The other day a call for submissions came out. (yay!) So, immediately, I gauge whether or not I'm interested in the theme/buyer. I don't really consider whether or not I have time for the project because by the time it gets either accepted or rejected, it could be a few months from now and who knows how busy I'll be then. If it gets accepted, I'll find time.
Out comes my book of items that either I've already designed but just looking for a match or my sketchbook. In this case, out comes the sketchbook and my "Ideas" folder. My ideas folder is various sketches and snippets of colors, notes on shapes and textures to see if any of these ideas still capture my interest.
The sketchbook... I need a very sharp pencil. I mark the page with the date and my name. I list goals: thinking about skill level, shape, texture, the density and weight of the yarn, note about colors, types of yarn that might be interesting. A little brainstorm.
I start sketching. If I get a sketch that's worth keeping, I take a photo of it because I don't have a scanner. I get out the hooks and start swatching. Today I need to get to the swatching phase.
Sherill, and any of you who would like to contact me directly, may at Ellen @ GoCrochet . com (take out the spaces).