(These were taken end of day today, so I'm a bit frazzled and frumpled. But, I really wanted to get photos posted tonight. So, as soon as I got the ends tucked in, we took some quick ones.)
She's actually only my second Charlotte, but she's My Charlotte '35' because, in that hopeless, addictive way I have when it comes to attaching meaning to things, she commemorates my turning 35 (tomorrow). You might remember, in fact, that I mentioned a while back wanting to finish her by June 23. That's why. She'll always be a hallmark of this life marker. (I'm not sure what I should make of the fact that I completed her without placing a single lifeline; I threaded at least a dozen lifelines when making mom's.)
Despite feeling like I had a rough time blocking her... okay, I did have a rough time. First, neither the board I was using to block it on nor my dining room table was wide enough for her blocked width, so I had to wrap her top edges over the side and pin them. But, one side wouldn't stretch enough to straighten out when all was said and done. (I had the same problem with Mom's.)
I pinned the whole top edge, then pinned the middle bottom point, and then tried to work out the edges. But, it didn't work. Despite much stretching, there wasn't enough give for the shawl to lay flat. The bottom kept wanting to curl up. Several times, I unpinned and repinned. Ultimately, I got everything flat except one side of the top edge. There just wasn't enough stretch to get it to reach. I finally gave up, wrapped it over the board, and left it to dry.
At the end of the day, when the preschooler came home and wanted his LEGO space (the dining room table) back, M and I moved the shawl on its board into the boys' room and perched it atop the (unused) crib. (It has gone unused for both boys. Despite being somewhere in the neighborhood of $500, it's now on it's 4th year of not being used. Still, it seems locked in my head that we have to have a crib in the room even if it isn't used. We have a baby. When Spencer turns two, maybe it will seem okay to get rid of it.)
The crib was actually a bit wider than the board, so the board kept falling into the crib a bit. Undoubtedly, the weight of the still damp shawl and the slightly soaked cardboard board was mostly responsible for the caving. When I checked in on the shawl later in the evening, however, some of the pins were wanting to release the shawl as the board caved from the center, giving the shawl more leeway than it should have to relax from where I'd struggled to block it.
I pulled the pins out today and modeled it up and down the runway of our hallway. It's not huge, but it is larger than my mother's ended up being. So, maybe the blocking was more successful than I thought. But, beyond size, the feel of My Charlotte '35' is different. Mom's finished (and blocked) shawl still had a slightly spongy, sproingy feel to the merino. My Charlotte '35', on the other hand, feels flatter, lighter, and almost weightless. I don't know if it's because I blocked it bigger, or because I soaked it for so long. Either way, it's a wonderful feel.
I love it.
And, while I'm slightly obsessed with the idea of shawls at this point (see, I can say that because the lace project I'm working on and not feeling the love for is a stole, not a shawl), I've continued to be unsure how and when I'd get the chance to wear them.
(You have to understand that my children never had objects of attachment other than me... not for our lack of trying. So, Spencer is still in a phase where he's in my arms 75% or more of the day. Exhausting. Not shawl-friendly, for sure.)
But, timing is everything. My mom is coming into town tomorrow. We're heading off to LEGOLand next week. But, before we go, we have plans for just us ladies to go to Lovejoy's Tea Room for tea on Saturday. I've never been, but I've heard so many great things about Lovejoy's, and Spencer and I pass by it once a week on our way to music class. So, that's what we're doing, as sort of a grownup celebration of both my and my mom's birthdays.
High tea sounds perfect for My Charlotte '35', don't you think?