Those are all excellent projects, and they’re satisfying to make. But, if you’ve already made bunches of these sorts of items, why not challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone a little?
If you usually crochet with yarn, perhaps you could try shaking things up a little by attempting to crochet without yarn. This isn’t as preposterous as it sounds; by now, maybe you’ve even noticed that the bracelet pictured is a) crocheted, and b) made without even so much as an inch of yarn. It’s one of the projects featured on our list of wire crochet jewelry patterns.
If you’re a die-hard yarn addict and you have no plans of changing that, no worries, there are plenty of other ways to challenge yourself.
If you haven’t ever knitted or crocheted with beads, that’s another technique you could try to introduce a new material into your work. You can click here to check out our introduction to bead crochet. If you need bead crochet patterns, I highly recommend this list of the best beadwork books at Crochet-Books.com. You’ll find all my favorite bead crochet pattern books featured on that list.
If beadwork isn’t going to be your next big thing, you could try learning a different knitting or crochet technique. Here are a few possibilities:
- Fair Isle or stranded colorwork knitting
- Cable knitting (See The Cable Knitter’s Guide for instructions, projects and inspiration)
- Crochet cables and Aran crochet (To learn these techniques, I recommend checking out Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters and Bonnie Barker’s excellent crochet books. Noggins and Necks is a good starting point for learning how to do textured aran crochet stitches without too steep of a learning curve.)
- Bruges crochet lace
- Tunisian crochet
- Filet Crochet
Another possibility: Try a new knitting stitch or crochet stitch. This vintage bullion stitch is an unusual one that combines the Tunisian crochet technique with the bullion stitch you might already be familiar with.
There are many great resources for testing out new stitches. Some of my favorites include the following:
- The Alterknit Stitch Dictionary (for stranded colorwork knitting stitch patterns)
- Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters (for every kind of crochet stitch pattern you could think of, including crochet cables, colorwork stitches, lace stitches, edgings and more)
- 99 Post Stitches by Darla Sims
These are just a few of my favorite resources to work with when I want to find a knitting stitch or crochet stitch I haven’t worked with yet. These are also fantastic references for finding some great classic stitches; Alterknit Stitch Dictionary has some really cool Greek keys, and Melissa Leapman’s stitch dictionary has all the basic crochet stitches you might want to look up.
Or perhaps you could branch out and get started working a different sort of projects than the ones you usually make. There are infinite possibilities if you want to fire up your imagination and dream up some project ideas that would get you started in a different-than-usual direction.
So what do you think you’ll try next? I invite your comments, especially if you’re feeling inspired to branch out.