Some of these ideas reside in notebook sketches.
Other ideas -- in the form of actual hats -- live in plastic containers.
These hats may have an unusual stitch or method of construction. An eye-catching color pattern. Or simply a shape that I love.
At least once a year, I empty the containers out onto the bed. I choose the hats that I want to turn into patterns next..
Sometimes I've made notes about the idea hats -- very helpful when I start to write the pattern. With note-less hats, I have to count stitches and figure out what I did on each round.
Some idea hats are translated directly into a pattern. Others are tweaked so much that you wouldn't recognize the original hat and the new one as remotely related to each other.
This spring, the lilac tweedy hat, in the photo above, got its turn. It was the first crocheted hat that I designed, way back in Fall 2010.
The new hat is shorter and the band is wider, but it's essentially the same as the original. In 2010, I thought of it as The Lacey Lilac Beanie. Now it's The Tiny-Crown Juliet Cap.