... is FINISHED!! Yay!
I'll post a pic when its being blocked.
I took all the great advice you guys offered (after having frogged the damn thing twice) and put in a safety line every time I got to a basic row. I also used pattern repeat markers... and it really helped.
The safety lines I never actually needed but it was good to know I could rip back if something went wrong. The pattern repeats were clearly where I was going wrong so those helped a huge amount.
After about half way mark on the shawl I didn't really need the repeat markers any more and by a 3rd of the way through I'd left the last safety line a long way behind.
The yarn is a mid-grey, silk/merino mix and I've beaded it with tiny black beads all the way through. The cast on/off edges have little silver bells -- those'll drive my bf's mum mad -- but that was (subconsciously) part of the plan I think.
Now I just need to block it and that'll be a first for me too -- fingers crossed everyone and some chanting from those who feel they are able.