Studies in epic genius

It’s one of those Too Many Things on the Plate months. As a consequence, what I’m working on now has been put on the back burner for waaay too long.

So what’s the project? Here’s what I can tell you: A new yarn import company that’s starting up sent me a skein with which to swatch for a men’s garment design. The yarn has a fascinating construction and almost feels like velour. I’ve been rather baffled as to what to do with it. (Being a child of the ’70s, I can immediately envision men’s velour garments, but I don’t think anybody wants to see that hot mess again.)

I’ve been swatching and swatching — even swatched during the Yarn Harlot’s reading at BookPeople this afternoon — and this yarn just won’t yield up any stitch definition. You may twist it, you may cable it, you may throw it into high relief however you like, but it just wants to lie flat. Hmm. I’m not really into designing a men’s garment that’s entirely stockinette right now.

And then there what to make with this yarn. The company clearly wants a garment and I love designing sweaters, but what kind of sweater? It’s a summery yarn, but the phrase men’s summer sweater doesn’t immediately conjure up multiple looks, now, does it?

And then, it hit me. I’ve had several un-pursued designs — sketches I’ve made, ideas I’ve had, but never actually worked up — just staring down at me from my white board. And one of them would be perfect in this yarn. I even sketched it being knit in stockinette and a mistake rib, both of which look good in this yarn.

Sometimes your own brain takes a couple of steps back from you and slaps you right in the face and says “Dumb ass.” And then you put down the knitting needles and the glass of bourbon and you reply, “Thanks, I needed that.”

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