I've simplified the pattern stitch for the new shawl, because the one I designed would be too difficult for an intermediate knitter. (I'm still going to use my original eventually, perhaps with the cranberry merino.)
Anyway, after much swatching, I've knitted the neckband and am about to start the body of the shawl - that is, as soon as I've made a bunch of stitch markers. I''m amused by people who get fancy beaded markers. That's just not practical for me: I need far too many for a large shawl, so I just tie loops of 8/4 carpet warp in a contrasting color around a dowel and dab the knots and cut ends with Fray-Chek or glue. If I lose one of those, who cares?