After reading the project notes by other knitters, I wrote out each row of the four row repeat. Then after I finished each row I would check it off. This helped keep me clear as to which row I was on. Plus, it made the rows with all the yarn overs easy to navigate. I did a total of ten times through the openwork repeats. For the cast off I used Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.
An interesting little note about yarn for this shawl...when the shawl pattern was first published the yarn used was Manos del Uruguay. It has been 3 or 4 years since then. I don't know if the quality of that yarn has changed or if the author just got a good batch. I bought Manos del Uruguay for this shawl, but my finished shawl is not knitted in it. The Manos I had was terrible. It ranged from being so thick it was like unspun wool to being so thin that it was like thread. Then in a couple of spots there would be a tiny knot and in those places there was no dye. So every so often there would be a tiny stitch in white.
The Manos yarn was a splurge for me. I liked the shawl enough that I wanted to use the same yarn and have a warm, comfy shawl. Instead, I paid a lot of money for yarn I hate. I did try to knit with it. I made it all the way through 3 repeats before I frogged it. I just could not make this beautiful shawl with yarn that looked so terrible. The stitches were all over the place and some yarn overs would be huge, others very small. I ended up using some Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. I use this yarn a lot, I love it, but it wasn't the right yarn for how I wanted this shawl to turn out. I wanted a bulkier, larger shawl. The Shepherd's Wool, while lovely, seems to behave more like a DK weight than an Aran weight. I do love my shawl and I use it, but I want to make this pattern again using a bulky weight yarn. In fact, I found some yarn at the Clever Ewe in a nearby town. Now I just have to save for it! The Manos yarn is up for sale if anyone wants it. It is a lovely dark teal color. I have three balls of it (138 yards per ball). I paid almost $40 for it and will happily sell it for $20 (or a $20 gift card to Knit Picks). Of course, after telling you everything that is wrong with it, I don't expect any takers! Oh well!!