I've made some more progress on my Fiori Di Sole. I'm just past the flower at the top and I'm getting into the Shetland Fern in the middle of the shawl. I love this stitch pattern because it was my introduction to lace in Birch. Birch is all Shetland Fern and I did work it in Kid Silk Haze (love the yarn, but not necessarily for beginning lace knitters). There were definitely some bumps along the way of knitting it and Ramius would occasionally get his legs tangled in the yarn when he jumped off my lap. We all know that the best way to untangle yourself from something is to run. Fast. I'd just hold on to my knitting really tightly and when he was free and had run off to do other things, I'd get up and gather up the ball of yarn again. It was in knitting Birch that I began to see how the lace pattern came together. I noticed that the YO's always fell to either side of a center stitch and the decreases made diagonal lines. I started seeing when I was off of the pattern and was able to correct my mistakes before I made to the end of the row (tinking KSH, not fun). I was learning how to read my knitting, but I didn't know it at the time. The whole time I was knitting this, I was working from written out directions, not a chart. Luckily it was only 8 rows of pattern that I had to slog through, but I had never seen a chart before so I didn't know what I was missing.
I've learned since knitting Birch that Shetland Lace patterns are all pretty repetitious and easy to read because they were never written down. They were passed from knitter to knitter visually and usually knit while walking or in between chores - they carried the pattern in their head. Because of this, Shetland Lace patterns are wonderful stitch patterns to use to learn to read your knitting and I've recommended them to newer lace knitters who are trying to figure things out. Of course I didn't know all this at the time, I just noticed the diagonal decrease lines and the stacks of YO's. This stitch pattern will always be one of my favorites.