I let my daughter pick out the sweater she wanted from Zoe Mellor's Animal Knits: 26 Fun Handknits for Children and Toddlers
. I did a bit of tweaking in the sizing department (making it narrower and longer than the pattern called for due to daughter's enviable proportions from some recessive, elusive gene that must skip many generations). Also changed colors (black instead of navy, just to be cool or maybe because I didn't trust the navy swatch on my monitor). I used merino yarn from knitpicks and, all in all, I'm really pleased with it.The yarn came out to maybe $22 - $24 and I have SOOO much left over: enough for a felted bag for me and a couple of hats.
The yarn is really soft--my daughter hates wool but not this stuff.
I was so nervous about intarsia--thinking I'd have holes everywhere. Happily I didn't. Weaving in all those ends took hours, though.