That's not why I called it a bit of a cheat, though. That is because... it's not actually finished. I still need to block it. However, I will give it to my mother on her birthday in August and am planning to block the shawl right before then, so it looks its absolute best when I give it to her. I debated whether I would count it as finished or not in the meantime. After all, blocking is still work, and the thing isn't properly finished until it's in such a state that I can give it away as intended. I wouldn't call a dress finished if I still needed to hem it! However, in this case - it just feels finished. No, that's not a great argument. But it's my gut feeling and I'm sticking with it.
In the meantime, here is a picture of the first shawl I made on the blocking boards: