Even a tiny project must have and idea behind, needs a little research, drawings (with pencil or an app) and asks for some prototypes. Last Tuesday, during the Online Tatting Designers Class, we were asked to start a new project, maybe this is too little and only a week it's a short time but it's helped me to understand where I need to improve.
The rough idea: use up some tiny superduo I love, I want a new pair of earrings!
They are Czech glass beads, "Miniduo 2x4 mm - Opaque Champagne Luster", like the superduo but smaller in size, in fact superduo are 2,5x5mm. I bought them last October at the craft fair in Rome. I've already used superduo with tatting, back in 2014, there's also a tutorial for a small square: http://ninettacaruso.blogspot.com/2014/06/little-superduo-squared-motif-with.html (the link is also in the page "Tutorials in this blog" from the menu bar).
The sketch: I usually mess up drawings and technical solutions, there's a lot of confusion there but a least one corner in the page of the notebook contains my best possibility. I should learn how to better organise my drawings, I've improved passing from loose papers to a notebook, but I've kept the bad way to scribble all over pages.
The prototype: usually 2 or 3, a good prototype is a good start for the final pattern. At this point I learn if there's the need of more or less joins, more or less beads, or the thread (type or colour) must be changed. That metallic gold thread helped me to understand if it can work as an earring. Have you a magnifying glass handy? I forgot to write down all stitches' counts!