I have this idea about winter. There’s me walking along a snowy path as the flakes come drifting down, great big quarter-sized snowflakes that stick to my red hat and mittens, and the streetlamps cast golden circles. I leave a trail of footprints. I am probably on my way home from the library. It’s almost dark, and there is hot soup at home, and cocoa, and the fireside. I want to knit a wooly brown sweater coat to go with the imagined red mittens and pompom hat, and this is the beginning of it. There will be (what else?) garter stitch and silver buttons and big military-style cuffs. Last year it didn’t snow at all, and I wore ballet flats with no socks straight through January—in New York! I know!—and I don’t want a repeat of that. I want snow.
You can see my entire design process in that photo up there. A spiral-bound notebook, one page with a scribbled drawing (eek, don’t judge my drawing skillz) and some hasty notes, and another page with an actual attempt at a schematic, and real-life measurements and some math. Once I know what I’m aiming for, I swatch the yarn I plan to use with the needle I’m hoping will work, do a little elementary multiplication, and start knitting. Very often, I start knitting one end of the sweater before I’ve even decided what the other end will look like. Once I get a design figured out, and a yarn chosen, and gauge sorted out, I really can’t wait to get started with the knitting. I’m impatient like that.