1. They make great gifts. A pair of hand knitted mittens makes a wonderful small gift. Practical, stylish, quick to make and handy to keep in a pocket in case of a chilly day.
I like Dancing Dolphins mittens by Sonja Launspach, available in Women's Small, Medium and Large.
2. They're brilliant stash busters. If you have lots of odds and ends to use up there are plenty of patterns for small projects that will burn through those part-balls left from other projects. I make a lot of socks, so I have a lot of sock yarn leftovers looking for the right pattern.
I like Rosabella Mitts by Elanor King, a pretty pair of mitts which are ideal for using up small lengths of sock yarn, sized for children or women.
3. They're quick!! When you need instant gratification, a small project might be just what you need to feel that sense of achievement of a finished item in a short period of time. What could be quicker and easier than a dishcloth? I can finish one of these in one evening.
Poplar - the dishcloth by Julia Stanfield
4. They're portable. If you like to knit on the move, you need something small and easy to bring along. If you commute by public transport, a pair of socks or mittens, a shawlette or a cowl are easy to knit in transit. If you knit on your lunch break, at your desk or under a tree in the park, a small project is perfect to bring along without needing to take your entire knitting kit with you.
I like socks for moveable knitting. Even quite complex ones can be made easily on the move. Once you've set the toe up, you've got several inches of straight knitting, no shaping, just the patterning. Turn the heel and you've got several more inches straight up to the cuff. A copy of the chart (for personal use) takes up little space.
I like Crocus Socks by Wendy D Johnson, among others.
5. They're miniature works of art. They say small is beautiful, and as far as knitting goes, that's very true. Something you knit on the train on the way to work, something you make while riding in a car (as a passenger, of course!) on a long drive, something you create while waiting for appointments, can be a truly stunning small thing of beauty. Whether you keep it to admire for yourself or give it to someone knitworthy who will appreciate the work, skill and love that went into it, your small projects can be amazing.
I like Sonetto Shawl by Judy Marples.
So, what do you like about small projects? What kind of small projects do you like to make? Which patterns do you recommend to other knitters? I'd love to see your ideas.....