So, how hard is it? Is it quick or slow knitting? Will I be ready to hang myself before I’m done with a project?
It really depends on the pattern you pick. Lace is formed with increases and decreases, lots of yos, and using needles larger than the yarn normally calls for. I find any kind of knitting easier from a chart, and lace especially, because you can see if you’re in the right place based on looking at the row below. For example, if the chart says you should be knitting into a yo from the row before and you’re not, you know that you’re off track and need to look back.
I’d say that once you get flowing, it can be very quick since the needles are large and there are lots of holes.
Lifelines are invaluable, too.
I’d suggest you start with a lacy scarf to get the hang of it before jumping into something as large as a shawl.
Thank you Ingrid!
Just wanted to add that I found the feather and fan stitch pattern in a heavier than laceweight yarn was the perfect intro to lace for me. I agree 100% with Ingrid on the charts and gave that a go next on a shawl and while it was still frustrating at first, I at least felt I had some of the increase repeats and YO’s down pat. It’s super fun, though, and definitely go with the lifelines as Ingrid mentioned.
There’s some F&F patterns for free at KnitPicks (and elsewhere, I’m sure. Edith’s blankie is one too.) Scarf is here and although my Cozy is out of commission at the moment, when you’re ready for something larger, that is a REALLY fun pattern and really easy to get in a rhythm with.
Good luck and have fun! (and hi, Ingrid!!! :))