I actually enjoyed it. I like the repetitive nature of the lace pattern and the outcome at the end. I think I also made the right choice in using sock yarn (4ply) rather than lace weight. That said I did have other things in between which meant that this was left aside for a long time. Christmas seemed so far away. This weekend I picked it up again and managed to finish not only the centre piece but also the border and the surprise crochet edging.
I have a nasty habit of getting half way through a pattern and then deciding as soon as I don't take something in I can't do it. This was the case with the edging. I was sure when I got to it I couldn't do it and was contemplating finishing without it. In the end (and possible because it was for my gran) I forced myself to read the how to part at the back and learned how to do a crochet cast on which was the only thing stopping me. Turns out it was easier than I thought. I was ready to celebrate the fact that I was finished and then I read that I had to do some crochet (hence the crochet surprise). I only learned to crochet this year so again I was sure I couldn't do it and again I forced myself to read it properly and give it a go. So after a day of blocking I have my only new years resolution complete. I have finished my first lace shawl and I have learned to do something new in the process. Lets just hope my gran will like it (in the photograph my mum was coerced into posing with it).
I highly recommend the book itself. It has so many beautiful patterns in it with a whole how to section at the back. It has more instructions on different ways to cast on than I knew existed. If I had the time (or the talent) I would knit every single one of the shawls within. I also think that a few of them could be easily modified to throws if shawls aren't your thing.
I have only three pieces of advice if you decide to get this book and use it. Firstly if you have never tried lace before then take a chart and maybe knit something small such as a scarf. It should get you used to following charts as well as knitting with lace. Also, use a thicker yarn such as 4 ply. You can still get that lace effect by using larger needles. Lastly, blocking does make a difference. Before I blocked I couldn't see the lace in the centre piece and the border was nothing more than a curled up edge.
I have plans for more lace but not until after Christmas. Until then I will have to make do with lace socks.