I started a project from One Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant (Storey Publishing). It's the floral mesh shawl on page 196. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. It's a lace pattern with a chart. Patterns are mathematical and I am not very mathematical. Knitting charts--and this is quite a small one besides--make me break out in a cold sweat, but even the verbal instruction seemed beyond me on this one.
The first attempt was a disaster so I pulled that out. At least I had only completed the tedious collar and only about seven or eight rows of the pattern.
The second attempt went better for the tedious collar but there were problems as soon as I started on the body. For one thing, it clearly was not going to be a shawl but a poncho. A poncho I could live with, but too many other mistakes have led me to unravel twice now. I got thirty-nine rows into the pattern before completely messing up one of four sections. I could not figure out what I had done wrong let alone attempt to correct it.
I may not be be a natural born knitter or pattern understander, but I am stubbornly persistent. So...I have started take three. Once again I got through the tedious collar. I managed to make the transition to the body of the shawl without turning it into a poncho. I have made some progress on the pattern now and--lo and behold--the pattern seems to be actually speaking to my fingers. I stopped trying to wrap my head around the project and am trusting the spiritual knitting guides. I may actually get a shawl out of this!