So to Ishbel.
I really, really enjoyed this pattern. Though the lacework meant it was needed a fair bit of brainpower, as I got into the swing of each row I found I could at least watch TV or a film. I used to live with a lovely fellow student, now teacher, and I saw the yarn and thought of her instantly. I showed it to her online and she make squeaking noises. Another day, I showed her the pattern and more squeaking ensued. And so her birthday present idea was born in my mind.
(taken with no flash)
However, there was a go-slow when the lacework started - the rows became too long to take it on the train, it became too difficult to do socially, and I was so crazy busy that my knitting time at home almost vanished. I took it to a fabulous craft day with ewenique and this really sparked my love of it again, especially as she gave me a coincidentally matching project bag 'for Christmas'.
Initially, I knitted the small version, but then I had only one stripe and loads of yarn left so I tinkered about a bit and managed to do the pattern section: ABABAC - first two rows of D - E. And trust me, that is literally as much as the yarn would allow (at least at my gauge) - there was a lot of cunning lifeline placement! The two skills I learned were lifeline placement and blocking by myself - so proud of it I even took photos of the blocking stage...
But the best part by far was giving it to my former housemate. She was so genuinely touched that she could not stop thanking and hugging me. This cheered me up so much after a few rough days that it made all the trials worthwhile.