I just finished my shawl!
Here's information on my shawl:
I used a worsted weight yarn and a size 8 (5mm), 47" circular needle. I used a size 10½ (6.5mm) to cast off, but I think I could've even used an 11 (8mm). I used a total of 512 yards/468m, and unstretched, the shawl's measurements wound up being about 56" across (the "wingspan"), about 27" from the middle of the shawl down to the point, and about 38" down the side (I use the term "about" in the measurements because the stitch it stretchy and it made it difficult for me to measure accurately). I did not understand the directions in the pattern on how to do their garter stitch border, so what I did was to knit six rows of garter stitch, then bind off. For some reason, my garter stitch border kind of buckled; I'm not sure what I could've done differently, and it has given the shawl a wavy appearance when it's lying flat (and it doesn't lie completely flat)--if somebody knows what could cause this to happen, please post (maybe that's why the pattern has you work the garter stitch border the way it does, to prevent the buckling?). Could using a different sized needle on the six rows of the garter stitch border prevented this perhaps?
Once I have the shawl on, you don't notice the waviness, though. I made two small mistakes on the shawl that I didn't know how to go back and fix, so other than that, it came out really nice. What I didn't like about it is that the reason I bound off when I did is because the length started to get to be long enough for me, but I wish the "wingspan" was even a bit longer so I can wrap it around my arms a bit more when I wear it, but maybe that's because I used worsted weight yarn?
All in all, it was a good first attempt for me; I'm considering making one for my best friend, and I think by doing mine first, I worked out all of the bugs (so to speak) of making this shawl. It was a really fun knit and it went really fast, and it looks really "professional", and I think it looks much harder than it actually was to knit (which is always a plus in my opinion!