Thanks to a rather large amount of train knitting in the past couple of weeks, I am heading down the finish line on Branden’s second sleeve.

…Which means that I am suddenly realizing that I need to cast on for something else, and fast.

…Especially since I’m going to be traveling this week, and have plane time and airport time and evening hotel time (which is kind of a joke, because I’m going to a conference and the only evening hotel time that happens at conferences for me is the stumble to bed and fall dead asleep kind).

I’ve had a color combination tickling at the back of my mind all through this sweater, though. It came about as a chance association of yarns, piled together next to my chair because I hadn’t yet gotten around to putting them away. (There! A vote for untidiness! If only it made me less twitchy about the state of my office…) The yarns were all piled together by accident, and I made an offhand remark about how they kind of all “went” together. They’ve kind of group-haunted me ever since. But what to do with them?

I have no great ideas. I desperately want to make something complicated, and stylish, and infinitely wearable. Oh, and also? It should require no thought or planning. Dreaming much?

Sometimes, though, the best ideas come to me by way of a blind adventure. I had a vague idea about stripes. And I kind of need some more scarves. (They are daily, year-round wear at work for me, where I huddle over my space heater and curse the air conditioning. Yes, I do need to get a metabolism.)

At first, I wanted lengthwise, wavy stripes. But I couldn’t make it work in my head. So I thought maybe diagonal stripes.

Maybe even going in different directions.

Then I thought about how that could make for interesting sweater geometry.

Then, I cursed myself for being back at sweaters again when what I need is a scarf.

But I like sweaters better. And I like knitting sweaters better. I agonized. And then, I swatched.

I cast on at a corner and just kind of knit as the whim struck me until I had a swatch of a pretty reasonable size (about 10×10″). And now, I have many thoughts.

1) I love the colors together. This will be perfect for something, somehow. And, it uses up leftovers and two deep-stash skeins, which is a bonus.

2) I don’t love garter stitch. Not the knitting of it, nor the wearing of it. Don’t know why; love it on other people, just not usually my thing. But did I mention the colors? And how the garter stitch melds them all together?

3) But garter stitch has no drape (at least not in this fabric), and I don’t want a baggy, unfitted sweater. I know that this is mostly my prejudice speaking, but there it is. I have seen some really beautiful garments in garter stitch, but we just don’t get along. I drew in some ambitious little increases/decreases in the sweater sketch, but have no real idea of how I’d carry those off in the kind of stripes I have drawn. Creative short rows? Black magic? Dunno.

4) Would I even have enough yarn? The answer is no, but I could in theory spin some more. Would have to, in fact, as the dark brown yarn is just a teensy bit too heavy to play nicely with the other yarns, and yet it really must be in there.

5) I love, love, love the swatch. But I also can’t help thinking of it as a dishrag. (I think that’s the garter stitch talking.) I do not wish to wear a dishrag, either as a sweater or as a scarf.

6) The motif is rather modern, and could perhaps be stylish if done well. It could also be a complete train wreck with a billion ends to weave in (26 in the swatch alone). Big, bold, geometric motifs are also not usually my thing, though I do admit to occasionally loving them from afar.

7) I am far more intrigued by the idea of knitting this as a sweater, but I really do need a scarf.

In the end, I am no closer to arriving at a decision and a plane knitting project than when I started. But I do have a rather lovely dishrag swatch.

What do you think should become of it?