Right, so two weekends ago (oops) was a long weekend here in Ontario. I made it even longer by taking the Friday off, and it's just as well I did, because all I did that day was knit my mum's birthday shawl.
The birthday brunch was the following day. The shawl got finished around 10pm Friday night, took a trip through a cold soak wash and a spin in the washing machine, and then got pinned out on some foam safety squares I keep just for such occasions:
Before the trip through the wash, I was worried that the shawl would be way too narrow. When I was working on it in public, not a few people stopped me and admired it, but they always thought it was a scarf. After washing, the fabric went "limp" (ie: none of that knitted springiness at all) and it was very easy to stretch it out. I could have gone a few more centimetres if I'd had the space.
The shawl was pinned out by 11:30pm, at which time I crashed into bed. I was (and still am) sick with a sinus/walking pneumonia thing that makes me cough and feel tired. I wound up sleeping through my weekly Saturday morning chiropractic appointment for the first time ever, but had enough time to unpin the shawl, fold it up, and toss it in a gift bag before my brother Steve picked me up so we could carpool to the birthday brunch.
The shawl is one of those patterns that one appreciates more in a finished state than in the knitting, I think, although I'm glad I made it. The secret seems to be to go like hell — go as fast as you can, working on it as often as you can, and take it anywhere you might plausibly have five minutes to knit with. Like many simple knits, it's a great excuse to push yourself to learn to knit faster.
Speaking of knitting faster, I have eleven more days until my niece's tiger jacket needs to be done, so I need to get cracking on that. And then the entire family is cut off from handmade gifts until next year!