CW - like Jan said, if you search on Ravelry, find a pattern you like, go to the Projects tab and you can see all of the projects other people have made based off of that pattern, most using substitute yarn, needle sizes, and sometimes even modified instructions, and little tweaks that are super helpful, etc.
I am obsessed with Ravelry (2nd to KH of course) and once I figured out the Projects tab, I now refer to it constantly to get an idea on what works and what doesn't. I get almost all of my patterns from Ravelry and free too!!
Also, I stalk the "KH elders/pros" on Ravelry to see all of their wonderful projects.