I recently discovered that one of my friends is a knitter. She is fantastic! I've known her for about 5 years and never once did I hear about this hobby of hers. Recently, we haven't been as close, but I'm trying to make up for my non-existence in my friends' lives. When I went to see her new home, I saw her work; she was working a bunch of scarves. Her work was so professional and her stitches were so pretty and orderly and neat (sort of like her). She gave me a bunch of good ideas which I put into practice right away. It was like I rediscovered my friend.
There is no local yarn store near me so basically my experience is limited to Michaels and JoAnns. Michaels had a big sale last Sunday, so I bought several skeins of a wine-colored Bernat yarn (sport satin). The pattern on the label was so cute that I ran home and downloaded the free pattern. It's a cute cable hat (easy pattern - good for me). This is my progress so far.
I love knitting with this yarn; it's so soft and the color is really beautiful. With money tight right now, I shouldn't really spend a lot on yarn. This stuff was $1 off and I had a coupon for an additional 15 percent off. I realize that I'm excited over Michael's yarn (which I assume is akin to being excited over a Walmart purchase). I would not know what to do with myself at a real yarn store with exotic and expensive yarns. I usually pick out solid color yarns, but I would like to find a really beautiful multi-colored yarn. The ones at Michaels do not feel pretty - more utilitarian.
After I mastered this pattern (which might require me knitting it a few more times), I'm going to try my skills at a shawl (also a free Bernat pattern). In addition to the wine-colored yarn, I bought jade-colored yarn from the same company. The shawl will probably be knitted with the jade yarn. I'm so excited about these patterns.