Pattern: Shetland Tea Shawl by Dale Long. From A Gathering of Lace
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge Silky Merino in Samarkand Blue. 1.75 hanks.
Needles: Size 4 Clover bamboo circs
Started: April or May 2007
Finished: November 8, 2008
This is a beautiful pattern. I didn't have any trouble with it (my edition is revised and the pattern is updated: earlier editions have extensive errata for this pattern). I didn't make any intentional changes to the pattern, although I think I may have made a couple of errors in the edging. And I believe I may have dropped a stitch at the very end of the edging where it's grafted. This error is the only clearly visible one, and I will repair it eventually.
The yarn is fantastic. I did encounter a limited number of places where the yarn was slightly slubby, but not often enough to bother me, or slubby enough to cause me to break the yarn. The silk content makes it very nice and crisp, and the wool content made it possible for me to splice a new ball of yarn in when I reached the end of the first ball.
The sheer size of it may be intimidating to a beginning knitter, but I don't think there's anything in the pattern that can't be overcome by perseverance, practice, patience, and maybe just a little bit of cursing.
Preblocking. Doozer for relative size.
During blocking. I soaked the shawl in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, and wrung it out prior to pinning. I used all but two of my foam alphabet blocks for this one. And it's not a precise circle, but I am content with the approximation. I used individual t-pins for most of the points, but also flexible blocking wires for two sections.
Post blocking with doozer for relative size: