I just feel so much better that I've started something. It's like...well. I can't come up with a really socially acceptable analogy, but there is certainly relief. I've done 18 rows already, and while I know I've got about sixty bajillion to go, I do feel better.
I was paranoid about approximating gauge, because the pattern does not specify the yarn weight, my needles are smaller (I'm using #3s) and I suck at gauge. I checked the yarn band, and the gauge it states is 7-8 stitches on a size 0-3 (American), which is 2-3 stitches more per inch than she was making when she knit her shawl. While I have between 75 and 25 yards more than the pattern calls for, I was seriously worried that I was going to have a really short and narrow shawl. Then, today, during my lunch websurfing, I rechecked the pattern. The yarn she used is almost the same weight as mine, and her needles are only one size up. I knit loose, so I realized (in a sudden, rare burst of intelligence) that I should be hitting gauge. So I looked at the pattern again, and realized her gauge was measured across the lace sections. W00t! I ran home (well, waddled--I've done up a knee again, and, in an embarassing turn of events, ended up with some uncomfortable friction burns in places where friction burns should not happen) and trotted out my little start again (being, as I am, a Disciple of the Great Eunny Jang, I decided not to swatch for this lace). I forced a non-knitter to hold my wee little dragon patch and measured. 5 stitches per inch across the lace.
I am so da bomb. Let's look at it again, just for giggles: