This pile of markers can only mean one thing. My Charlotte is off the needles!
Yes, I finished the last two rows last night while watching the ER finale. It was a strange feeling to cast off each eight stitches and then toss one of the markers back into the bag. Hearing in my head the rantings from my rough blocking session with my Mom's Charlotte back in October, a problem we ultimately attributed to either a too-tight cast-off or a too-tight foundation row of the crochet edging, I made a concerted effort to cast off really loosely. It felt almost floppy, I was casting off so loosely.
I was, however, also running out of color #5. That didn't happen with Mom's Charlotte, which goes to show you that even repeat knitting isn't a cookie cutter process. So, as I was casting off with exaggerated looseness, I was also keeping my eye on the very small wad of yarn hanging off the side of the bed.
I finished with about 12 inches to spare.
Holding it up in the dim light of the bedroom, it was, indeed, beautiful. I don't know why, but for some reason I was having a very mystical almost Mists of Avalon moment looking at it. Holding it up, however, the cast-off edge still didn't seem as floppy or stretchy as I was expecting it to be. Hopefully, in the blocking process, it will have more give.
I'm thinking of doing the "soak it" before blocking process instead of just misting it with water repeatedly until it's wet enough in the hopes that soaking for an extended period of time will relax the fibers enough to make the whole process easier. (In Lavish Laces they soak the lace items first.)
I still haven't made a final decision about the edge, but I don't think I'm going to want to wait long to add the edge so I can block, which may mean the ruffled edge since I have directions for that one. I may have to look again at the inverted shell from Annie's shawl. I've been thinking about it, and maybe I can figure it out - or something similar. I've done my share of crochet. I did check, and the library system here doesn't have the book she referenced.
Going with what I already know does sound easier!