I'm a novice knitter. I taught myself from YouTube videos last March, and have been horribly addicted ever since.
I started a lace shawl in September and have been struggling with (and ignoring) it for several months. I gave up, ripped it out, and tried another shawl. That one didn't wow me (it is pretty but it's just plain stockinette and reverse stockinette). I needed something with more ... pizzazz.
I finally decided on the Vortex Shawl. I love it, but it required me to develop a new skill: knitting on double-pointed needles (dpns). Add to that I needed to learn how to make i-cords and figure out the "belly button/umbiblical cord" cast-on.
A few tries very late at night (midnight - 3am), resulted in a decent umbiblical cord to start from:
After a few rounds of the pattern, I switched from 2 dpns to 4 dpns, and I started to really struggle. It was just too much for me to handle. Finally, it occurred to me that I could go back down to 3 dpns, and that was much more successful. More rounds have been done and progress is being made! The pattern is super easy but looks far more complicated when knit.
It is lace (kind of), so looks pretty terrible as it is being knit. It won't look amazing till after it is finished, washed, and blocked.
I love that I'm getting used to knitting with dpns. I'm going to need this skill when I start knitting socks (maybe Christmas Day?) and other little finicky projects.
However, I am very much looking forward to being able to transfer the Vortex Shawl to a circular needle -- progress will be MUCH faster.
I love knitting.