Once the to-be embroidered sweater had grown too big for train knitting, I needed another commuting project. After a few more weeks of bubbling away in the background, I was ready to return to this swatch:

I still love the colors, I love the way it feels, and I especially love the way the colors blend in the garter stitch.

Since sweaters are my favorite thing to knit, I spent a good deal of time thinking about how this swatch might turn into a sweater. I even tried it on.

I decided that I definitely preferred the main color motif to be diagonal rather than horizontal, and was somewhat amused when that wide white band suddenly turned into a belt buckle when it was part of a piece of clothing. I didn’t love it as the main design element in a garment, though.

Felt a little too Star-Trek-y to me.

It didn’t really help to turn it sideways, either.

This second sketch actually came much later in the series, and combines the belt element with a more interesting wrapped look, which I liked quite a lot:

In fact, I think that this was one of the first designs that I sketched out, and is probably the one that I like the best. That didn’t stop me from mucking around a bit more, though.

I tried mixing it with color pattern

And with a solid sweater base.

And tried it out as an asymmetric garment. (I so wish I had a figure that this would flatter, but I don’t. Probably just as well, as asymmetric garments are pretty much the only style of clothing that Branden systematically doesn’t like.)

Then, I went back toward my original design idea.

I didn’t like this one much (for me) at all. I do like the chevron stripes, but they make even the drawing’s shoulders look small, and more visual weight in my hips is the last thing I need.

Then, I returned to the more modern look. The blocky, graphic design was one of the things that drew me to the sketch in the first place, so I decided to play around a bit with those.

These were all unsuccessful. I really love modern pieces on other people and in other people’s houses, but it never quite feels like me.

Then I went back and tried a more traditional, Raglan-type patterning.

And a pretty basic, mitered squares type design.

This last one is actually my second favorite of the lot, I think. There’s something about the uneven diagonals made by the miters that really appeals to me.

In the end, though, I went back to the swatch. And I looked at it, really hard. The modular design was nice and all, but it was interfering with my ability to see the other pieces of the fabric (a strong design element will do that, sometimes). Fortunately, that central white stripe was the part that really made it modular to me, and it was easily taken out.

Not as visually exciting perhaps, but it accents the color changes that I like so much, and it just felt more wearable to me.

And so, I cast on. I abandoned the sweaters as an interesting design exercise, and cast on for an infinity scarf instead. It uses the amount of yarn that I have, doesn’t require a lot of fancy geometry to get the design to lay flat, and it’s knit in the round so I won’t be made crazy with all the flipping and short rows.

And there you have it. Right back at the beginning, with a simple garter stitch design. I threw in a few beads to add interest and pick up the color in the Blue Eyes handspun. With that, I’m well on my way to having another scarf for the fall. It was a fun journey, though, even if I came back to the same place in the end.