Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted is my all-time favorite yarn. It comes in really lovely colorways and is a joy to knit with. It is soft, luxurious, machine washable, and worth every cent! I wish I could afford to use it on more of my projects!
Knitting Pure and Simple patterns are well written and easy to follow. I have a few of them, and they are perfect for charity knitting. If you are knitting your first sweater, this is a wonderful place to start. They have a great basic sock pattern too!