the Golden Ferns Counterpane at some point, but in a less startling color, such as sagey green. The model is in an insane yellow shade.