Recently, on one of my Ravelry forums, someone asked whether when selecting a project we are attracted to a finished project or we are attracted to a technique and then we learn to love the project.
While I can never see myself starting an actual full sized project, no matter how intriguing the technique, without loving the project itself, (unless it was for a gift with very specific requirements), I often find myself exploring interesting techniques, even if I don’t love the finished project. This exploration sometimes takes the form of a small finished project. After the exploration, I either create a plan for something I love or enjoy the exploration and then move on.
As far as actual projects go, I take one of several routes to selecting a project.
1. The usual route is the traditional love at first sight one, I see a project I adore and I must make it. I happily hunt for a great yarn to go with the project and merrily start. Many of my finished projects are of this category. Almost every time I see a finished project for BooKnits’ Sweet Dreams, I have a desire to knit it. I have already knit two and given them away, but I also want to make one for myself (and I don’t make projects multiple times as a rule).
2. I discover, either through surfing the web or by playing, a new technique, stitch or idea and I explore it in samples and swatches and then I may start a project (though honestly, after doing several large samples/swatches, I may still be in love with the idea, but feel “been there, done that”). These projects are often smaller and very often are gifts in situations where I have to make many gifts for a group. For Christmas 2012, I made almost 40 scarves as gifts and many of those would fall under this category. Except for this type of gift, these projects often do not get further than the sampling/swatching phase.
3. A fabulous yarn sparks a design idea. Then I go the route of samples and swatches (see #2). These projects tend to get finished more often. I am not sure if it is coincidence or if yarn driven projects are more motivating. One example is my Hy Shawl.
4. A design idea strikes and I start the design/swatch process with a vengeance and somewhere in there I hunt for the perfect yarn, sometimes after doing a lot of the swatching in advance. These projects sometimes get finished and sometimes not. This Baby Chef’s Hat was a second reworking of the design when I found that the first hat just didn’t look enough like a chef’s hat.
There are undoubtedly other routes I take to choosing projects, but I think most of them would be subcategories or combinations of these four. Please leave a comment on how you chose your next projects, whether, knitting, or something completely different.