To repeat, or not repeat?

I’ve had two very different experiences repeating the same pattern within the past 6 months. It got me thinking about what makes it fun to make the same pattern multiple times and what makes it less appealing. I made a very texture heavy sweater for my husband, and then repeated it for my dad. I found the second time through was really tough. It couldn’t end soon enough! I also recently knit a cute balaclava out of leftover yarn. When I finished, I immediately started making another one in a different color, and I’m still having a blast. So what made these two repeat experiences so different?


One big difference in my two sets of projects is obviously the size. I think that larger projects that require more time to complete can be more draining. Doing two back-to-back mens’ sweaters took all the motivation out of me. Small projects, like accessories, finish quickly so you get that satisfaction right away, and you can be motivated for the next one.


The textured sweaters were really fun to knit at first. All the different parts of the texture pattern were exciting to learn, and complicated enough to keep things interesting as I was knitting along. But after a while the excitement wears off, but the focus required to make the design was still there. It really became a bit of a drag. The balaclava on the other hand was a very simple stitch, making it easy to knit through without too much attention. The stitch didn’t wear me out, even as I was starting my second one.

Learning from the past

Another thing that I wondered about is if it is easier to make a pattern the second time. Once you’ve worked your way through a pattern, you already know your way around it. It would make sense for it to be less effort to make a second time. I actually find that I make more mistakes when making a pattern a 2nd or 3rd time. This is probably because I am not looking at the pattern, or counting my stitches as carefully. So I end up having to spend more time fixing my mistakes. Do you have a better time repeating a pattern you’ve already made?

Some patterns are more ‘repeat’ friendly than others. Simple designs can be fun and straightforward to make and so it is an easy choice to make it again. More involved patterns, like texture, colorwork, and lace motifs might not have as much of an appeal to repeat. Or at the very least, you might want to have a bit of a break between projects using these types of patterns. Do you knit a pattern multiple times, or is one time enough? 🧶

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