My "sister-in-law" heard that I had learned to knit and asked for a scarf for Christmas. She is a beautiful and extremely intelligent woman that decided to leave her career as a Nuclear Engineer to become a Cardiologist! She ain't just purdy... she gots herself a brain!
I decided that I needed to learn a new stitch to impress her. So, I scoped out one of the local yarn shops and found a beautiful scarf that I wanted to adapt for her. It's a lace pattern. I also decided that I was going to break away from the Red Heart I inherited from my Mother and buy some "real" yarn. However, I was not willing to learn on the "good yarn" so I worked up a practice piece using more of the Red Heart... I have a co-worker that this would be a perfect gift for!
At first I was completely intimidated by this! I had never used a pattern before and this involved new stitches. However, once I sat down and really read the instructions... then read them again and again and again as I was knitting... it all fell into place.