Often, when I'm working on a design that is similar to toys I've made before, everything comes together quickly and easily. At worst, I might have to try a few variations of the head and ears, to make sure the shaping (and/or intarsia) are just right. But when it's something really new, it doesn't always come out right the first time, or even the fifth! I try out different sizes, change the dimensions slightly, move around the increases and decreases. I'll may try out short-row shaping, or binding-off and casting-on new stitches. Occasionally, I'll try a different construction, as it may work better in 2 or more pieces. Sometimes, all these attempts to get the design just right end up making it too complicated, and I worry that knitters will decide not to bother with it. So I stick to some simpler, but less perfect version, telling myself, "It's good enough." And I move on, knowing that most knitters will be happy with the outcome, even if I will keep picking at it on my own.
An example of a design in progress.
The one on the right ended up being cut from the final pattern.
Do you enjoy learning new skills and techniques, or do you prefer to stick to what you know and are good at? How do you prefer to learn new skills?