I've been looking at how I design lately. If I'm given a direction I can run with it. For the Isabella d'Este socks Clara asked for strong lace. I think I accomplished it. Usually I see something that lights a spark. A shirt with a detail that I love, an amazing yarn that tells me what it wants to be. A shape our color, it can be anything.
Frequently the finished design is nothing like what I originally envisioned, occasionally although inspired an idea will fight me to the bitter end, like the yarn I got at my first Maryland Sheep and Wool that really wants to be a jacketish cardigan but has rebelled against 3 designs and has languished in the stash for years. I occasionally resurrect it and try something else but so far I think it is determined to just be yarn. (yes, I speak of yarn as if it were alive and sentient, and I don't see a problem with that)
Right now I'm finishing a silk sweater. All the fun details are done, I know exactly how I'm finishing it. It requires very little thought from here on. My mind wanders to future projects and the drape of the silk in my hands is inspiring me. I think a series of silk sweaters may be on the horizon.