Carmen is 100% right. I'm not a very seasoned knitter and I'm still kind of afraid of blocking, but I've found that every time I block something, it makes it look so much more finished. And also, you're able to manipulate sizing a bit too. I made a hat for my husband that was too big, but was able to adjust it by blocking and it was fine, and it made my knitting look a lot better than it really is.
Your scarf will
be "soggy and misshapen" when it's wet, but once you block it, it will dry beautifully into shape.
Here's information from the Morehouse Merino website about blocking lace shawls and scarves that I found helpful. I haven't made big items like sweaters or anything yet, but I've used this same method for blocking other things because the whole pinning thing really had me scared to try, or, you can use whatever blocking method works for you. As I mentioned, I'm not an expert knitter; maybe there are different methods that are better than others to block?
Scroll down on this page to see segment on Blocking Lace Shawls and Scarves
Blocking Lace Shawls and Scarves
Please note: the following washing recommendations apply to Morehouse Merino Lace Yarn. For shawls, scarves and lace creations made with otheryarns, refer to the yarn manufacturer’s washing and care instructions.
Soak your lace creation in warm water, add mild soap [at Morehouse Farm, we use Palmolive(R) Dishwashing Liquid]. Let it soak for a few minutes. Then rinse in same temperature water as washing water. Squeeze out as much water as possible (you can use a towel for this one: wrap shawl or scarf in towel and squeeze—don’t wring—towel to remove as much water as possible from knitting).
Unwrap shawl or scarf from towel. Now lay it flat on a large surface. Most shawls are about 80” long, about the length of a bed. So a bed might be the ideal place to use for blocking a large shawl. Cover bedspread with a sheet to create a smooth surface (don’t worry about getting the bed wet: thin lace yarn absorbs very little water and after squeezing most water out of it, the shawl or scarf is damp, no longer wet).
Now stretch out scarf or shawl to final width and length. This process takes a little patience, since the knitting wants to return to its un-stretched condition. Just keep stretching it until it remains in place. We don’t use pins to block shawls. We find the process of pinning too tedious and we don’t like the scalloped edge it sometimes creates (especially if you are not using dozens of pins). For triangular shawls, use corner of bed for tip of shawl and stretch tips along side and bottom edge of bed. Sometimes it helps to keep shawl in place by stretching it slightly over edge of bed. Let it dry.