Crocheted Items From Patterns
The first pattern I ever used was for a hat. I followed the directions closely and ended up with a, well, hat. While not hideous, it did slightly resemble the shape of those weird red hats worn by Devo in the "Whip It" video. What I learned: I can, for the most part, read a pattern.
The next pattern I used was for a toddler cardigan. The pattern was very well written and easy to follow. The finished cardigan actually looked like the picture from the pattern. The cardigan was worked up in five separate pieces and then sewn together--two front pieces, the back, and the two sleeves. Since I was just starting out I had no idea what kind of difference the type of yarn makes on a finished object. I used the cheapest yarn I could find--Red Heart Super Saver. While the cardigan is cute, it is stiff as a board. What I learned: Yarn matters, and I don't like sewing pieces together.