I was cutting it fine last week trying to finish up a crocheted shawl for a birthday pressie. I honestly didn't think I'd make it but on Thursday night I was sewing in the yarn ends and wrapping and packing for an early trip to the Post Office on Friday. Then it was up to first class mail to do its bit while I crossed my fingers.
This shawl is only little, making a neck scarf size, but you could easily just keep the pattern going with no need to recalculate the written instructions, other than the need for a little more yarn if you wanted a larger shawl.
When I had finished the stitches I admit that I was worried that I ought to have gone a few rows more to make it bigger but then I blocked it and that was like magic. Truly. I was amazed how much bigger blocking it and opening out the stitch pattern made the whole piece.
I am certainly no pro at any of this (as the mistakes in the crochet will testify) but the mystery of blocking was debunked somewhere during my Christmas googling time. All I did was soak the shawl in some lukewarm water with a tiny bit of mild detergent for 15 mins. Then I squeezed out the water gently being careful not to wring the fibres. So, just squeeze, don't twist or pull. After that I laid out a bath towel on the living room floor and pinned the shawl out as neatly as I could. Next morning, the shawl was nice and dry and when I took the pins away it looked like a beautiful piece of lace which it most definitely hadn't when it came off the hook. Hooray for blocking!
I would definitely recommend the Elise Shawl pattern if you fancy making a simple, pretty shawl. One day I hope I'll get time to hook one up for myself, but for now I'm happy that my lovely friend liked her birthday present.