In order to finish the shawl, I ordered wool soak, fancy stretching wires, blocking mats and pins. The whole process was fun to try. And it worked really well. The soak softened the wool just a touch and the wires made the pattern bloom.
I also finished the water bottle cozy for Claire. Funny story with this one. I have this strange sense of humor about Christmas. I love for there to be some sort of funny present. When I found this pattern, I immediately thought of Claire because she is always cold in the winter and so I thought it would be a nice way to warm up. I also knew that she didn't have an old fashioned hot water bottle, so I started looking at the local stores for one. The only one I found happened to also include a "personal hygene and enema system" with it (basically a bunch of tubes that attach to the water bottle part). I laughed so hard when she opened it and was totally perplexed. Of course, I wrapped the homemade cozy in a separate bag.