Wow, the office move is on Tuesday, but we’re already almost done! It’s amazing what you can do when you all work as a team. It’s also amazing what you discover lurking in some mystery box – and how these random things can be a little spot of inspiration.

As a garment designer, I’ve always got an eye on fashions and trends (whether good or bad!) and after a while, it kind of blends in together. It can get to be difficult to glean inspiration out of something you’ve seen a hundred times! But, going through all of our yarns, notions and random bits and bobs of office accumulation, I found some real gems of inspiration.

One was the project yarn wall. When you see our yarn in a catalog or online, it’s arranged in some order – often in rainbow order. It’s easy to gravitate toward colors you like that way, and it also is pleasing to the eye. But on my shelf of leftover project yarn, there is no real order; teal ends up next to gold and black with brown. When I began to dig through, the yarns seemed as though they were simply dying to be a fair-isle sweater! Colors I wouldn’t have mixed seemed to flow together as I put them in the moving bins. What a fabulous source of inspiration – and it’s been right behind me this whole time!

Later on, something in the trash can caught my eye. It was an old, tattered button catalog. But some of the buttons had beautiful designs that would make really interesting motifs in fair isle. Bingo! It all starts to come together. I tore off the back page and stashed it with the brightly colored yarns – like a sweater stew.

When I re-open the box next week to unpack, the yarn will have had time to get acquainted with the button motifs. All I have to do, then, is let them tell me what they want to be.

Point is, inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. Routine has a funny way of uninspiring us. So, if you’re searching for something, something completely different, maybe let the yarn tell you. Change your routine. Take all your yarn out of its hiding places, toss it in a big pile and mix it up. Things will begin to happen that you wouldn’t have imagined. Let yourself be inspired by anything. The edge of a leaf could have just the shape you need for your shawl. The delicate colors of a bird’s feather may hold a surprising and unexpected juxtaposition. These can lead to amazing things.

If a fancy kitchen spoon can lead to the amazing Harmony needles, and a photocopied button could provide the perfect basis for a sweater, imagine what possibilities there are in what you already have. What will inspire you today? <