The first sweater I ever knit was Mariah, a lovely pattern designed by Jodi Green and released by Knitty.com.
At this point I had just discovered the online knitting community and Knitty was a revelation. All of the knitting books at my library were at least twenty years old and full of unappealing patterns.
Although I had technically been knitting for at least 10 years, I was still a relatively new knitter. I had just figured out the purl stitch a few months earlier and the whole knitting world had just exploded for me.
So, I bought a metric ton of Wool of the Andes and got started.
The body of the sweater was simple enough, however I severely overestimated my girth and made it size HUGE. I think every knitter starts out with the mindset that it's better to knit a flour-sack than have the project come out too small. Lesson learned.
Anyway, we're here to talk sleeves, and the sleeves on this sweater were epic.
Cables and cables and shaping and yowza! I love love love cables, but in retrospect this may have been a little much for my new knitting brain to handle at once. I wish I could tell you that I re-knit the sleeves more times than I could tell, but I actually still remember. Left sleeve: 4 times. Right Sleeve: 2 times.
These sleeves brought about the first knitting "fight" between myself and my husband/boyfriend at the time. In the midst of my vetching and moaning about having to reknit the sleeves AGAIN, he pipes up with, "Well, you like knitting, so it's just more knitting for you."
He survived, but I'm still not sure how. Maybe he's 1/16th ninja or something.
So, long story long, I now knit my cuff-up sleeves at the same time on a long circular needle. It is definitely a slower process and takes away the fun of whipping out a quick sleeve, but when I screw up royally I at least screw up on both at once. And that, my friends, is what we call a "design element".