I liked the cover sweater for a little girl who is related to me, for Christmas. The pattern, called Rita, is in the yarn Aya. However, I have found in the past that yarns-that-change-color and lace often don't mix. Sometimes, its just all too much for me. For example, in this shawl which I knit in the last year:
I really like this shawl pattern which is Windsbraut-Herbstwind, by Monika Eckhert; it is done in minimochi. I loved both the pattern and the smooth yarn in my favorite purples/greens, but together the lace and the changing color didn't work. The shawl went to Afghans for Afghans. So, I learned my lesson this year, and decided to go with a solid yarn for the pattern.
I went with some Plymouth Encore instead, here's the result
It wasn't as boring as a lot of children's patterns with vast prairies of stockinette or garter, thanks to the lace pattern. I need to add buttons. And I just need to finish the sweater for her brother, also from this book.
Now, I'm not saying that I don't like the Noro thing, here's an example of what I love. I've been working on this afghan to be for about four years. It's a mitred square afghan, in Kureyon. I have more squares done, but not sewn together. I love it. But in its own way, it's a vast prairie of stockinette, interrupted by the occasional k2tog, so I've got a long way to go.
Back to the topic of gifting for children; if I run out of knitting steam, I buy a book. This is one of my favorite childrens books
A Symphony for the Sheep is the story in rhyme of sheep-to-sweater, set in Ireland, by Cynthia Millen, with lovely illustrations by Mary Azarian, who is a woodcut artist in Vermont. Unfortunately, it is out of print. Available used at Amazon. If Houghton Mifflin had any sense, they would do a reprint and sell at our favorite knitting venues.