Mercy, Woman! So many questions....Thanks for your wonderful comments and encouragement!
First of all.... everyone of my patterns includes a section of general tips and suggestions for the pattern and overall lace knitting....And lace knitting always looks more difficult than it really is but does require concentration and patience. I would say that your biggest challenge is having the "Stick-to-it-tiveness" to complete. Don't let the large number of stitches scare you....it means you're almost done with the fabric. Stitch markers can actually be placed before each of the stitch pattern repeats and will help with counting or finding errors.
I did the pattern sample on Covington using size 8 needles and a 4-ply sock yarn so that I could make sure that it radiates well....I just love mine....wore it this weekend on chilly mornings and evenings, kept me warm without having too much weight....although, by reducing the number of times Chart B is repeated, the shawl can be made smaller....in the sock yarn and size 8's.
The shawl has not yet been done with laceweight or 2 ply fingering but I'm positive it would be fantastic in either yarn with smaller needles. Mine is HUGE! The laceweight or fingering would need smaller needles to allow for good stitch definition. Using the pattern as is, following the same directions with the thinner yarn and needles will produce a nice sized shawl. I have ordered some white, 50% Merino/ 50% Silk laceweight so that I can do a wedding shawl for June display....will be using size 5 or 6 needles so a sample is being worked.
Blocking is enjoyable to me because I love to figure out the best way, but wires, both flexible and stiff are good to have for this one. Directions in detail are in the blocking section.
And, of course, my email address is provided on the pattern for support if needed.