Next, I cull. I try to bear in mind the fiber of yarn I will be working with. Am I using an animal or a plant based fiber? How might this sweater sit if I'm knitting it with wool instead of linen? (That is a legit question I'm asking myself right now as I attempt to knit Flex with a wool/acrylic blend!)
Once I have three to six patterns that I like (the contenders for my current Better Sweater Project are at the top of this post), I pick my top choice and begin swatching. Remember, even if you use the weight of yarn suggested by a pattern that does not necessarily mean that your yarn will produce the same gauge as the pattern. If my swatch doesn't match up to the gauge indicated on the pattern page, I try using a different needle size. If this doesn't work out, I move on to another pattern and begin the swatching process again. Once I have the winning combo, I progress to the final step.
Leap into knitting! Take a chance and see if your project will fly. Only time will tell if my acrylic/wool version of Flex will end up awesome or get frogged and turned into something else. But that's part of the grand knitting adventure, right? Cheers!
In short, I:
- Sort through my personal Ravelry library or the general Ravelry library by weight.
- Select patterns that I might want to work with and add to personal library.
- Cull these patterns, picking out the ones that would work with they fibre of yarn I'm using.
- Swatch and swatch and swatch.
- Leap into knitting!
Update: After taking a "leap" and beginning Flex, I soon discovered that I had completely inaccurately gauged my yarn as aran when in fact it is worsted. I blame this mis-reading of yarn weight on the slightly fluffed out quality of the yarn from washing (and not on my utter incompetence). Back to the library I go!