As a professional artist, I can give you a tried and true method that’s worked for me over many years and many learned art forms.
First, I want to get the basics down on whatever it is I’m trying to learn how to do. I want to learn and practice until I can grasp the principles and turn out a really professional result. That doesn’t have to take forever, it’s just a matter of putting the time and energy into it.
Then, once I’ve learned the rules and can get the product I start branching out from there trying my own version or variation to experiment. And experimenting with whatever you’re creating is really where it’s at. But first get comfortable with the basics.
There are basics to simply knitting stitches and manipulating the thread so that you can create certain effects. Then there are the basics perhaps for knitting a garment, or knitting hats or socks or whatever. Get those basics down, follow a pattern or instruction manual at least to that point and then your experiments will turn out much better than taking shots in the dark and trying to re-invent the wheel.
When I was first learning landscape painting I was trying to paint a tree, one of those elegant ones that have the delicate leaf forms and look so beautiful in a landscape. I painted for WEEKS and just couldn’t get it right. No matter what I did, no matter how many thousands of tiny little leaves I painted the doggone thing always looked heavy and contrived. Then one day I was cruising the artist’s brushes at a Michaels and lo and behold I picked up this weird looking brush that resembled a huge stencil brush only with a bit of rounding at the tips. Written on the handle were the words “Tree Brush”. The lightbulb went on - I suddenly knew how to get my trees to look exactly the way I wanted. And it worked - dabbing that brush into the oils and lightly tapping the canvas created the most beautiful, airy foliage you’d ever want to see.
Now I can achieve that effect with any number of tools, but I’ve long since learned the basic techniques of painting. Learn those basics and the world is your oyster.
Hope this helps!
Happy knitting (and experimenting!)