Years ago, back before the Internet and Ravelry, when I was still working primarily with big box store acrylics and didn't quite understand the concept of gauge, I decided to knit my mother a sweater. I used a burgundy-colored shade of Red Heart and the pattern that was on the ball band (with the suggested needles of course). When I'd finished knitting all the pieces, I followed the direction to sew them together quite literally -- I got some black sewing thread and a sewing needle and stitched the pieces together. My mother, bless her heart, was very gracious about the whole thing and seemed excited at the time, though, to the best of my knowledge, she never wore the sweater (and thank goodness for that).
I've come quite a long way since then and have certainly expanded my knitting knowledge by leaps and bounds. I've made at least a dozen sweaters since then (ones that actually fit, are knit to gauge, and are seamed using actual knitting seaming techniques), and I've made my mother shawls and socks, but until now I'd never made her another sweater. Now I can say that I've honestly made up for that error in judgement of my youth.
I used this sweater to test knit a smaller size of the sweater I designed, which conveniently was in the size my mother would wear. I used vintage, deep stash Cascade 220 -- seriously, I think this was some of the oldest yarn in my stash, bought before the Mister and I were married, so more than 5 1/2 years old -- that was bought in a closeout from WEBS.
The process of knitting the sweater was a lot more pleasurable this time around, both because there was less knitting overall and because the pattern was much more finalized than it was the first time (when I was working from handwritten notes rather than a full pattern). The pattern's been through two tech editors now, so I'm hoping and praying that all the kinks have been worked out now. My test knitters are due to be finishing up this week, so if all goes as planned, I'll be releasing it early next week. The only minor change I still might have to make is to update the yardage estimates; I used all but a small amount of a fifth skein of yarn (the skein I'd used for my swatch, which I didn't unravel) when my estimate was a little lower than that, so I may need to bump the totals up about 100 yards, give or take.
If you'd told me I'd still need a sweater in late March/early April, I'd have laughed at you before this year, but we got a snow storm that dumped several inches on us yesterday, and it looks like it's still going to be below normal temperatures for a while yet, so my mother very well may get to wear her new sweater before it's time to pack it away for the summer!