If you were going to take a road trip, you’d try to pack everything you’d need. Or, maybe you’re the type to fly by the seat of your pants with what you’ve got on you. Either style can fit a knitter.
The efficient knitter makes a list, or uses the one on the pattern. Yarn selected carefully, correct needle size, gauge swatch knitted and blocked. The pattern has been read over several times and annotated.
An impulsive knitter may see a beautiful yarn and just know that they have to have it. The pattern may never exist, they could just knit as they go. It may take a few tries to get the gauge or pattern right, but it will get there eventually. There may be a few extra trips to the store.
Both methods can hit snags or unravelings. Undoubtedly, the well planned project should have fewer, but it all depends on the knitter. Newer knitters tend to choose projects that may be too difficult. Experienced knitters may choose a project that bores them.
The trick is to look at a pattern or project like a trip. You see the destination in your mind. You know what you want it to look like. But before you get to that finished product, you do need to have some sort of map. For the well planned knitter, is it an exciting project for a purpose? Or are you making another darn sweater? For the free flyer, have you done the pattern before? Or can you sketch out your idea? Is there a time line?
I love grabbing a ball of yarn and going to town. Sometimes with an idea of what I’m making, sometimes not. If I am making something for someone, I plan. I’ve made hats off the cuff. My husband also has a sweater with cable ribbing on the inside because I got bored.
Find a way to keep that initial excitement going. If there’s a lot of stockinet stitching, consider adding something to keeping it interesting. For impulse knitters, Keep It Simple Stupid. KISS never fails in knitting or men. Once you try to get complicated, you may find yourself running out of yarn, needing supplies, or simply exhausted from trying to keep up with what stitches you put where.
In either case, take notes! Like taking pictures on a trip, notes will remind you what you liked about the project, what you didn’t like, and what you did or would change. You never know when you might want to do something again.