I finally broke down and bought some blocking mats. Knit Picks came out with their own brand and I love them. I ordered two sets, there are nine 12" squares to a set. They were easy to use and I think it will speed up the drying time. And I didn't even have to drag out the vacuum cleaner! My Bee Fields shawl had seemed to have shrunk a bit so I reblocked it today. I'll be sure that it is thoroughly dry before taking it off the wires this time. Unfortunately, both Gracie and Charlie love the mats and think they make a great scratching surface! The only problem is where to keep them when I'm not using them because they are very bulky. I don't use them that often so they are going to have to be stored in the attic. Since Knitty came out with two fabulous shawl patterns, Shipwreck and Aeolian, I'll be needing a third set!
...Later the same day:
I just discovered another fabulous feature of the blocking mats. I was tripping over the mats and tempted to take to shawl off, probably too early, when I realized that I could tip the hole thing up and lean it against the wall and window! Vertical blocking! I love these things!