Designing is as much about what doesn’t work as what (eventually) does. Or what works, but doesn’t look the way I want it to.
Here are a couple of swatches of stitches I’ve chosen not to use for an idea I’m playing around with. It would be for a scarf or shawl with two colors of tonal yarn held together. Tonal yarn is dyed so it has a number of closely related shades of the same color throughout the yarn. I knit the swatches up with the remnants of some Bloomsbury DK tonal yarn from the Hatapalooza of a few months ago. This is the yarn from the Moira and Deirdre hats held and knit together.
I didn’t go with the Eye of Partridge stitch because it involves slipping stitches and the back of the piece (which I didn’t think to take a photo of before I ripped the swatch out) had some longer runs of yarn that I worried would catch on things. And because I wanted the back of the piece to look good. Eye of Partridge is one of my favorite stitches for sock heels, where the reverse side is inside your sock.
Moss stitch solved the problem of an ugly back of the piece since it looks the same from both sides, but I decided it looked too busy for the idea I have in mind. It, too, got ripped out after I took its picture.
I also tried a 2-stitch by 2-row basketweave stitch (which I neglected to photograph) but it wasn’t the right look either. The “right look” is purely subjective, of course. It comes down to if the piece looks like what I envisioned. Or if it looks like what I envisioned but seeing it knitted up makes me realize that I need to adjust what I had in mind. Knitting design involves a lot of knitting, squinting, ripping out, and knitting again until I get what I want.