I hardly dare call it an idea, so hapharzard was my initial approach. No plan, not even a partially-formed notion of what I wanted to make, just a meandering thought process and a shoulder-shrug of "I'll see how it turns out".
But if I had to identify a beginning, it was this: a desire to Make Something in the summer holidays, two years ago, while the grandparents entertained the Bean (a very rare opportunity, for us). Something tangible, Something useful, Something beautiful. Something that could be easily stuffed in a suitcase - we did two continents that summer.
So I bought yarn. True to my neutrals + schizofrenic colour pop obsession, I picked too many (more on that later). No matter though; at the time I just wanted to Make Something. A blanket, maybe. I learned how to make a simple granny square. I made a few, possibly one in each colour.
Then: unexpected development one. I got bored of simple granny squares.
So I bought a stitch dictionary and figured I might add stitch sampler squares to the grannies. What a great way to learn new stitches.
Then: unexpected development two. I got bored of simply learning stitches, of straight lines.
So I took to Pinterest and made a board of more complex grannies, of pretty grannies, of flowery ones and monochrome ones and any at all that I liked.
Then: unexpected development three. I came up with a granny square pattern of my own, then another, and another.
So I guess somewhere along the way the squares, the new stitches, the desire to put my own modern twist on this old craft came together, and there it was:
A crochet meets patchwork blanket. An anti-fidgeting blanket that kept the traditional shapes but incorporated the colours I liked, gave me a creative outlet, and still appreciated the work of so many talented others, too.
There have been a few more twists to the story. I added then took away colours. I changed colours. A year in I ripped out about half of what I′d made so far and started again. I went through about four different sketches of the overal layout. At this point I'm still not entirely sure of the final dimensions, nor of the border (if there will even be a border).
That, I suppose, is what happens with such an organic idea.