I did the Serafina shawl this summer for a Craftster swap. I had a heck of a time with the first few rows - and if those aren't right, the rest of the pattern doesn't work. Luckily it starts at the center neck and works down (out?) to a batwing triangle or faroese style shape, so ripping and re-doing wasn't hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of stitches.
It's a repetitive pattern - start to center and center to end is the same - I thought my problem was that I was leaving out something on the 2nd half of the rows, that I was skimming the pattern writeup too much and leaving out something. Before I ripped out (again) I spread it out and compared what I had with what the pictures looked like and figured out where I was going wrong. The next try worked :) It was a few more repeats of the 4-row pattern before it clicked enough that I didn't need the pattern.
That's when I drew up a chart and wrote a simplified pattern for myself for next time - I think it'll be good for the zephyr wool/silk yarn I have no idea what to use it for.
Too bad I didn't find the errata or the color-coded chart or the Ravelry group for the shawl before I went nuts trying to figure out where I kept messing up the pattern - turned out I wasn't using the version with the corrections.
So, for my own sanity the next time I make this, especially since I'm liable to lose my written notes before then... I'm typing up my own notes for the pattern.
Notes are just that - the pattern is not mine, I'm not claiming it as mine, this isn't another version of Serafina's shawl. It's just notes. I don't know if these are detailed enough to crochet without using the actual pattern. The links to the pattern and errata are above and working as of 10/10/2009. Click on the link if you're interested in reading the notes.
V (V stitch)
At the beginning of a row: ch4 and dc in base ch
At the end of a row: dc, ch,dc in the 3rd ch of the starting V from the previous row
In the middle of a row: dc, dc, dc in the next dc
V2 - (dc, 2dc, dc) in the ch1 sp of next V
DoubleV - (2dc, ch, 2dc) in ch 2 of next V2
DoubleV2 - (2dc, 2ch, 2dc) in ch sp of next double V
Shell - (3dc, 2ch, 3dc) in ch2 sp of next shell or double V2
Pattern - shell, ch1, 3dc (the shell is made in the 2ch space of a shell and the 3dc is one dc in the next 3 dc)
Rows 4-7 and 7-10 increase 1 dc after the starting V, before and after the center shell, and before the ending V. The increase is made by doing a dc in the ch1 space of the previous row.
Shell is the center of the row and the center of the shawl
Row 1 -In ring do - V, ch1, shell, ch1, V - tighten ring closed
Row 2 - V [ch1, 5dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 3 - V [ch1, 3dc V 3dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], VRow 4 -V [ch1, 4dc ch1, V2, ch1, 4dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 5 -V [ch1, 5dc ch1, doubleV, ch1, 5dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 6 - V [ch1, 6dc ch1, doubleV2, ch1, 6dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 7 - V [ch1, 3dc V 3dc, ch1, pattern (1 time), V 3dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 8 - V [ch1, 4dc, V2, ch1, 3dc, ch1, pattern (1 time), ch 1, V2, ch1 4dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 9 - V [ch1, 5dc, doubleV, ch1, 3dc, ch1, pattern (1 time), ch 1, doubleV, ch1 5dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Row 10 - V [ch1, 6dc, doubleV2, ch1, 3dc, ch1, pattern (1 time), ch 1, doubleV2, ch1 6dc, ch1] shell, repeat [ ], V
Rows 11-14 - repeat rows 7-10 doing "pattern (2 times)"
Repeat rows 7 - 10 for desired length, doing one more "pattern" each time.