I started this stole more than 2 years ago, in the first 2020 lockdown. I battled with it for months and kind of grew to hate it. At the time it was the most complicated lace pattern I'd ever tried, and it was possibly just a little beyond me. It's still the most complicated lace pattern I've ever tried but I'm a slightly better knitter now and I've just knitted 10 rows without any obvious mistakes so keep your fingers crossed for me.
Two years in a project bag hidden under my bed hasn't done the stole any apparent harm, and it seems blessedly moth damage free (unexpected holes really would mean tears). Two years break from swearing at it has also reignited some of my enthusiasm for the pattern - I wonder if that'll survive trying to dress it (or if that day will ever even come)?
Lace is hard work, it calls for a degree of concentration that fair isle patterns do not despite how complicated they can look. At least with colour work, you can see where you've gone wrong and rip back easily enough. Because the Muckle Ayre has no plain knit rows and a lot of yarn overs and knitting together of stitches going back is really hard.
When I started this it was the first time I'd used lifelines, and the first time that I discovered they didn't necessarily work. The theory is that you can rip back to the lifeline, where you know all your stitches were correct, and start again from there. I did it a couple of times only to discover there weren't the right number of stitches left on the needle. There was swearing. Now I'm still using them almost entirely to be able to see how many repeats I've done.
Still, after a couple of months hiatus from knitting (mostly heat related), a bit more progress on this beast of a project felt like a good place to start again. I haven't bought any yarn this year, which has made no noticeable difference to my stash at all - busting some of it will definitely be a winter project/ambition. This was my only wip, making progress on it feels almost symbolic of a wider ambition to clear the decks (the books really need attention). It's also a measure of how badly this project got under my skin last time. that even two plus years down the line I remembered I was 8 rows into the repeat.