How I did it: Mostly I would knit in the evenings and combined knitting with watching (actually listening) to TV shows or movies (when I tried to combine watching with knitting, I made too many mistakes). Sometimes it seemed an endless task, at other times it just zipped along. I checked my work every few rows for mistakes and fixed them as soon as I found them, also counted stitches regularly to make sure I didn't go wrong somewhere without realizing it.
Lessons & tips: Don't count on the pattern to be perfect (the pattern called for a mock turtleneck collar that looked weird; I changed it to a real turtleneck), and trust your instincts even if you're a novice like me (e.g., if I'd done what the pattern called for on the collar, its ribbing would have been out of sync with the wide-spaced ribbing of the body of the sweater, so I adjusted it so they would line up and look more aeshetically pleasing). Also, considering all the work you put into making an item, get the best yarn you can afford (I found mine on clearance). The yarn I used for this sweater had a much better (softer) feel to it than anything I've used before.
Resources: There are lots of free knitting and crocheting patterns (for all types of things) at yarn company websites; Lion Brand, Caron, and Red Heart yarns have free patterns (google them, I don' t know the web addresses off hand). Youtube has lots of instructional videos which help if you are stuck on how to do something.