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December 20, 2014



For me, it is pattern first and then yarn. I admire knitters who see yarn and buy without a pattern. I just can't seem to pull that off.


I'm more inspired looking at the project first and seeing how it was knitted using different colors of yarn.

Annette Triner

Color first!

Rita aka crescendogal

Depends...sometimes it's a patten that I go in search of the perfect fiber for, othertimes it's a gorgeous fiber that calls for the search of the perfect pattern. And's who the gift is for...and then it's really fun to search!

Sue Dial

I think I do both. I love love love yarn and sometimes I just have to knit a pattern. Right now!

Lucy Portland

I look at patterns first. I am not good at searching for a pattern after I find a beautiful yarn.

Catherine Murzyn

I'm a giant sucker for colors. I tend to "collect" the yarn and then find a pattern. ♡♡

georgienne westrick

I get inspired many ways the smell of new yarn when I walk in to a yarn shop is the strongest, then I see the colors. Wow. A great pattern magazine or book just fuel the fire. Then there are websites and my knitting friends.

Danielle k

The yarn is my muse! i try to plan by pattern but unless it's a sweater it never works.


Sometimes it's the yarn saying "knit me now", sometimes it's a pattern. It's great when both thoughts arrive at the same time.


I can do any of them, depending on my mood and need (traveling & weather create lits of casting on!). I tend towards simple patterns to showcase colorful yarn.


I would like to think I plan often, the stack of paper patterns on my desk would say otherwise.

Denise Crane

I'm always scanning through patterns I like, putting them on the project list and then looking for the yarn. I often choose yarn the designer has done and it gives my an opportunity to try new yarns too!


I usually like to have a pattern or a project in mind before I go for the yarn since it is usually the most expensive part of the item I will be making. I want to have a person in mind most of the time unless I am doing an anonymous project such as a prayer shawl for the church.

Judi Kennedy

I usually plan around a pattern that I like then I pick the yarn. But lately, the yarn has been the inspiration, and I pick the pattern after.

Dottie Myers

I have been inspired by both but usually the pattern I just have to have!


It's the yarn first for me!


Ravelry is a big temptation -- so many great ideas. A tea break while checking out that site and seeing a yarn or pattern I like can get me to start a new project any time.

Helen King

I am always on the lookout for patterns that I would like to make but I have also found yarn that I just had to have.


For me I am drawn to the yarn first and then need to find the appropriate pattern unless I see a sample and then have to have the yarn. Well that isn't all that clear and explains the size of my stash!


i have about a million patterns marked on Ravelry, waiting for yarn choices and time to knit them


When I travel, I will pick out a skein that I like and use it for something special that will remind me of my trip and where the yarn was purchased.


It's about 50/50... either I have an idea for a project, then search for the yarn or I find a yarn then find the project to use it for.

Kathy Housley

It varies. Usually yarn first, but sometimes a pattern screams, "Me, me!"

Janet Gay

Sometimes it's the pattern. Sometimes it's the yarn. I'll always buy a sock yarn that catches my attention.

Ruth Colville

When a grandchild asks for something to be knit, it almost casts itself on the needles! After we know what they want, we talk pattern and color. I choose the type of yarn for the project last. Now socks...I fall for the yarn most times!

Sarah (3trees on Rav)

I generally see a finished project and want to make it - could be a blog picture, a podcast, an email, a new pattern on Rav, etc. - then I decide on yarn.

Lisa Viviano

I'm always inspired by the yard. The feel and the color. Love the mug!


Definitely yarn first. When I can't say no, I get enough yarn for either fingerless mitts, a vest or a sweater. Depends on how much yarn is available, cost, and type of yarn. I like the quest of finding a pattern based on what I have in the stash.

Cherri Simon

I would say for me it's a litttle of both, but primarily it's the yarn. I just love the whole process!


I think I am a little of both-color and pattern!! I just want every skies you showcase , so I buy and stash..then go later into my stash and get inspired by all the yarn I have !!

Pam Hunter

When I see a skein of yarn I can't live without I immediately start thinking what patterns do I have, do I have the needles I need and the right person for the project. I have so many skeins of yarn now that I need to make socks from I will never get them all done. Sometimes when I see a skein of neat yarn I think oh well I will just have to buy a pattern to go with it or just wait for the right pattern to come along.


Most of the time, I find a skein of yarn I love and purchase it, then find a pattern that goes with the yarn. I really lean towards colorful yarn!


I see the pattern & then have to find the perfect yarn for it (usually NOT the type or color that the pattern calls

Erin V

I see the skein and must make something of it!


Yarn first. Although scanning through patterns on Ravelry has become a habit, so I often have something in mind. But mostly I just have a very difficult time passing up a beautiful skein in an amazing color way.


Looking around my knitting room, I would have to say that it is the yarn. Especially for socks as it is easier to find a pattern than beautiful yarn. I just became an addicted sock knitter this year; what a pleasure.

Jennifer L

I buy yarn.that I like. Then when I am trying to decide what to do with it, I spend a week or so searching patterns and swatching until I find a combo that I am happy with. Occasionally, a pattern jumps out at me first, but not usually.


A lot of times I buy a yarn because it's gorgeous/perfect for someone/love the color(s)…I have millions of reasons to buy yarn!--but for projects to knit I'm usually inspired by someone's project on ravelry - I think all of the Christmas projects this year were started that way!

Linda L

Usually it's a pattern calling my name. Sometimes it's a need, like new gloves scarf etc. and sometimes it's the yarn begging to be made into something, but usually it's a pattern.

Laura Beutler (@darcybear)

I buy yarn before I find a pattern. And by "I find a pattern" I mean Rachael finds me many options and I choose from them.


For me, it's usually fall in love with the color first, then hunt for the right pattern. The only time it's the reverse is with sweaters. Since that's such a big investment, I usually only buy the yarn for that once I know exactly which pattern I want to make.


I peruse Rav for hours on end...


Usually the pattern comes first BUT all too often I spy a gorgeous skein that I must have, then sift through patterns to find one that will showcase the yarn.


I look at patterns and then find the perfect yarn


I usually buy the yarn first because I'm so addicted to color. I'm definitely a "one skein wonder" kind of gal! Then I knit socks and shawls like Hitchhiker to my heart's content! This kit is SO cute!!


It depends. Sometimes, I see a pattern I love and go looking for the perfect yarn. More often, I fall in love with the yarn and look for the perfect project.

Sandra Moody

My inspiration comes from the yarn... the colors, the feel, even the smell! I get plenty of pattern ideas from the very creative gals in my knitting group!


Yarn first most of the time. (That's why I have a stash to last beyond this lifetime. Lol)

Liz Fox

I usually want to make a gift, so I look for a pattern, the I choose the yarn.

April Prentice

Usually it is when I see the yarn colors then I cast on for socks. I love socks and I love brightly colored or jewel colored sock yarn.

Linda Black

I plan my knitting around the person I am knitting for and the yarn I have in my stash then some times I work on something my favorite color I call myself a yarn snob and only try to work with natural yarns


I fall in love with the yarn first, usually the colour gets me! Love this kit!

Kristi ~ Ohio

Majority of the time, it's the pattern and then the yarn. However, I do buy tons of sock yarn with no pattern in mind because I can't resist the colorway. :)


I am a sucker for pretty yarn, so I tend to buy whatever I like without a project in mind. My favorite thing to then do is find patterns/projects I like then "shop" the stash.

Diane True

It's pattern first and then I pick out the yarn....once in a great while it goes the other way around! :)

diana foltz

all i can say is you're a better person than i am--to work at simply sock and still be able to afford to eat! lol! when i see yarn that rings my bell i've got to have it and pray i'll figure out what to do with it. when i see patterns i like i buy them then begin the delicious hunt for yarn.... LOVE the whole process.


I'm usually a "buy the yarn 1st" kind of girl.


I usually fall in love with a pattern then begin a search for the yarn to find just the right color.

Kristina R

I get lost in Ravelry and by the time I find my way back out, I've thought of several different projects I'd like to make. Thus, the 4 different WIPs sitting next to my knitting chair.


Sometimes it's the pattern, but more often it's the yarn. And then I hope I bought enough for whatever I finally settle on doing with it!


Most of the time I can't resist new yarn and find a pattern afterward.


I usually know yarn I want to work with, then frantically find the pattern I want to use. Usually, I'll even cast on and finish the toes of socks (2aat/Toe UP) before I really know what pattern I'm going to try!

diana foltz

p.s. there are no local yarn shops here so all my yarn's bought on-line. means a lot of time's spent imagining what the yarn REALLY looks and feels like. i appreciate the good photos at simplysock and i love your blog photos of how yarns knit up. i definitely couldn't be a knitter without the amazing tool of ravelry. happy day 8 to you!

Kerith St. Louis

I usually buy the yarn first and pattern later!


Practicality first. Right now I need more black & grey I ordered a skein (or 2) of every black and black themed yarn from a single vendor. Next is the color and these become hats and scarves. I only keep a few pairs of clown socks. Mostly my socks are variations on neutrals and blues - for jeans.

Beth Wilkes

The yarn and the color inspire me!

Heather Larson

I buy the yarn stash it. Then when I see a pattern I love I usually buy more yarn. :)

Allise Vicens

Most of the time, it's a pattern that will catch my eye on Ravelry and then I have to buy the suggested yarn. But. I love color and sparkle so that could explain my stash.


In the past I bought yarn i like and stash i. Lately with a project in mind because my stash was getting to big.
When I find a pattern I like, I look in my stash or often have to buy yarn for it. Sooo I am trying to find patterns I like that match to the yarn I have on hand.

Michelle Solomon

Both but most of the time, it's pattern first. Wanting to try something new, needing to make something for someone or just seeing something on Ravelry that makes me go "Oooooo!!!!".


For socks, hats, and mitts, I pick yarn first; always because I love the color and it will be great with an item in my wardrobe. For sweaters and other garments, I select a pattern first, and then find yarn.


I am crazy about beautiful yarn! I buy it, take it home and try to get to know it! Sometimes I know what it wants to be and sometimes it goes into my stash. The right pattern always comes along.


When I first started this journey I always grabbed color first. Now that I have this massive stash and have no idea what to do with it, I try to find a pattern to match the skein that i'm purchasing.

Joan Morgan

Sometimes I think I am a very distracted knitter, I can have plans for my next project and yarm lined up--and then I find a new pattern or yarn that just MUST be knit...and the best plans go out the window!


I would say, more often than not, it is a pattern that inspires me. But sometimes that yarn says, "buy me"! Lol.

Geraldine Scott

Beautiful, colorful yarn first, and then patiently wait for the perfect pattern!


I seem to be inspired by both color ways or by pattern. Sometimes it's by project. There really is no usual method for planning projects. Often though I do often purchase yarn for socks based upon color way. Scarves and hats have been planned by pattern. And sweaters have been planned by viewing samples and falling in love as well as by pattern.

I find it really doesn't take much for me to plan projects. In fact, it's likely I will ever have enough time to complete all planned projects within the next 20-30 years.


I rarely plan my projects. I will either find a yarn I just love or see a pattern I just have to try and I then begin the search for a match. Usually I am searching through my stash looking for the perfect mate to my latest find.

Beth L.

Most of my yarn purchases are impulses, based on color or texture or even a good price on a yarn I want to try. Things hang out in the stash, sometimes finding friends who become inseperable. When I find a pattern I like, I shop my stash first.


I buy yarn because I love the color of it - then I look for projects. I've been doing lots of test knitting lately and those projects require finding yarn that will shine in the pattern.


I usually fall in love with the yarn and then find the perfect sock pattern to work with the yarn.


Most of the time I see the pattern first but it could be that I like the pattern with the yarn they designer used. Sometimes I see a skein I must have and wait until the perfect pattern comes along!


It's almost always the yarn that speaks to me first. COLOR, COLOR. COLOR. Then I search Revelry for just the right pattern.


I buy yarn for the colors...I knit mostly socks, so some of the recipients get the shocking colors....and others the more sedate...I also purchase by feel...


Inspiration from blogs and podcasts mostly. Sometimes a friend will say something about really wanting a hat or mitts and I just make them. It's all about an excuse to go to the yarn store!


I do both. Sometimes it's a gorgeously colored yarn that I cast on with a simple pattern, and sometimes the pattern comes first and I have to go look for the yarn. I love the colors in this photo!


Yarn and color first!!


I always start with the yarn, then find a pattern that works.

Martha from Ohio

Yes. Love the entire process. Sometimes the yarn comes first and sometimes the pattern.


If knitting for myself I usually start with the yarn that I have (or can't resist purchasing) and find a pattern to match. When knitting for others I start with the type of item I want to make (shawl, socks, etc.) and choose yarn and specific pattern from there.


My projects generally begin on Ravelry. I see a project I love, go back to look at it a few times, eventually decide to do it and then start considering yarn choices.

Joan Grahlfs

I think my projects plan me! But usually it starts with the yarn. I have big bowl that contains my latest find. It sits near my knitting nest. I listen.

Heather H

I look for projects on Ravelry and then match it with yarn. Or I look at projects others have done in that yarn.


I am a sucker for the names of colorways. I bought Robot Overlord because of the name, and Zombie Prom, and Bigger on the Inside.

Melanie Meyer

Usually the yarn comes first, and the project comes later. I have issues with impulse control. When I see some awesome yarn, I buy it and plan projects later!

Leigh Ann Brown

I do both although more often the yarn will speak first. Texture and color draw me in. Sometimes I have a pattern waiting for the right yarn an sometimes the yarn will sit on my stash until I see just the right pattern.

Cindy Lou

I usually find the pattern and then select the yarn but there are times that I find the yarn first and then look for just the right pattern. That happened with the Poste Yarns Jollyville, TX. Had to have it and now I'm on a quest for the perfect pattern. I'm thinking mitts so it will last forever and I can look at it so much easier if it's on my hands instead of my feet!

Jennifer S.

Definitely yarn/color first. That's why sock yarn is like crack to me! I just want it…need it… and then later I'll figure out what to actually do with it.

Deborah Graham

I am a sucker for yarn. When I see something I have to have, it is right now! I see patterns I love, but forget about them. I never forget the yarn!

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