The problem with crochet, though, is that a lot of the patterns I've found are pretty dowdy, to say the least. A lot of crochet patterns are fussy, oversized, 1970s-1980s things that are not at all my style. There are some "modern" patterns, although some of those go a little too far into the artsy, overworked realm to really work for me. There are some great vintage 1920s-1950s patterns available, although they are a bit hard to follow for my present skill level.
To be honest, I was starting to worry that my crocheting would be limited to afghans, baby clothes, and the occasional scarf. My initial online digging didn't turn up much at all. Over the weekend, though, I gave it another go and I hit pay dirt! Crochet patterns that appeal to me immediately- none of that "maybe if I change x, y and z, and use different yarn, and different colors, and make it more fitted, and... and... and..." business.
Some of these patterns are for intermediate or advanced crocheters, which I am not, but some of them are perfectly suited to beginners. And what better motivation to improve my crocheting skills than the Lattice and Swirls sweater?
Flapper Bow Beanie by The Inner Hooker (this reminds me of a Sonia Rykiel hat I fell in love with last winter- it cost upwards of $150!)
Pearl's Cardigan from Crochet So Fine by Kristin Omdahl, this pattern is available free at Lion Brand Yarns.
Big Bow Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin for Interweave. I might alter this pattern to remove the bow, but I love the vertical stripe texture and off-center buttons.
And last but certainly not least, my favorite pattern so far, the Lattice & Swirls top-