I was going through some old papers in my crafting room, getting rid of old printed patterns that I know I'll never use, and it really struck me how much my knitting preferences have changed over the years. I used to really want to make knitted toys -- so irresistibly adorable! -- until I found out how fiddly it is to make two tiny little ears or feet and to stuff knitted toys. Really not my style, though I know others love it and do it well. I also went through quite a phase of Nordic-style colourwork mittens, a phase of complicated, fine-gauge lacy shawls, and a phase of short-sleeved cotton sweaters.
I feel like I'm a lot more practical now; I look for knits that don't require a lot of charts and/or aren't too fiddly. I can still do stitches that are complicated, but I prefer if it only relies on one relatively simple chart at a time (for lace, cables, or colourwork, for instance). I still do small-gauge knits, like socks or mittens with fingering-weight yarns, but I've moved away from using laceweight for shawls. I'm also more brutally realistic in thinking about whether a garment will really suit me and therefore will get used; there's no point spending hours and hours knitting something that will sit pathetically in a drawer, not getting worn, because it's not really me. It's very hard to judge sometimes, because pictures will make a garment look really good on the model, but it's not necessarily something that will look good on me.
I also look for different qualities in the patterns themselves, like is there a new technique I can learn, or an interesting construction method? As my knitting skills have improved, I'm more willing to move beyond the basics and try new ways of knitting and building knitted items.
Below you can see a smattering of recent projects of mine.
So basically, I think a lot more carefully now about both product and process when I'm choosing a knitting project. Have your knitting habits changed since you started knitting?