Hello everyone! Tara here—
When you’re surrounded by such incredible patterns on a regular basis, it’s hard to decide which projects you actually want to make in the time you have. Most crafters tend to have multiple WIPs (Works In Progress) they’re working on at once, but that isn’t always the case.
Do you make as many little projects as you can, or do you make a larger project like an afghan or sweater? Do you try to balance it out and make a few smaller projects with a larger project thrown in, or do you stick to medium-sized projects?
Or do you look for something else entirely?
Maybe you’re more focused on technique and look for projects that will teach you something new?
I try to always have one larger project on a hook AND one smaller project. Lately, I’ve had much more than that (I think I have 6 WIPs right now—a new record)! I try to balance my projects, not just with size, but with difficulty too. I should be learning something new or trying something new with at least one of the projects I’m working on, and one project should be something that I can pick up and not think a lot about.
And sometimes, you can find a project where all of those overlap.
I just finished making the Northern Woods Scarf, which can be found in the Winter 2022 issue of Crochet! Magazine.
It was the first time I had used a yarn that small in a project, and the first time I played with a fancier yarn (I used a Superwash Merino-Silk blend instead of the recommended Superwash Merino-Nylon blend). While the pattern was new and something I had to really pay attention to in the beginning, once you get into it, it’s a 2-row repeat 90% of the time so it very quickly became the project I would take when I got my car serviced and when I was waiting for a doctor’s appointment. It was a small enough project to take everywhere, but it was also a long-enough project that I never had to worry about running out of yarn while I was out.
I decided to ask some of the other crocheters in the office to see what they look for in projects and this is what they said:
#1: Britt Schmiesing, Editor of Crochet World Magazine
“I look for something that will work with the yarn I have in my stash. Something pretty. Two of my favorite crochet projects to make were the Farmhouse Granny Afghan & Pillow, which was part of Annie’s Signature Designs and published in February of 2019.
I also really loved knitting the Allegiant Set, which was also part of Annie’s Signature Designs and was published in November 2017.
#2: Terra Ward, Editorial Assistant of Crochet World Magazine and Crochet! Magazine
“Something where I don’t have to do much counting. I just love the repetition and automatic flow.”
#3: Emily Oliver, Copy Editor
“I prefer quick projects that I can work up in a few hours or a few days. I also like the look of crochet blankets and afghans, and it’s nice to have a bigger project with a repetitive stitch pattern that you can pick up and work on when you’re relaxing and watching TV or when you need something to do with your hands.”
#4: Brenda Gallmeyer, Publishing Services Director
“I like accessories or home decor pieces that are unique either in color or pattern, that I don’t see anywhere else. Something other than mass produced items from the store. I did love doing the afghan series kits that use stitches in new ways. Loved the texture on those projects!”
#5: Emily Durbin, Production Artist
“I took almost a year hiatus from crocheting, so now trying to get back into it. Excited to try different techniques, I’m working on that shawl whose name escapes me right now, but it mixes squares made in the round and squares made in rows, focusing heavily on the post stitches to make the leaf patterns. I’ve not tried anything all square before because of timidity of weaving in ends and seam them all together at the end. But discovered I liked working the squares in rounds more than rows which was not what I expected!
I like more modern looks and a cozy feel. Projects that are useable and handmade, but don’t always look like they are, with a muted color palette. I’m not a fan of color changes because of weaving in the ends and cables are intriguing, but some of those take time to figure out reading the pattern because I’m still learning. I love a great slouchy winter hat with a giant faux fur pouf, but I haven’t found the perfect pattern yet. I’m wanting to pick a sweater pattern and give that a go soon too, but I’m picky when it comes to actually wearing something I make.”
Let us know in the comments what you look for in a project!
– Tara Orchard, Editor of Crochet! Magazine
Need more inspiration? Check out Annie’s Craft Store for more incredible crochet patterns!