My Noro wrap is complete, and I am truly, completely, deeply in love.
When I was outside taking a photo just now, a couple was walking by, and it was all I could do to not run over and show it off. (As an aside, I often wonder what my neighbours think, about the strange photo-taking and piles of yarn on the patio table. No one has ever really asked about it, though.)
All the details are on Ravelry, for those of you inclined. I won't bother repeating them here.
However, I've often gotten questions about blocking, so I thought I would just make a few points.
I use blocking wires, but they are not necessary. Some crochet cotton and stick pins would work just as well. This is the tutorial I read before I started.
I also don't think its important to used a blocking board. I just use my bed (with clean sheets, naturally). I give my project a nice soak, rinse it well, and then wrap it up in a towel. I stand on the towel to get all the excess water out.
Throw it on the bed, stretch to the size I want, pin, and walk away (closing the door so some furry fellows can't take a nap on it).
The one thing I would say is that it's important to use a ruler or measuring tape. I had eye-balled the width, and it turns out, I had a two-inch difference from one end to the other. Moving a few pins solved that problem.
Since it's no longer -40, I cracked open a window. The shawl was dry in about five hours. No risk, whatsoever, of going to sleep on a wet bed.
The big question I get, though, is why bother? Well, I think there's a difference between home-made and hand-made. Home-made can be slapped together, and hand-made is a lovingly crafted item that is beautiful and useful. I think its important to spend the time on these finishing touches. It's what separates the two.
Blocking allows me to get the size I want, and makes the pattern pop. Suddenly a really big scarf becomes a finely made, unique article of clothing. Seems worthwhile to me.I have another audio lecture to listen to, and a new sock to work on. In a way, I'll be sad to have this course over. Completely justifies sitting and knitting, several hours at a time.