How do you choose a project? What “calls” to you the most?
Hmmm. Most of the projects that "call" to me are things that look interesting to do. "Interesting" in this context may mean that the construction technique is unusual (e.g. modular knitting) or the pattern itself looks challenging enough to make me think "That would be FUN to learn!" I like to try things I haven't done before. The top-down raglan sweater and the Faroese shawl I did last year fall into that category. I had never actually knit a raglan sweater before. I'm just not that crazy about how they look. (I'm more of a set-in or drop-shoulder sleeve kind of gal.) But I wanted to know how to do one, and I wanted to knit a sweater from the top down, so I did. The Faroese-style shawl was a pattern from an old Knitter's magazine. I'd been wanting to make one for ages. I also knew I wanted to knit something lacy for my wedding. This shawl became a "warm-up" project for me. It let me practice counting yo's and dec's (and error corrections) while I was learning about Faroe shawl shaping and style.
Sometimes serendipity is a factor in the projects I pick. When I decided to make a wedding shawl, I looked in books and on the internet for a pattern that spoke to me. When I found Hazel Carter's Song of Hiawatha
Lace Stole, I knew I'd found my pattern. The description says:
"The patterns represent elements of the story such as the pine trees, arrows, Minnehaha's namesake waterfall and the wedding song of Chibiabos."
I'm an archer (arrows), I love woods and waterfalls, and there's a wedding reference. I ask you, what could be more perfect?
I almost never pick a pattern just because of the yarn it calls for. The yarns are often not easily available locally, and when they are, they frequently cost more than I'm willing to pay. I pick a pattern and then try to find a yarn that will work with it. Sorry, yarn companies. When I buy fiber for spinning, I do just the opposite. I see a fiber that appeals to me (color, texture, etc.) and fall in love. I figure I'll find something to do with it after I spin it. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I end up with lots of lovely skeins of yarn.
Whether I can actually wear or use the item is, alas, of secondary consideration to me. What this means is that I've made things that frequently end up sitting in the closet or a drawer somewhere. For me, it's a lot more about the process than it is about the product. Oh well. That's how I do things, and I've learned to live with it.
Daily Knitting Report:
I'm getting close to finishing the edging for my spiral shawl. I'm going to put on a blaze of activity and try to finish it before we head off to Fripp. I wanted it to be big, and it is! Unblocked, it's about 60" across. Wow. It'll be warm and snuggly this winter!