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Are you in a knitting rut?

Ten ways to keep your knitting practice fresh

Remember that first-FO feeling? Whether it was a scarf, a hat, or a dishcloth, that final cast-off was a triumph - and a gateway to more. Do you still have that fresh feeling? Or maybe you'd like to mix it up to bring it back?

1: Challenge yourself to an impossible color

Fill in the blank: I could never pull off ____________. Then, go do it anyway. Try an accessory or a project for a friend. See if you can find creative ways to work that color into a colorwork project. Use it to make something for your kitchen. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to play. 2: Knit a present for Future You Think out six months, and pull out some of your favorite clothes for fall. What could you make that would be a perfect addition? Knit it up, buy yourself a new pair of earrings, and wrap the present. Set a calendar date so you don't forget! Psst - looking for inspiration for wardrobe planning? Use paper dolls! 3: Swatch something scary Pull out a yarn you love and a stitch dictionary, and just knit up a swatch in a technique that's been on your slightly-intimidated list. Brioche? Intarsia? Dropped stitches? Whatever it is, set aside time for some creative play. My favorite stitch dictionary remains my first - Potter Craft's 400 Knitting Stitches: A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns. 4: Meet a new fiber

We definitely all have our favorites. But what if you ran an experiment with something else? I recently knit a second sample of a tee that's coming in May in cotton and I DRIED IT IN THE DRYER. I've always been leery of cotton, but now that I've knit it up and know that it can handle real-life wear and real-life care, I feel like I have a new tool. Whether you're curious about something more practical or something outrageously IMpractical, take a gamble on something fun. 5: Start a notebook Are you an online-project tracker? A non-tracker? Already on the paper notebook train? Creating a physical record of your knits is a fun and tactile way to organize your thoughts and plans. I love disc-bound systems for this, and I'm personally a fan of the