Before you start your next knitting project, make sure you ask yourself these 6 questions so you’re prepared to have your project turn out awesome!
Have you ever been super excited to start your next knitting project only to stumble shortly thereafter, halfway through, or near the end and get super frustrated and then want to give up? Or did you pick a knitting pattern and feel a little bit unsure about if you want to knit it? This is so common, we have ALL done it. I’d wager to guess that hitting a stumbling block in a knitting project has got to be one of the most common reasons WIP’s languish on a shelf for a lot of people (after boredom, of course). And we’ve all also tried to power through a project that just isn’t working for us.
I’ve learned over time that if I spend a little bit of time being realistic with myself BEFORE I start my next knitting project, I can avoid major problems down the road. So today we’re going to talk about 6 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you start your next knitting project so that you’re ready to set yourself up for success!
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Next Knitting Project
- Is this project worth my time and money?
This question is totally subjective because worth and value are totally subjective. We will all have a different answer to this question. For example, at this point in my life, knitting socks does not feel worth my time and money. Nor does knitting gift items for someone who hasn’t asked for a hand-knitted item. I have to weigh up how much free time I have, and how likely I am (or how likely someone else is) to appreciate the finished object. My answer is probably different from yours.
The other thing to consider is the value of joy and accomplishment. If you know a particular knitting project will just be FUN for you to knit, then that is a type of value as well and you can and should take that into account! The reverse is also true. If you hate a certain technique like fair isle or short rows and the project requires them, is it worth it to you to suffer through doing something you don’t love? For me, I get a lot of joy out of the feeling of accomplishment I get from finishing things, so that’s a big motivator for me, but it might not be for you, and that’s ok!
- Can I afford the time and money required?
Once you’ve decided if it’s worth it, you should ask if you can actually afford it. Your answer could very well change after this question!
Like value and worth, our budgets for time and money are different for each of us as well. If you have lots of free time, a project that takes a long time is fine. If you are super busy, it may not be. Same for financial budget, if you’re on a tight budget, spending money on a lot of yarn for a large project like a blanket may not make sense for you. Or you may have more disposable income and you are able to afford it.
Furthermore, when thinking about the money required in particular, consider the cost of materials vs. buying a similar item. What is the cost difference between buying the supplies to make your own versus purchasing something already finished?
For many makers, the process is part of the fun for us so it IS worth it, but there may be some projects where it is not. For example, one of my friends was considering making one of those super chunky arm knit blankets but when she priced out the supplies she decided that the much higher cost of making it herself was not worth the fun she would get out of making it herself. But again, this will depend on your own personal preferences.
- Do I have the supplies I need (and will they work)?
Before you start, consider if you have any of the supplies I need. If you have to purchase completely new supplies for a new project, that will take up more of your time, energy and money. But if you already have yarn to use or you have the needles you need, the “additional cost” of the project will lower.
Also, when considering if you have the supplies you need, make sure that what you have will REALLY work. Don’t convince yourself that it’s fine to use bulky yarn to knit a lace shawl just because you already have some bulky yarn. If you are considering substituting yarn or changing needle sizes, be sure to swatch before you start so you don’t get halfway through and find out your changes and adjustments aren’t working.
- Is this project within my ability level?
Be honest with yourself, do you really know the techniques used in the pattern? If it’s nothing new, go for it! If it’s a little bit of a stretch, think about doing some practice, watching some videos or doing some swatching to get yourself ready. If the project is a really big stretch with difficult or brand new techniques that are big step up from your baseline ability level, think hard before you start, you don’t want to get halfway through and give up in frustration, it may be better to wait until you have a little more experience.
- Will I get bored with this project?
Will this project bore you? Is it time sensitive? Do you LIKE working on projects that take a long time or a short time? I personally prefer smaller shorter projects at this stage of my life, so if I were to consider something big like a blanket, I’d probably reconsider when I asked myself this question.
I think answering this question requires some experience and self-awareness to know what your answers to this one will be, but if you’ve been knitting or crafting for a while, you probably have a sense of how you like to work.
- Does this project have good reviews or any tips/tricks?
This question is not 100% required, but it’s certainly worth checking on Ravelry, for example, to see if other people have enjoyed making this project. It can also be worth it to look for any tips & tricks from other makers to help your project go smoothly!
Hopefully after you’ve asked yourself these questions you’ll be ready to start your next knitting project and you’ll be all set up for success! (Or maybe you will have decided to go back to the drawing board and choose something else, and that’s cool too, you probably avoided a lot of frustration!)
I’d love to hear if there are any other things you consider before you start knitting!
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