Finally, I have something to show for my efforts. I've had a hard time getting this one off the ground, but here is the beginning of Elizabeth Zimmermann's baby sweater from the Knitter's Almanac:
The "gull" pattern is really my first attempt to knit lace, and after a few botched attempts (forgetting yarn overs, mostly) I am finally getting the hang of it. I understand the structure of the pattern now, how all the stitches line up, so I know immediately if I've made a mistake. For me, the key to executing any pattern is really understanding how it works from the inside out. Until I understand it, it never comes out right. But it's funny because in order to understand it, I have to mess it up and then piece it back together.
The only thing I'm not so sure about are my ssk's. I checked Knitting Help again to make sure I am doing it correctly, and I am. But the diagnol looks slightly jagged compared to the K2tog's.
I'm doing one pattern modification and I'm pretty sure it will work out: I'm knitting the sleeves in the round rather than flat. I thought the overall effect would be neater, especially since I have no idea how I would seam the lace work. The only question is if knitting the sleeves in the round will be a problem later when I return to the body and have to pick up the cast on stitches on each sleeve. I have thought about it, and it seems that won't make any difference--but I will update when I get to the sweater body.
I'm also placing the buttonholes every 16 rows rather than 8, since I did not want them so close together.
ETA: More modifications: I made the sleeve 6 inches (rather than 5)so it will fit Elsa better, and I knit the garter stitch cuff with size 6 needles to make it a little tighter. I find the sleeves a bit too wide, although I think that is the intended style.
Plymouth's Suri Merino (barley color)
Size 7 needles