Most knitwear designers would have you believe that the road from an idea to an actual knitting pattern is relatively short and narrow: first you draw a sketch, then knit up a swatch, then proceed to charting, sizing, writing, knitting and some more knitting. I can tell you this doesn't happen here at the Lair. That is exactly why I don't consider myself a designer so much. Especially on a day like today. In what follows is a short narrative to how things can go so very, very wrong.
First, you need an idea. It may be based on anything: the yarn you want to use, a colorway you have seen, a garment in a store. Or you may stumble* on a stitch pattern so intriguing it must be used immediately.
*Quite literally, too. Who said leaving your Walker books in a pile right in the middle of the living room floor was a good idea?? Ouch!
So you have the general idea, but not much more than that. Then it hits, this faint memory of a yarn bought years ago. Naturally it is stored in the back corner of your storage room, so you go scavenging through some 300 lbs of yarn until said yarn is found. You even remembered what colors you bought (although quantities may have remained a mystery, thus introducing you to some unexpected problems with the intended colorway). And since you parade around the northern hemisphere telling people how they must (must!) swatch (always!), you take your own advice and vigorously knit up a swatch. Proudly, the newly-finished swatch is given a thorough bath and laid flat to dry. And then it's already 3am and it's time for bed anyway.
Next morning, the fourth gallon of coffee finally jump-starts the brain into proper knitting mode and you dig up the yarn you will use. Oddly, you may need to search for it, as you most definitely left it on the kitchen table, and somehow it ended up behind the couch. (Again! I think the gnomes had another party.) And you look at the great balls of yarn, feeling mighty proud of yourself, and think: "Why yes, I think they will go together." And clickety clack, off you go knitting happily away.
And it looks good, at first.
And you knit away some more. Several hours later, you look at it and wonder what happened. You even ask your spouse to give an opinion. He says, quite kindly, that it brings back some fond memories of the 70s.
I think I need some really pretty colors this time. And this time I do believe they will go together. Otherwise I will develop a serious substance problem.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's 5pm somewhere and I need to erase the seventies out of my brain. Now.
PS. Happy New Year everyone! (Yes, I'm only a month late, but we here at the Lair have concentrated on knitting and not blogging. And frogging. See above.)