Last week was spring break for the college where I teach, so I decided that it was time to tackle a more ambitious project than any I had done so far. I looked around for the simplest sweater pattern that I could find, and settled on "Skully" from Debbie Stoller's "Stitch 'n Bitch."
I had to learn a few new techniques I had never used before. The three needle bindoff was trivial, picking up stitches was easy (though I had trouble doing it evenly), and intarsia was a huge pain even for the limited amount in the sweater. I ended up "cheating" the intarsia a lot, especially on the second sleeve.
It took almost exactly a week to finish it. I started late on a Friday evening, and finished up the following Friday in the afternoon.
Now that I'm done, I kind of regret being so cautious and sticking to the pattern almost exactly. There are certainly things that I think I could have improved if I had been courageous enough. Still, it turned out well, and it is something that I will actually wear, especially when I'm giving exams. (Not until next winter, though. The thing is incredibly warm, and now that temperatures are going above 80F, I just don't see using it any time soon.)
At any rate, I certainly encourage any knitters that are scared of sweaters to give this one a try. It is designed to be baggy, and so has very little shaping involved. I figure if I can manage it, just about anyone can!
(Edit: Still trying to figure out the best way to link images to posts. Click here for picture larger than the thumbnail.)