Thursday, July 28, 2011

So, how do you start projects?

My friend Spencer, a.k.a. Kinpatsu, and I are doing a thing I've jokingly called "Twin Topic Thursdays" where we write on a topic we arbitrarily pick somewhere around Tuesday when we realize we should probably get our Thursday posts marinating. This week, we're thinking about starting.

How do you start out with a project? Do you pick the yarn or the pattern first? How do you match pattern to yarn? How do you decide what needles to use?

As with all things, the answer to this is much longer than it initially appears. I really have no set project protocol, but I do have a few things I think about.

My yarn-buying process should be pretty evident from my stashdown list - if I'm buying without a plan, go for the one spectacular skein. This results in a fantastic selection of sock, glove, hat, and shawl yarn. My garment stash, however, is so small as to be essentially non-existent. The only reason I bought the one sweater quantity was because it was huge alpaca skeins on sale for $5 each. At just more expensive than another skein of boring sock yarn, I had to bite. Have I mentioned my usual LYS stocks rather uninspiring sock yarn?

When working from stash, I generally go straight to Ravelry's advanced search. I set the variables for yarn type and yardage, maybe what sort of project I think it wants to be, then I go to town. I'll search through Ravelry until I find the perfect project. Then, I turn to the needles.

Most of the time I don't think too much about my needle choice. Size 1 bamboo DPNs for socks (although I would love to try rosewood!). Steel or aluminum for colorwork. Everything else, I'm not too picky, although lace on large needles requires sharper points.

If I'm starting with a pattern, my first stop for yarn is most often Knitpicks or Webs. Knitpicks Stroll is a favorite because I like complex socks. Valley Yarns Northampton makes super-cushy arans. Someday using fancy yarn for all of my projects will be affordable, but until then, I'll just keep buying pretties because I want them then picking projects to go with.

1 comment:

  1. I have a very similar process. Although if I have a yarn and get stuck (or am being lazy) I find the yarn on Ravlery and look at other projects made from it. This works really well for scrap down projects.