"Using my talents to make gifts for others is always worthwhile! Even after 8 months."
How I did it: I bought a pre-assembled kit from Knitpicks.com that included everything needed to knit up a baby sweater. I'd originally intended it to be for the first niece of my brother, but she's a nuclear mutated monster and is waaay too tall. So the second niece will grow in to this one and get a few good months use out of it (hopefully). Kits tend to have plenty of instruction, and Knitpicks also has lots of support if you run in to trouble. I ran in to issues with the "bubbles" and they had videos to walk through parts you might get stuck on.
I admit I cheated just a bit by doing a baby sweater to complete this goal, but the joins of the sleeves so there's no seaming can still be applied to larger sweaters...like the one I'm working on for my husband right now as well!
The only downside was that I kept running out of time to work on the intricate switch of colors in the pattern, so it much, much longer than most people would take on something so small. In the future I'll do with less of a pattern and more solid color blocks for decoration.
Lessons & tips: ~if you've never knit clothing before, pick a pattern marked "easy" and make sure you get it from somewhere that has up-to-date errata and an active community to help you out if you get stuck!
~when in doubt, check Ravelry. Chances are good someone there has knit your pattern and made notes on it. You can either look up what people have already done, or go on to their boards and ask a question. the people there are really nice and someone will help you out.
knitpicks.com - good for yarns and equipment, not just kits!
It took me 8 months.
It made me happy