I got an email from Knit Picks recently, asking if I'd be interested in coming up with a design for a new yarn colorway. Free yarn is free yarn, so naturally, I said yes. The yarn arrived, and it was beautiful. I've converted all my photos to black and white, since the colorway has to stay secret until it's released. I immediately dived in; I had already come up with a design that I thought would work... but it didn't.
The tiny-cables stitch pattern I wanted to use was completely obscured by the color variations. So I frogged it and started over. And frogged it and started over. And frogged it and started over. Finally, I came up with a design I liked; the cables and lace showed up well enough. But when it was about halfway done, it was clear that it was going to be enormous and not fit anyone with a normal-sized head (did I mention it was a hat?)... so I frogged it and started over. Again. I made some more adjustments to the cable pattern, to make it fit into a smaller stitch count, but I forgot to take into consideration that eight-stitch cables pull in much more than four-stitch cables do. Long story short, the hat I was designing to fit me ended up fitting my six-month-old niece almost perfectly.
She's adorable, and she knows it.
I like how it turned out, and may make another one, with the intention of having her model for me. But for now, I've abandoned that hat design. A friend of mine suggested that the stitch pattern would look nice in a cowl, which I thought was a great idea. Since a cowl wouldn't have any decreases or increases to worry about, I wouldn't have to figure out how to fit them into the design, as I had with the hat.
Three days later, I had a finished cowl, and almost no leftovers. My friends suggested 10 inches for the width. I was running out of yarn, so I only did 8 inches, which is fine for me, because I have a really short neck.
So I went through all that stress and ripping, to come up with a super-simple cable-and-lace cowl(and a hat idea for another day). And next time I'm asked to "come up with something" for a new yarn, I'll only agree if it's a solid color.