One of the most interesting things about the design process (for me, at least) is watching the ebb and flow of ideas. I have no ideas, then I have a hundred ideas. I narrow it down to a few ideas, then they branch out into a hundred more. Back and forth, big and small, growing and contracting, until eventually they settle into just one.

The last post showed the results of the first expansion of designs. I really thought I had no ideas for this project, and then I sat down and put pen to paper. Suddenly there were more designs than I knew what to do with – enough for a lifetime of knitting if I were to try and follow them all. I sifted and sorted, narrowed and selected, and then let them lie fallow for a few days to see what else would emerge.

Then, on a different topic entirely, Elaine (from the comments) sent me a link to Kate Davie’s blog. Do you read it? You should…her work is beautiful. I hadn’t seen it before, but am happily following now.

And, well. The photo on Kate’s header shows a very nice circular yoke cardigan. In fact, she has a whole book full of them.

Know how I said that I’d pretty much ruled out circular yoke designs? Now I’m wondering if I should reconsider that thought.


It had occurred to me before that I might want to knit a “practice” sweater to get the fit and shaping right before committing to a design on such tiny needles. That idea was also floating around in the back of my mind.

The other night, I was sitting in my (home) office, knitting, and looking at the braid of yarn on my spinning wheel. It’s been sitting out for about a month now, waiting for me to find time to spin. I’ve been hesitating because I wasn’t sure what it wanted to become.

Then I thought of the Crocus sweater sitting unhappily in the closet.


You may remember that I was nearly finished with the first sleeve when I realized that I would be short of yarn (a hand dyed, drum carded blend of three colorways that would be very hard to reproduce). And, honestly, the light yellow in the yoke design wasn’t working for me. I liked it at first, but as I got further into the knitting, I began to have my doubts. I put the sweater aside to think over its fate. That was in July.

The initial recovery plan for this sweater was that I would spin up a couple of gradient braids left over from the shop.


The color is a pretty good match, and the gradient would make for a nice yoke section, giving me back about a skein of the base purple yarn. With two braids of the gradient to work with, I should easily have enough yarn to finish the sweater. I was pretty sure that this was the answer, but something kept me from starting to spin. Something, somewhere, still wasn’t quite right.

Enter the braid sitting on my spinning wheel without a project. It’s a colorway that I really love, born of the marriage of pink and dark purple at the deep end of sunset. Maybe it could be my yoke color?


I think it probably could.

So now, instead of designing the O-wool sweater as I had planned, I find myself thinking again about how to fix the Crocus, and whether it might make a good practice run to test the style of its finer-gauge cousin.

Or maybe not. I’m not sure yet; a clear path has yet to emerge from this new profusion of ideas. But it is funny how you can start out to design one thing and end up spinning yarn for something entirely different. I suppose it’s all part of the fun: you just never know where a design adventure will lead.