Hold on to your hats, kids. The Kat™ is knitting lace.
What happened, you ask? What about my phobia against lace?
I offered to knit something like a shrug for #2 Son's girlfriend and sent her a link to a search for shrugs on Ravelry. She came back with this. I gulped and immediately emailed back, Okay, now let's figure out the yarn. And we were on.
Happily, this pattern is fairly easy lace (I think; I am nothing if not inexperienced in lace). Yarnovers, k2tog, ssk, and an occasional double decrease -- all things I can do, no problem. It's the counting and paying attention that has always screwed me up in the past. But so far, so good. I never had to rip the whole thing out and start again, and I never had to tink back more than half a row. That last is because the shawl is exactly the same on both halves; the chart is for one half, and the knitter just repeats the chart on the second half of each right-side row, after the center stitch.
I find it intimidating every time I start a right-side row and immensely rewarding when I get to the end of the chart row and discover I have the right number of stitches. It will get a bit more difficult in a few rows, where I use just part of the chart and repeat it across the row. Might need to purchase some of that magic knitter's tape to help keep my place. So far, a couple large Post-its have been sufficient.
This opens up a whole new realm of knitting...(and I got to add a couple new categories on Typepad)