Inspiration for my men’s sweater and accessory designs come from sources that are both expected and obscure.
When I visit New York or Los Angeles I make a point of visiting the major designers’ boutiques along 5th Avenue, in Soho and on Rodeo Drive, as well as the boutiques showcasing newer talent in the Meatpacking District, Nolita, West Hollywood and Melrose Place. I look at all the men’s knitted garments I can find, checking out their latest concepts, the fibers in which they are working, the stitches and the construction, the way a knitted garment drapes, and how they use color or texture in a successful idea.
But that’s only the beginning. I also wander around the Internet looking at what is or isn’t defined as a men’s knitwear trend. And I wander the streets or sit in cozy little teahouses checking out what men wear and how they choose to wear the knitted garments they buy.
Then there are the more random points of inspiration, like a monkey. Well, one day while meditating over a cup of tea and my early morning dose of daily knitting, I was contemplating socks. My mind was scanning memories for old images of favorite socks I have worn, knitted booties I’ve seen and wintery evenings lounging in stocking clad feet. Remember those heavy wooly socks with a soft leather sole? That’s when my monkey doll appeared.
When I was a little guy growing up in Derby, Kansas my mom made me a monkey from a pair of socks. I don’t know who it was that first conceived this little fellow, but I do know he’s been around for decades and that today moms are still making this cute playmate for little guys and gals.The red heel on these classic old socks always struck me, and that’s what I wanted to share in my men’s sock design. So, that childhood memory inspired Bobby Gym Socks. And I hope you’ll be inspired to knit my simple, playful sock design.